Home, the Black-owned, accessible art space championing BIPOC creatives, has launched an urgent appeal for financial support.
The multi-functional, self-funded art space in north London opened in 2020, and was a silver lining for the city’s art scene following a year of turbulence and uncertainty.
Founded by photographer, director and curator, Ronan McKenzie, Home was conceived out of necessity for a ‘truly accessible art space’, that responds directly to the needs of its community. Through a wide-ranging programme of exhibitions and events and a ‘new infrastructure for creativity’, the space offers a physical platform to champion BAME artists and audiences.
In a time of increasing financial strain across the creative industries and beyond, the art space has now launched an urgent appeal for survival through Go Fund Me. As the appeal post explained: 'Although we have had the kind support through brand partnerships through a few projects, this, unfortunately, hasn’t been enough to cover all the costs necessary to run the space...'
A post shared to Home's Instagram page, read: 'We are currently in desperate need of support to keep Home alive. Over the past two years, Ronan has continually injected money made through her photography practice to keep Home afloat. The financial pressure of maintaining Home has been, and continues to weigh heavy on Ronan’s shoulders and is no longer something that she is able to financially support alone.'
As McKenzie – who has previously exhibited works at Somerset House and The National Theatre, and collaborated with the likes of Nike and Glossier – noted at the time of opening, many of the city’s art spaces continue to work on hierarchical structures, which are all too often out of reach for BAME artists and audiences. ‘A new art space concept is desperately needed, not only because the representation within most gallery spaces is still not diverse enough to respond to and appreciate the incredibly vast talent who is currently working, but no spaces are able to offer programming that has community and artistic development at the heart of its practice,’ she said.
Home’s debut show was a collaboration between McKenzie and Mixed media artist Joy Yamusangie. ‘WATA; Further Explorations’, delves into themes of ancestry, cross-cultural connections, music and migration, and takes a film produced by the artists in early 2020 as its starting point.
Since it opened in 2020, Home has worked with more than 100 BIPOC creative practitioners, offering free curatorial and event offerings elevating the work of BIPOC artists. In tandem with an ongoing exhibition programme, Home also offers an affordable daylight photo studio, co-working spaces, film nights, supper clubs, artist talks, portfolio reviews, music events, life drawing homing in on the need for an integrated, collaborative approach to art creation and appreciation.
Home offers a versatile model for experimentation, community and social engagement. As McKenzie said in 2020, ‘Drawing on my own experiences of showing work at institutions, and working across fashion and arts, I am all too aware of the difficulties of navigating creative industries as a Black female, and amongst the current offering in London, there needs to be a Home.’
In the interest of transparency, Home has outlined its objectives for 2023, and the monthly costs required to sustain the art space, including rent and staff salaries and is seeking to raise £50,000 through community donations to sustain operations. As the post concludes: 'This isn’t something we wanted to ask our community for but we have reached a critical point where we have no choice but to ask, and as difficult as it is to ask, the support of our community or those who see value in what we aim to provide is imperative in keeping Home alive.'
Home's fundraising page is now live and can be accessed via Go Fund Me. gofundme.com (opens in new tab)
397-399 Hornsey Road
London, N19 4DX
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Harriet Lloyd-Smith is the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.
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