Tucked away on the second floor of St Luke’s is a quiet corridor hiding an unassuming row of studio spaces used by our community artists.
Tucked away on the second floor of St Luke’s is a quiet corridor hiding an unassuming row of studio spaces used by our community artists. Behind those grey doors is a riot of creativity and colour, with artists specialising in a range of crafts including painting, photography, printing and drawing. Recently our artists held a Studio Open Day, and locals got to peak inside these hives of activity. The day was a great success, showing the breadth of art that goes on at St Luke’s, and the range of services we offer to our local residents – our artists run a variety of classes open to our community throughout the year. The artists showed their creative processes and the work and thought that goes into each part of the process.
Among the classes on offer at St Luke’s run by the community artists are: Sunday workshops; print making workshops; a weekly art group; regular courses in specific areas; appearances at large events at the Centre. Jacky Oliver, Bunhill Artist in Residence, says: “I’ve been using the studios at St Luke’s since March and I absolutely love it – it’s a great community space. I really enjoy getting involved in the community classes at the Centre, working with the women’s group and families with casting workshops, working with pewter and plaster, as well as sessions making rubber stamps and badges. There’s a friendly atmosphere and you feel like you’re giving something back to locals.”
Jacky is gathering memories of Whitecross Street, with a view to creating a lasting artwork there. She’ll be working with our Men’s Shed group in the new year.
Julie Rafalski adds: “I’ve been an artist studio-holder for eleven years at St Luke’s and I love it because it’s such a wonderful and nurturing community space. I also really enjoy running different types of art workshops at the Centre, getting involved in the community classes and participating at St Luke’s celebration events. There’s a warm, caring and friendly atmosphere and you feel like you’re giving something back to locals.”
Meet the artists:
John’s artistic interest lies mainly in the human figure, and working with performers from backgrounds in dance, theatre and mime. He draws and paints from life, photographic references and artworks of the past, with a variety of different materials, including pencil, charcoal, acrylic and oils. John has taught a weekly Painting and Drawing class at St Luke’s, and been at numerous special events, including St Luke’s Day.
Julie works with drawing, collage and photography and is interested in themes of memory, the passage of time and place. She delves into childhood memories, viewing them as new territory to be discovered, and explores feelings of nostalgia and melancholy at the transience of things. Julie is an artist educator, and focuses on experimentation, play and stretching of creative boundaries. She’s run workshops in collage, photography and how to think and create like an artist.
Whatever the medium, art-making for Angela starts as a form of play with no restrictions, that often leads to other layers and levels of meaning. It has always been a crucial part of her life, and helps her make sense of being in the world. The Covid pandemic had an effect on both Angela’s art practice and community art projects and many thoughts surfaced about the purpose of art in the world and why we all do it, and about the necessity of human creativity.
Fiona’s art is experimental, combining different media including photography, film, sound, drawing, collage, print and found objects. Her process of creating art is a playful journey of exploration and curiosity which ends up in unexpected places. She’s inspired by the natural world and interested in responding to people’s stories and memories. Fiona believes everyone can be creative and enjoys participatory art including facilitating community art activities at St Luke’s. Recently Fiona has used St Luke’s printing press for workshops for locals, staff and volunteers.
Jacky Oliver (Bunhill Artist in Residence)
Jacky’s work brings together narratives from a range of sources, contemporary and historic, including archive material, interviews and handwritten notes to create small hand held objects through to large-scale architectural pieces. She has a broad and open approach to developing ideas, drawing from a range of processes, responding sensitively to the rich variety of subjects and creating thoughtful interpretations. Julie is researching Whitecross Street, gathering memories and recollections to inform a final piece early in 2024 to celebrate the rich history of the area.
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Please contact us on 020 7549 8181 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri)
for more information on the services & activities available at St Luke’s Community Centre, Central Street, South Islington, London.
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