There’s no denying that the visionary designer Lee Alexander McQueen left behind a unique creative legacy, but perhaps the element he would be most proud of is the Sarabande Foundation. First established in 2006, the fashion charity was set up to support the most creatively fearless minds of the future and to date they’ve nurtured over 130 artists from 31 countries. Those numbers are only set to rise, thanks to the recent news that they’ll be expanding in October with 15 new studio spaces in Tottenham.
Created as part of the borough’s new creative hub, Paxton17, the expansion will mark a move for the foundation’s headquarters, which since 2015 have been housed in a listed stable block in Haggerston. The aim of Sarabande is to provide heavily subsidised studio spaces and free platforms where the artists, craftsmen and designers can exhibit their works, as well as a place they can come to receive invaluable practical advice and mentoring.
The foundation has gone on to become a hotbed for exciting young talent, with some of the best-known alumni including menswear designers Craig Green and Bianca Saunders, painter Michaela Yearwood-Dan, engraver and jeweller Castro Smith and photographer Sam Rock. As for those that sit on the admission panel, the names read like a who’s who of the biggest stars in the worlds of art and fashion, including Nick Knight, Marina Abramovic and Jake Chapman.
The new studios will be housed in a series of impressive Grade II-listed Georgian townhouses, situated a few doors down from the foundation’s permanent Tottenham home, and will be rented out at just £1 per square foot, in a bid to create a space to nurture emerging creative talent at crucial stages in their careers. “The need for inexpensive artists’ studios is higher than ever,” said Trino Verkade, founding trustee of Sarabande Foundation, in a statement.
“There is also a dearth of practical advice for emerging talent – and Sarabande responds to these issues. Tottenham is recognised as an economically deprived area but one field where it is flourishing is within the creative industries. Sarabande High Road will be a big part of creating a new cultural hub in Tottenham, much like how Peckham has been transformed through its burgeoning art scene.”
The project is also hoping to bring about some much-needed regeneration to the local area, as well as providing a space for artists in their own neighbourhoods. “Local artists and designers will be given space in the studios and the foundation aims to become an integral part of the community,” says Verkade. “It also means that local residents will not have to travel into central London to experience cutting-edge art and culture, it will be right there on their doorstep.”
For more information, visit sarabandefoundation.org
Main image: Artist Daisy May Collingridge at one of the Sarabande Foundation’s new studios in Tottenham, London.
All images © Sarabande Foundation