LONDON — Sarabande is growing up — and out — building 15 creative studios and an exhibition space in the north London neighborhood of Tottenham. The charitable foundation founded by Lee Alexander McQueen will be opening its new building, Sarabande High Road, later this year in a creative quarter called Paxton17.
Trino Verkade, founding trustee of the Sarabande Foundation, which supports emerging talent across fashion, art, design and craft, said the need for inexpensive artists’ studios is higher than ever in the British capital, “and there is also a dearth of practical advice for emerging talent. Sarabande responds to these issues.”
She added that Tottenham is recognized as an economically deprived area, “but one field where it is flourishing is within the creative industries. Sarabande High Road will be a big part of creating a new cultural hub in Tottenham.”
The project will also support local regeneration by restoring and developing historically significant Georgian town houses.
Local artists and designers will be given space in the studios, “and the foundation aims to become an integral part of the community. It also means that local residents will not have to travel into central London to experience cutting-edge art and culture. It will be right there on their doorstep.”
Over the years, the studios at Sarabande’s existing headquarters on Hertford Road in Hackney, northeast London, have hosted and supported London designers and brands including Craig Green, John Alexander Skelton, Auroboros, Castro Smith, Molly Goddard, Bianca Saunders and Katie Roberts-Wood.
The foundation opened in 2015, and has mentored more than 130 creatives from 31 countries since then. It offers business and practical advice in its role as a creative business accelerator, as well as provides free space for the artists to exhibit, sell and extend and explore their practice.
The space will span two historic town houses with studios that can be rented for approximately 1 pound, or $1.25, per square foot to artists and designers.
Sarabande said the spaces will be made available to those creatives who have been working for a few years, “but need to take that next, big leap. The foundation helps to build peer-to-peer communities, and is home to those hugely talented creatives who often don’t fit elsewhere or fall between the cracks.”
The town houses will serve as Sarabande’s Tottenham home for around three years while a permanent site, along the street at 808 High Road, is restored and transformed into studios. The plan is to transform that building with the help of local lottery funding, and to add a sculpture garden and public café.