Chelsea Salon Series

I have recently become involved in working on the Chelsea Salon Series. This is a project which was set up by two MA Fine Art alumni of Chelsea College of Art & Design in 2010. The Chelsea Salon Series is conceived as an initiative offering students the opportunity to meet outside the college premises in a variety of spaces to exchange ideas and forge productive relationships with galleries, arts institutions and the locality. Chelsea College of Art & Design is well placed to take advantage of the proximity of not-for–profit spaces.

piece by Sanghyun Ko -  Chelsea College of Art & Design student

piece by Sanghyun Ko - Chelsea College of Art & Design student

The forum is intended as an opportunity for students to get feedback in their practice and to experiment with ideas arising from their research thereby gaining confidence. It is also supporting student led teaching projects as well as alumni projects. It is specifically intended to be  hugely enjoyable and based on student interaction.

The Chelsea Salon Series is structured in such a way that allows for both PRACTICE and RESEARCH to be pursued alongside the curriculum in relaxed surroundings outside the academic institution with fellow MA Fine Art students and other invited artists, alumni, curators and arts
professionals. Although centered around Chelsea College of Art &  Design specifically it is intended to be inclusive and open and that this remit could help pave the way for support from educational charities.

Chelsea Salon Series event at New Gallery in 2011

Chelsea Salon Series event at New Gallery in 2011

For the next Salon event by the Chelsea Salon Series event, I managed to secure a wonderful historic Grade II listed building. I successfully negotiated the price down considerably and having approached the trustees with our project, I have now formed a working partnership with Hackney Historic Buildings Trust who have charge over the Round Chapel building in Hackney, East London. The Trust also owns St Augustine’s Tower nearby to the Round Chapel and I have run an event in the Tower when I worked with Hackney Museum on an Olympics connected project called Mapping the Change.

I was so inspired by working in the Tower when I ran an event for Hackney Museum, as it is such a unique space. The Tower  is all that remains of the old church of St. Augustine, which was built at the end of the thirteenth century when Hackney was a village separated by fields from the City of London. The Tower is Hackney’s oldest building and is a landmark of the area. Residents of Hackney walk past the building day after day and it occupies a noticeable position in the local skyline but many people know nothing about the Tower. There are a number of floors inside the Tower which are reached by a windy stone staircase. Inside, the inner workings of the Tower clock can be seen and on another floor, it is possible to ring the large bell! The most exciting part of a visit to the Tower is the rooftop level which reveals incredible views across London to glimpse Tower Bridge, Hampstead in North London and the new Olympics site.

St Augustine's Tower, Hackney

Since we want the most number of students possible to benefit from the Chelsea Salon Series, the Tower was not the most appropriate venue. Also, I am also holding on to it for a project that I’m working on!

The Round Chapel nearby to the Tower has a capacity of up to 800 people. This means that work in a range of media can be shown and we will also involve students (and some invited alumni) from Camberwell and Wimbledon colleges as well as Chelsea.

We are working on a small publication for the event which we hope will include essays and texts from MA Curating and Art Theory students. I’m so looking forward to the event and what we come up with!



4 Comments on “Chelsea Salon Series”

  1. PS “A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase their knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace’s definition of the aims of poetry, either to please or to educate” [Salon (gathering). Wikipedia]

  2. I remember coming across the tower early one morning after a particularly ‘vigorous’ night out. It is the most magical place. I would love to know what you have planned for it!

    You’re doing so many wonderful things – you should be be very proud of yourself. I would love to maybe take part in some future projects. Please do come along to Brick Lane – and tell me your name (via e-mail)!

    • Great Tower story! I am hoping to do some kind of sound work there… will keep everyone posted on what I decide on.

      Thank you! I feel like I’m working on a few great projects at the moment and that opportunities seem to have come happily together at once, but it has been a slog to get this far which is just starting out really! Email winging its way to you 🙂

  3. […] A few months ago I introduced the Chelsea Salon Series on this blog and I wrote about the first salon for Chelsea Salon Series that I organised and curated which you can read about here. […]

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