Acme Studios — Work/Live FAQ

Supporting Artists since 1972

Here are some of the questions we are commonly asked about our Work/Live Studios. If you can’t find something, or have further queries please get in touch.

I am a current Acme studio tenant, can I apply?

Yes, however artists without an affordable, long-term studio tenancy may be prioritised.

Does it help my application if I am already registered on Acme's waiting list?

No, the residency selection is independent of Acme's non-residential studio waiting list.

I have other employment alongside my art practice, can I apply?

Yes, and we would expect a large number of artists applying may be working another job alongside their practice which may or may not be in a related field. We understand that this is often necessary to support their practice financially whilst still seeing their art practice as their principle activity. We acknowledge that generating an income solely from a fine art practice is difficult.

How do I calculate the number of years I have been making art work?

We ask for evidence of the number of years that fine art practice has been your principle activity whilst not being attached to an educational institution, and the minimum requirement to be eligible to apply is five years. It doesn’t need to be five years since you were last in education as these years don’t need to be continuous. For example, any years of art practice before starting an MA should be included in your calculation along with years since finishing your studies.

Both myself and my partner, whom I live with, are artists. How should we apply?

You should both complete a separate application form, then email to clarify you are applying for one studio.

We will consider your applications jointly, but as the units were designed for single occupation you will need to propose how you intend to share the space.

Can I apply if I intend to live in the unit with my partner, who is not an artist?

Yes. Please indicate on the application form that you intend to share the unit with a partner and provide their details.

I am living with dependants. Can I apply?

Unfortunately, the units at the Fire Station cannot accommodate artists with dependent children due to the age, design and location of the building.

Families are welcome to apply to Acme's other work/live programmes when vacancies arise. We have work/live accommodation at our High House and Glassyard buildings.

I am a sound artist, can I apply?

Yes, however the studios are not soundproofed so you would need to use headphones when working. There is an additional studio space which can be booked for specific projects subject to availability.

I have a noisy practice and use power tools when working, can I apply?

All tenants have the right to 'quiet enjoyment' of their premises. If your practice is likely to cause disturbance or disruption to other tenants then we would ask you to take precautions to prevent this. This could mean using an alternative workshop for noisy or very dusty work, headphones for music or limits on the hours you work. If you think these restrictions will hinder your working practice, we would not recommend you apply.

I use heavy machinery, can I apply?

Unfortunately, no. Each studio space is relatively small and not suitable for heavy machinery.

I have had an Acme work/live tenancy previously, can I apply?

Once you have been previously housed in an Acme work/live studio, you will not be eligible to apply again.

What do you mean by UK-based?

You are resident in the United Kingdom with the right to remain for the duration of the residency.

Can Acme support visa applications to remain for the two years of the residency?

No, unfortunately we are unable to support visa applications.

Why do you allocate by need/hardship and not solely by quality of work?

It is Acme's objective to support the advancement of the arts by providing support for artists in necessitous circumstances. This means we are open to supporting all fine artists in financial need who can demonstrate a professional practice and for whom fine art practice is their principle activity and ambition.

What outcomes do I need to deliver while living in an Acme work/live studio?

There are no defined outcomes, other than the commitment to further your practice.

Will I be required to open my studio up for events or visitors during the course of the programme?

You will never be required to, however you are welcome to host your own critical discussions or studio visits.

The only visits to your unit that may be essential are for repairs and maintenance, if something needs fixing we would always contact you first. Occasionally Acme may have visitors we would like to show around the units in order to further our goal of creating more in the future. In this case we would always seek your permission first: these visits would never be obligatory.

Do I have to live in it?

Yes, applicants with a demonstrated need for combined work/live space will be prioritised and therefore it is the expectation of Acme that the studio will be the work/live address of the artist tenant.

Can I rent my studio out to someone else?

This will depend on individual circumstances. We understand that artists may have other residency opportunities which take them out of London and could benefit from letting their studio during this time. Any temporary arrangement must be agreed in advance with Acme.

Can I advertise my studio for short term let if I am away on a work trip or holiday e.g. through Airbnb or Facebook?

No, you must consult Acme prior to any arrangement (see question above). It is important for the security of the building and the harmony of the wider Fire Station community that the work/live studios are occupied by the named artist tenant only. Any temporary rental arrangement must be approved by Acme.

We will not tolerate any behaviour from artists who aim to profiteer from their work/live studios and your tenancy will be at risk if you are found to be doing so.

Can I have a friend to stay in my work/live studio?

Short visits from friends are anticipated and there is no need to inform Acme. Any guests staying in your studio for longer than a month would need to be registered with Acme.

Can I bring my pet?

Unfortunately, we cannot have pets in the studios other than assistance animals.

Can I view the studios before applying?

Yes, we strongly recommend you attend a viewing, research the local area and try out the transport connections before deciding to apply. Please contact Acme for viewing dates.