Area 10 Project Space is an artistic Never Never Land, hidden in wasteland in Peckham, overlooking the now-filled-in canal and overshadowed by the award-winning, (albeit strangely short of books) library. To step through its doors is to enter another world, where aerial perfomers tumble and artists build the most amazing follies out of scrap and left-over timber. It is a magical realm of possibility and fantasy. And occasionally they let the public in….
It is actually located in a former timber yard, and was secured on a temporary basis for a peppercorn rent from the council around 7 years ago. Since its initial conception as a practice area/workshop for local working artists, it has hosted film nights, cabaret, community breakfasts, circuses, and regular collaborative exhibitions. And its eery vastness makes it a great backdrop for film and music video production. The running committee has recently obtained charitable status for the project, which at least gives it security for the foreseeable future.
We caught up with Anila Ladwa, one of the founders:
Why Area 10? What gave rise to the name?
Area 10 is the scientific name/reference to an area of the human brain that is responsible for multi-tasking.
Is the warehouse actually a good place for artists to work? It seems pretty draughty to Londonist.
It is exceptional in size and in character and features, but yes this in itself has been a challenge for some artists and an inspiration to others. However you will be amazed at what can be created in a draught warehouse under a leaky roof!
We know that you are an ‘Arts Collective’ – how many permanent artists do you have attached to the project?
Area 10 is more of a project. It is very fluid and three are new artists that come to showcase work as part of a show or event and artists that come back to participate in the project. Most Area 10 shows involve around 50 artists. Other shows are hosted or held in collaboration with other arts organisations.
How do visiting artists find out about the space – is it all word of mouth?
Mostly word of mouth, often through people who have come to a show or participated in one.
There have been rumours over the years that the land is to be converted into an arts complex. Will there be room for Area 10 in this, or would it lose its edge?
We hope that future developments on the Eagle Wharf site incorporate some sort of arts space, it would be fantastic if they could keep some of the building itself within the new build. We can’t speak for Area 10’s future as it has been an experimental platform for so many artists and projects out there – an experiment in itself.
The current performance is called Collision – can you tell us a bit about it?
Collision is a 3 night artist-led fest on 6, 7, 8 September, with live moving image, sound art, installation and sculpture, performance, music and film. Each night is different and there is lots to see. Please visit the website for details.
Is it true all they say about Peckham being the centre of the artistic universe and all that?
Of course it is! It is what Hoxton used to be and is no longer.
There is loads going on but it is all pretty underground, that’s what’s so cool about it.
Area 10’s favourite ‘artistic’ bit of London is….
(i.e. if you had to recommend one arts based thing to see in London for a tourist for example)
Well if they’re not coming to a show at Area 10 then for a similar underground feel would be an evening at the Shunt Lounge at London Bridge.
Have you ever been sick on the tube?
No – I tend not to travel the tube most of the time!
COLLISION is on at Area 10 in Peckham Square until Saturday 8th September (from 8pm each evening). Not to be missed.