ConstantineIt’s great to be a V&A artist and the first uniquely based outside the museum. My studio is connected to a housing development in North Kensington. Regeneration schemes are renewing the urban fabric and providing much needed housing. They can also have negative impacts and my work will address these issues.

I often work with historic archives and find it useful to take a long term perspective of social events. I’ve had great feedback. The Mayor Cllr Maighread Condon-Simmonds commented: “You have made a truly interesting display in such a small space…..The north of the borough has so much more space than the south and it is good to see the new developments with good quality homes.” Nahid from the Silchester estate told me how she gained “amazing insight to the area” she’s lived in for over 30 years. At my most recent event, No Object, I invited participants to bring an object from home.  I’m working in a former 1960s council flat that is singularly lacking in any domestic furnishings. I was therefore delighted to learn about milk and marmalade jars, aboriginal art, listen to a harmonica, meet Big Ted and witness an 8mm film projector.

Copyright: Constatine Gras

My next studio open day is on the 11th and 12th October from 11.00am – 6.00pm. Please visit me at 7 Shalfleet Drive opposite Latimer Road tube station.   I’m also planning an event at the V&A Museum in October or November that is based around the 1969 film, Leo the Last. The film is about an aristocratic landlord who moves into a slum area of Notting Hill and becomes radicalised by his oppressed West Indian tenants. I will be inviting local residents to help me make a ceramic installation based on the film.  You can follow my blog here: www.grasart.com

All photographs, copyright: Constatine Gras
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