OPEN CELLS is an artist residency programme at The Koppel Project Station, taking place in the former holding cells at the Police station on Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead. Our goal is to provide artists with a dynamic, inclusive, and interactive experience that helps them develop their practice while contributing to the local community.
In the heart of The Koppel Project Station, a former police station reborn after its closure in 2011, we have been breathing new life into this space. This year for a second time, we're proud to introduce OPEN CELLS, a residency programme that offers a haven for artists!
Former holding cells, now transformed into artists' studios, hold creativity that knows no bounds. It's about more than free studio space - it's about fostering a thriving community, connecting artistic minds, and sharing knowledge!
OPEN CELLS empowers emerging artists to grow while enriching our local community. The programme aims to turn this historic location into a vibrant artists community.
Listed below are the October 2023 cohort of OPEN CELLS artists in residence, whose works are also on display at KOPPEL Collective from 13 October until 3 November 2023.
Haani Jetha was born in Hong Kong in 1999 to a diasporic family of East African Asian descent with ties to Great Britain. He is a Mandarin speaker. He was educated at Cornell University, where he received a B.A. with highest honours in Fine Arts and East Asian Studies. Haani is a practicing artist with multi-disciplinary interests that cut across boundaries and borders. Whilst rooted in the complexities of his cultural and spiritual heritage, his work is attentive to and articulates the urgencies of the present. His past work experience includes Asian Cultural Council, Christie’s, Gagosian and Asia Art Archive. He has a continuing affiliation with Shahzia Sikander Studio. He recently completed a residency at Foundation House in Greenwich, Connecticut. In 2023, he was invited to and guest lectured on his practice at Columbia University. Haani’s work has been exhibited at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Ithaca, New York) and Palazzo Santacroce (Rome, Italy), among others.
Pierce (she/her) is a curator, dramaturg, and writer working between so-called Australia and London with an interest in building new practices of interdependence, finding connections between the socio-eco-political crises we currently face, and tending toward those through the ethics of listening, caring, queering, and decentralising. Her approach explores activism, non-dualism, and sovereignty. Currently, she is a Creative Producer of a Creative People and Places (CPP) funded by Arts England called Three Rivers Bexley, Founding Editor of SISSY ANARCHY, Features and Trans Literary Editor of Worms Magazine and Publishing, and Co-Founder of The Compost Library. Pierce is October Artist is Residence for the OPEN CELLS programme for Koppel Project 2023. SISSY ANARCHY is featured this year as a part of the FRINGE! Queer Film Festival’s exhibition ‘Across-Over-Beyond’ at Space Station Sixty-Five and the Queer Market takeover at Rich Mix. SISSY ANARCHY is an invited guest for the Anarchist Zine Fair at FREEDOM Bookshop in October and Sticky Fingers Zine Fair in November 2023.
Nora’s practice takes the form of water, inspired by her aquatic travel to the UK as a baby, and by their undocumented identity as an Albanian. Nora intuitively works with organic materials gathered and foraged whilst travelling. These materials enter a recurring ritualistic process of hydration and dehydration. Algae, seaweed, sand, denim, clay, metal, bike parts, glass and bones are among the materials that appear in the work. The continuous camouflaged interrelations between geographies and bodies are explored through installations, writing, sculpture, video, sound, drawings and performance.
As a designer by training, Katie's practice spans both design and the visual arts, encompassing body adornment, spatial installation, and soft sculpture. Growing up as Queer in a Jewish household prompted an exploration of experiences of autonomy in relation to cultural identity and queer modes of living. Through her work, Katie observes the interplay between different bodies and how they interact with the environments they occupy. She seeks to uncover the internalised challenges of occupying distinct cultures and experiences and how these manifest within a space.
Mez was born in South London and grew up in South Wales. She sees herself as London-Welsh; an identity fraught with many contradictions. Her practice explores the connections between power and spatiality, place, profit and ownership. Working site-responsively, her work seeks to understand the relationships formed between a place and its inhabitants, where questions and ideas are articulated through actions and materials. Mez graduated from the Sculpture and Environmental Art programme at the Glasgow School of Art and whilst studying, spent a semester on exchange at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada. Mez balances her artistic practice with teaching: as a Lecturer in Fine Art on the Foundation Course in Art and Design and Technician in the Ceramics Department at Kingston School of Art. She has worked on public art projects with the Queens Cross Housing Association in Glasgow, HMP Greenock, Parc Prison in Bridgend, and the Woodlands Trust Dumbarton, whilst also maintaining a studio-based practice. She took part in the make (2022) Residency for artist-educators at the Freelands Foundation and recently spent a year as the Sculpture and Woodwork Fellow at at City and Guilds of London Art School. Mez has been awarded a Creative Cardiff scholarship to attend Art School Plus Programme in London 2023/24, and will be exhibiting work at the Bonnington Centre, London.
Joshua David Y'Barbo is a London-based artist and an expert in participatory art and design. He creates artwork and designs art clubs. Over the past two decades, Joshua has maintained a studio practice, creating and selling commissioned artworks and prints. Since 2013, he has taught undergraduate and postgraduate students, curated exhibitions, and conducted research in art history, practice, and theory, all of which have combined into a multi-hyphenated professional practice. He follows a postmodern approach, which focuses on visual or experiential allegory and personal metaphor, often delivered in collaged compositions and assembled graphic, video, audio, and digital content. He investigates meaningful sustainability development goals in education and well-being by producing various digital content about art history, art making, and theory. Joshua also writes about and creates narratives that simultaneously represent his world experiences and speculate on how things around him fit together. His most recent projects explore nostalgia and ways of expressing emotions, regaining a sense of identity, and telling stories to raise awareness of overlooked perspectives through art making.
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