Empty shop plays host to visual art display courtesy of Wandsworth Arts Fringe

An empty shop in Wandsworth played host to a charity that works with artists who have learning disabilities this month.

Visual arts company Action Space ran an interactive exhibition of its artists’ work and a series of workshops in the Southside Shopping Centre.

The event, which took place from May 5 to the May 20, was part of the Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2017, an annual arts and culture festival across the district.

Associate artist Charlotte Hollinshead, 44, said: “We thought it would be a brilliant idea to come and work in a really public space.

“We’ve taken over this empty shop to enable our artists to really develop their practice further and share it with the public.”

Action Space was founded in the 1960s and now operates across three London studios in Clapham, Holborn and Canning Town.

This particular event was attended by seven artists from the South London branch of the charity who have involved for between five and 15 years.

The workshops run over the past few weeks were attended by a number of guests who also have learning disabilities.

Ms Hollinshead said: “Our workshops are very physical, they’re very playful, and we invite people to play with materials and come and get involved.”

It is the third time that the group has run the scheme and they have been working in empty shops since 2010.

Project Coordinator Cornelia Marland, 29, said: “This project is such a good opportunity for the artists to have some space to really be able to show off work.

“The artwork is so exciting, so vibrant and honest.”

The installations feature around a large cube structure which the artists attach their sculptures, paintings and collages to.

The work is then exhibited and sold to the public who can come into the shop at any time.

General manager Vicky Tweedie, 32, said: “It’s very much about the public being able to see them working and creating and rather than just having a static exhibition.”

For more information about the charity and future events visit

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