Second Floor Studios & Arts – [SFSA]

SFSA – CANTEEN – Social Enterprise Arts Cafe website now online!

Posted in Uncategorized by Second Floor Studios & Arts on July 5, 2012

Second Floor Studios & Arts – CANTEEN website now online

CANTEEN is a Social Enterprise Arts Café run by Second Floor Studios & Arts.

CANTEEN supports SFSA funding programmes with no less than 50% of its profits financially contributing towards SFSA Education and Outreach programmes, Community Engagement Projects, CPD for members and Internships.


The Foreigners’ Collective – no format residency, 9th – 15th July 2012

Posted in Arts, Events, SFSA Members, TBPS by Second Floor Studios & Arts on July 3, 2012

The Foreigners’ Collective have been invited to create a dance performance  in the no format space using their unique cross cultural collaborations. The collective will also be holding open rehearsals so that the members of SFSA and TBPS can also engage with their artistic process.

The Foreigners’ Collective will be in residency from the 9th July and performances will take place the weekend of the 14th and 15th of July.

 The Foreigners’ Collective

From a small group of independent strangers in a strange land bearing the common denominators of dancing, creating and co-existing, The Foreigners’ Collective was born.  In addition to their art, this international group realized a deep notion of fraternity from their shared investigation and experience of what it means to be a ‘foreigner’ and has strengthened their bond and confirmed their desire to reconvene in order to create.

Resting on the surface is the actuality of being an alien; an outsider in a country, culture, or society that you do not identify with. Yet no less can one be a foreigner not geographically, but philosophically when deviating from the norms of which one is expected to abide by. Foreigners may wander physically or emotionally; sometimes aimlessly, yet other times seeking to join or form an alliance.  The Foreigners’ Collective is an alliance; a dynamic amalgam seeking to collaborate with foreigners and encourage diverse cultural exchange.

More info here:


Deborah Cumming – GTF: Gridscape, Textile and Flora opening at no format gallery Thursday 28th June, 5pm – 9pm

Posted in Events, New Works, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on June 27, 2012

Traditional oil painting techniques and subject matter underpin these paintings by Scottish painter Deborah Cumming, but recent work reveals a new approach to both landscape and still life.

Landscape has emerged as Gridscape, combining two contrasting styles which have had a profound influence on the artists career: traditional landscape painting and rigid colour grids used in design. The landscape painting sits behind a number of painted squares that have been selected from a grid structure, mapped out before painting begins in colours which provide both sympathy and contrast. The resulting painting offers a mix of traditional and contemporary styles that compete for the viewer’s attention.

Still life, while retaining static observations of composition, form, colour, light and mood, has been simplified, offering a new representation of an old theme.   Influenced by the work of mid 17th century Spanish artists Zurbarán and Cotán who simplified the concept of still life by depicting everyday objects, in an uncluttered setting, devoid of religious symbolism or moral sub-context, this work attempts to present still life in a new way. These contemporary paintings involve three basic elements: a dark background, an everyday object and a piece of fabric. The main object is either flora or fauna at varying stages of growth placed simply on carefully considered fabric. The light source is important in all of these works, as is the composition and placement of the object.

“Deborah’s grid landscape paintings force the viewer to switch between two opposing styles within a single painting. The grids provide a strong design element to an otherwise traditional landscape painting. Her still life paintings are simple, uncluttered examples of beauty and artistic craftsmanship”Matthew Wood, SFSA Director

More info and gallery opening times here:

Additional Text –

Deborah Cumming: Landscape painting as a fusion of artistic subjectivity and visible objectivity

Text by Stephen Baycroft

The painted image of a figurative objective painting relies on the spatial depth of an artificial geometrical perspective to impose the same apparent objectivity onto the coloured forms of the figurative objects in this image as the coloured forms of the figurative objects located outside this image in the visible world of someone observing this painting. Western aesthetics has included attempts to endow the visible lines and colours in figurative objective paintings with the functions of mimetic illustrative representation and/or non-mimetic non-illustrative linguistic expression.

The capacity of the lines and colours in a painting to function as mimetic illustrative representations of the apparently objective coloured forms of figurative objects located outside this painting, benefited from empirical scientific research into coloured pigments by Michel Eugene Chevreul and coloured lights by Ogdon Rood.

The capacity of the lines and colours in a painting to function as non-mimetic non-illustrative linguistic expressions of apparently subjective things like an artist’s emotions, feelings and ideas, was legitimised by modern empirical scientific, philosophical and occult scientific research into the subjective properties of colour. Such colour research has involved theoretical and practical attempts to develop universal languages of colours whose systematic organization has included the use of abstract grids of coloured squares. Many figurative objective and abstract painters have tried to invent and use universal languages of objective colours to make paintings using colours which they believed had the linguistic capacity to express their subjective emotions, feelings and ideas.

Cumming uses the space envisaged by the painted surface of one of her landscape paintings to juxtapose the coloured forms occupying the perspectival space of the representational (i.e. figurative objective) areas of this painting, with the abstract grid of coloured squares occupying the non-perspectival space of the expressive (i.e. abstract) areas of this painting. The painted surface of such a landscape painting can be conceived to be the visible means by which Cumming tries to abolish the distinction between the abstract thought-formal content of her own subjectivity and the figurative objective content of the visible world represented in this painting.

“LET ME PUT MY POEMS IN YOU” – David Bray solo show @ no format opening this Thursday 14th June – 5pm – 9pm

Posted in Events, New Works, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on June 12, 2012

“The title derives its name from a throwaway gag in the Will Ferrell movie ‘Blades of Glory’. It’s an absurd title, reflecting the ridiculous subjects of the drawings. Unfortunately in the last few years, too many of my friends have passed away – life can sometimes seem very bleak and sad. This body of work is an attempt to step away from that darkness – into a world of unbridled joy and stupidity.”David Bray

David Bray’s compelling works come from a lifetime love of drawing and an active imagination. Using basic working tools, such as pens, pencils and paper bought from ordinary stationary shops, Bray creates intricate, time-consuming drawings, which explore emotion, utopia and a world of fantasy.

Born in Dartford, Kent, in 1970, as a child Bray would apparently draw images of space travel, where he would depict himself and his friends visiting other Planets and Universes. As he grew older he began to explore a dark, egotistical fantasy world, which is still apparent in the work he makes today being influenced and inspired by a wide range of artists: from Allen Jones, Eric Stanton, to erotic photography by Helmut Newton and Araki.   Bray has exhibited worlwide – having shown in London, Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong,  Amsterdam, Portland, Los Angeles and Perth.   As well as an exhibiting artist, Bray has had a successful career as a commercial illustrator since graduating in Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins in 1992.

Clients have included: Absolut, Puma, Agent Provocateur, VW, Vodafone, MTV, Nokia, The New York Times, GQ and more.   His collaboration with photographer Tim Bret Day on the Harvey Nichols advertising campaign ‘HN on Earth’ is now in the permanent poster collection at the Louvre.   Bray has recently resurrected his design practice: clients including Virgin Atlantic and Terence Conran.

His show at no format sees Bray working on large scale portraiture, with overiding themes of loss, voodoo, religion and sadness……

Exhibition open: Fri 15th, Sat 16th and Sun 17th June & Fri 22nd, Sat 23rd and Sun 24th June (11am – 5pm)

Laurent Cahard: Poetic painting as a non-grammatical language analogous to music – ‘Synaesthesia (I): Abstract Painting as Visible Sound’ Opening at no format Thursday 31st May 2012 5pm – 9pm

Posted in Arts, Events, New Works, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on May 28, 2012

Laurent Cahard: Poetic painting as a non-grammatical language analogous to music – ‘Synaesthesia (I): Abstract Painting as Visible Sound’ Opening at no format Thursday 31st May 2012 (5pm – 9pm)

The second exhibition in the cycle of exhibitions at the no format gallery on the themes of sublimity and synaesthesia is devoted to the work of the painter Laurent Cahard. The ‘germinative’ artistic process developed by Cahard involves his use of an ‘atmosphere’ of graphic ideas, emotions and feelings aroused within himself to mentally abstract a set of line and colour elements from the visible world, that he envisages as the set of configurations of elements of a ‘motif’ in a computer-generated sketch. Cahard then uses the processes of addition, removal and rotation of these elements to arrive at the final version of this sketched motif that functions as the starting point for the compositional process by which he paints a new version of this motif on the gridwork of canvas units of a painting. The elements of this painted motif have qualities of texture and colour that are absent from the sketched motif from which it is derived, thereby preventing this sketched motif from being an ‘original’ of this painted motif. The composition of the elements of a motif in a painting by Cahard is based both on pseudo-synaesthetic analogies with music, and on linguistic analogies that endow these elements with the status of a non-grammatical language analogous to music. Pseudo-synaesthetic musical analogies permit Cahard to break with the classical rules of composition associated with the making of mimetic illustrational paintings in which figurative objects occupy a pictorial space whose depth relies on artificial geometrical perspective. Like painters such as Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse, Cahard suppresses the spatial depth of artificial geometrical perspective in a painting in order to envisage a flattened tapestry-like pictorial space within which an observer can see melodic, harmonic and vibratory rhythmic tensions of motif elements. The ‘musical’ qualities of these painted elements deprives them of the representational function of mimetic illustration, while permitting such elements to possess the expressive function of linguistic signification of the motive attributes of the atmosphere of ideas, emotions and feelings used by Cahard to envisage the motif in the sketch from which this painting is derived. The theoretically unlimited nature of the germinative process by which Cahard actualises the potential variation of a motif, parallels the processes by which human potential is continually becoming actualised in contemporary human life.

Exhibition text Copyright 2012 Stephen Baycroft

Full info here:

The 2012 exhibition programme for the ‘no-format’ gallery will include a series of exhibitions of visual artworks under the collective title ‘On Sublimity and Synaesthesia’. These exhibitions will explore art created in response to experience at the sublime limits of ordinary vision, and how the limits between the physical senses can be transcended by synaesthetic processes in the brain which enable non-visual data to contribute to the creation, experience and knowledge of visual artworks. Each exhibition in this series will give one in-house artist the opportunity to exhibit a selection of his/her visual artworks, and to work in conjunction with the freelance writer Stephen Baycroft (author of a biography of the artist Ken Currie entitled The Mask of Being, 2001, and currently completing a book on the relationships between the art of the Greek dramatist Aeschylus, the American poet T.S. Eliot and the Anglo-Irish painter Francis Bacon), to produce an artistic statement in which this artist places his/her work in the context of Western art history and philosophical aesthetics.

Full programme here:

Second Floor Studios & Arts Open Studios Thursday Night Opening – Open all weekend 11am – 6pm

Posted in Events, New Studios, New Works, Open Studios, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on May 18, 2012

CANTEEN – SFSA’s new social enterprise arts cafe!















CANTEEN – SFSA’s Social Enterprise Arts Café – Opens Monday 14th May

Posted in Events, SFSA Members, TBPS by Second Floor Studios & Arts on May 13, 2012

CANTEEN is a Social Enterprise Arts Café run by Second Floor Studios & Arts and is a provision for SFSA and Thames Barrier Print Studio members, their colleagues, clients and guests – Opening Monday 14th May.

CANTEEN supports SFSA funding programmes with no less than 50% of its profits financially supporting SFSA Education and Outreach programmes, Community Engagement Projects, CPD for members and Internships.

Your support for CANTEEN is greatly appreciated – thank you.



Thames Barrier Print Studio – Video Tour now online!

Posted in Uncategorized by Second Floor Studios & Arts on May 6, 2012

Thames Barrier Print Studio – a new spacious professional open access print studio based on the south bank of the Thames down by the Barrier available for experienced printmakers and anyone wanting to learn. Part of Second Floor Studios & Arts, TBPS –  all about print!

New TBPS video tour now online here:

Thames Barrier Print Studio – One of London’s largest open access fine art print studios –  facilities and services for experienced printmakers to practice screenprinting on paper and textiles, intaglio, relief, plate litho, letterpress and digital – as a keyholder or an open access member.




Never Promised Pound Land – Opening Night at no format 3/5/2012

Posted in Events, New Works, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on May 3, 2012

Opening night – Never Promised Pound Land @ no format 3/5/2012.

Works by Ray Richardson, Cathie Pilkington, Mark Hampson.

Exhibition runs until 27th May – Open Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun 11am – 5pm

Ray Richardson, Cathie Pilkington, Mark Hampson – no format 3/5/2012

NEVER PROMISED POUND LAND – Ray Richardson, Cathie Pilkington and Mark Hampson – opens at no format this Thursday (3rd May) 5pm – 10pm

Posted in Events, New Works, Open Studios, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on April 30, 2012

NEVER PROMISED POUND LAND – Ray Richardson, Cathie Pilkington and Mark Hampson – no format gallery

Opening night – Thursday 3rd May 2012, 5pm – 10pm

Exhibition runs until Sunday 27th May (Open Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun – 11am – 5pm)

Welcome to a world, but not the real world.  The concept of the real world has of course, been hotly debated by a long list of Philosophers, Mathematicians, Physicists and Creative’s.  Everyone from Plato, Aristotle, Wittgenstein, and Rubin to the velveteen rabbit and her fellow toy, Pinocchio have had their questions.  In Never Promised pound Land we are presented with a probable and parallel world created by, the combined inventions yet distinctly different narrative based practices of, Ray Richardson, Cathie Pilkington and Mark Hampson.

Mark Hampson

Cathie Pilkington

Ray Richardson

More info here:

no format – Second Floor Studios & Arts, Harrington Way (off Warspite Road), Woolwich, London, SE18 5NR.

no format –  is located immediately off the A206 dual carriageway near Charlton and Woolwich. There is access from the A2/M2, M20 & M25. Charlton and Woolwich Dockyard Main Line stations and The Docklands Light Railway are in close proximity. Jubilee Line North Greenwich (O2) then 161 or 472 from bus stop A to Warspite Road. Regular bus routes (180, 177, 161, and 472) serve the local area.