New sustainable models for artist-led spaces

Partners: Assembly House CIC (Leeds, England) and E-WERK Luckenwalde (Luckenwalde, Germany)

Image © Assembly House

"This funding will allow us to explore new sustainable models for artist-led spaces; environmentally, financially and socially. The project surrounds knowledge sharing, dialogue, research and creative consultancy. Assembly House and E-WERK will host residencies at their respective sites to demonstrate their ways of working as artist-led organisations with different approaches. We will learn the context of each others’ work, and the ways that our heritage buildings can be used to our advantage, holding histories within them whilst creating space for future legacies. Our vastly different approaches lend themselves to creative interrogation, exploring what we can do better for our communities."

Assembly House and E-WERK 

About the partners

Assembly House is an artist-led community arts organisation, project space and home to over 50 artist studios located in a Victorian mill in Armley, Leeds. Since 2013 we have been providing affordable studio spaces, career support for early career artists, developing creative projects in and for our local community, a programme of skills sharing, and commissioning local artists. Our mission is to make art accessible for both artists and our local community; we want to give artists the tools and support to thrive no matter their background, therefore creating a vibrant network of creatives engaging with our local community. We are champions of grassroots art and creativity in Leeds, providing a strong network of artists beyond institutional structures, while supporting artists to grow their artistic practice and career. We want to foster a safe and enriching environment of knowledge-sharing, boundary-pushing and genuine experimentation, through holistic support and financially accessible space. 

E-WERK was built in 1913 as a coal power station. For over 60 years the power station produced and supplied coal-powered energy to the city of Luckenwalde and beyond. Under extreme political upheaval, after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, E-WERK ceased production and lay dormant for almost 30 years until Performance Electrics took ownership in 2017 in order to reanimate the building; reinstating its original purpose. In September 2019, Performance Electrics transformed E-WERK Luckenwalde into a renewable Kunststrom power station and contemporary art centre, turning the building’s power back ON.

E-WERK Luckenwalde encompasses four floors, a vast outdoor space and totals over 10,000 m2. Each floor is tailored to the energy and art programme. The Ground Floor is the main site for energy and artistic production with several fully equipped workshops including a metal, engineering and wood-workshop. The contemporary art centre occupies the first floor with a 350m2 Turbine Hall and three multipurpose exhibition spaces. E-WERK presents a quarterly programme of commissions, exhibitions, performances and events. As Berlin rent prices continue to rise, much needed affordable artist studios occupy the third and fourth floor of E-WERK Luckenwalde. 

Image © E-WERK