Talk: DIY! Artist-led Spaces

Wednesday 6 December 18:00 — 19:30

A panel discussion and Q&A exploring the present and future of artist-led culture in the Black Country and wider West Midlands.

Representatives from Black Country and Birmingham artist-led spaces and studios; Sarah Byrne from Eagle Works Studio; Corin Taylor-Salter from The Asylum Artist Quarter and Gugan Gill and Jonny Graney from Artefact, will share their experiences of setting up and running an artist-led space.

In the context of ongoing, worsening austerity and cuts to the arts, artists are increasingly facing the pressure to accept precarious conditions in order to continue with their practice. With less affordable space to make and show work available, dwindling support from the government and not enough opportunities to go round, artists are needing to organise themselves, and initiate their own platforms to support their practice.

Eagle Works, Asylum and Artefact are testing out alternative organisational structures that resist the individualisation of neoliberalism – the artist-led as a space for localised collectivising.

The artists will be speaking about the practicalities, pitfalls, barriers and important considerations of launching an artist-led space – from negotiating with landlords to collective decision making – as well as their hopes for the future. This event seeks to provide a space to learn from alternative models taking place outside institutions, and provide a critical dialogue around what is needed in the area. We invite local artists to join us in the discussion!

Book here


This event will include BSL Interpretation and Live Captioning.

To let us know of any access requirements you have, please get in touch : [email protected] / +44 7922 571832


This event is hosted as part of Multistory’s BCN artist development programme. BCN is a space for mutual support, learning and knowledge sharing for artists in Sandwell and the Black Country, offering a public programme of events, residencies and other paid opportunities to artists yearly.


Sarah Byrne is an artist and Co-Director of Eagle Works Studios in Wolverhampton, alongside Laura Onions and Simon Harris. Sarah works in textile and print-based responses to family photography. Established in 1984, Eagle Works is a community of Fine Artists working from Victoria House. Believed to be the longest-running self-funded artist studio group in the UK, the studios offers a supportive community of peers for 13 local artists.

Artefact is an artist-led, cooperative arts and music venue. Reopening as part of the Stirchley Cooperative Development in 2024 alongside affordable homes and other cooperative businesses; Birmingham Bike Foundry and Loaf Bakery and Cookery School, Artefact provides an informal and welcoming space ETC

Gugan Gill is an artist based in South Birmingham. Her work often delves into capturing the life story, attending to the relevance of narratives and histories which can so often be overlooked. Member of artist-led space, Artefact, Gugan works primarily on the exhibition programme, platforming work by the local artistic community.

Jonny Graney is an artist living in Stirchley, South Birmingham. Jonny is one half of the visual-arts duo, Hipkiss & Graney and co-founder of Artefact, an artist-led gallery and bar in Stirchley. Jonny believes that any artist(s) should directly support and empower the community and ecology of the place they are situated.

Corin Taylor-Salter is founder and Art Director of The Asylum Artist Quarter in Wolverhampton, initiated in 2014. Spread across multiple venues in the city centre, the quarter consists of a gallery and artist studios. Asylum are passionate about regeneration and the nurturing of art within the community, by providing space to showcase work, develop new ideas and engage artists in exploration.


This event will take place on Zoom.
A link will be sent out to attendees via eventbrite.