Published on January 29, 2014 | by Edwige Dubois

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SUARTS: Loss of Peckham Space is a ‘great shame’

Pedestrians walk past the newly named Peckham Platform gallery in Peckham, South-East London

Peckham Platform has plans to expand now it is independent from UAL [Tom Setterfield]

Student union leaders say they’re disappointed by a UAL management decision to cut funding to Peckham Space.

The university says the choice to reduce financial support to the gallery was made after a cut in funding from the government.

This has resulted in Peckham Space becoming independent and it has since relaunched under the new name Peckham Platform.

SUARTS president Shelly Asquith told Arts London News that students will lose out as a result.

“If the university is indeed cutting its funding for Peckham Platform, I think it is a great shame. The idea that projects such as Peckham Platform and graduate employability are separate is false; the links students build with their local community can be integral to their development as practitioners and curators,” Asquith said.

“How did CCW come to decide this money would benefit students by being spent on building its Business Collective? I don’t recall students being consulted,” she added

Georgia Dennison, CCW Vice President, agreed with Asquith, stating that the “professionalisation of creative courses neutralises their strengths.”

Reprioritise projects

Sian Stirling, director of External Relations for Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon (CCW), told Arts London News that UAL had to “reprioritise projects” and “focus on supporting our key objective of improving the student experience, and for CCW this includes building better employability links between courses and the creative industries via our Business Collective.”

Peckham Platform is now a charity with aspirations to focus on social practises and community development, rather than delivering a linear exhibition programme as before.

Emily Druiff, Peckham Platform’s executive director, told ALN that as a charity, her art space has gained freedom and will be “eligible to secure a wider range of funds”.

“We have been incubated by the university – we couldn’t have expanded as part of the university. We needed to go independent,” she said

The re-launch will be held on January 31 with the opening of Ruth Beal’s solo show Bookbed.

 

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