Departure Foundation



Departure Foundation's educational programme supports emerging artists at all levels. We work with GCSE students, A-level students, undergraduates and postgraduates. We also provide space for symposia, rehearsals, filming, crits, artists meetings, peer-led education collectives and reading groups.


Camberwell College of Art Residency and Exhibition 29th October - 20th November 2013. Final year BA students take over 55 Gracechurch Street to explore and experiment with drawing in its broadest sense. Students will develop their practice through a programme of talks and activities.



A series of events on Wednesdays at 6pm. 20th November - 11 December 2013 at 55 Gracechurch Street. Nearest tube: Bank and Monument.

Departure Foundation is delighted to be hosting this year's Onion Discussions. The Onion Discussions are a series of discussions that seek to peel back ideas within art and culture for a deeper look. Often taking the form of panel discussions or roundtables, the Onion Discussions brings together artists, writers, curators and other producers to consider pertinent issues in contemporary visual, spatial and material culture in an experimental format and in a cross-disciplinary context. For more information:

This year the discussions consider how performance relates to different areas of artistic production. The series starts with a consideration of skill and its presentation within processes of making work. Then we consider the performativity of loss, remembrance and subjectivity. The performance of architecture and space in the city forms the the third discussion before the final panel considers the operation of voice in performance.

The CONSIDERING PERFORMANCE Onion Discussions brings together artists, musicians, academics and writers to peel back our understanding of the intersection of performance and culture.


20 Nov 2013: Performing Skill - considering the performance of skill, technique and material process. 6.00pm

Panellists: Ellie Doney, Harry Lawson, Lauren Kelly

Chair: Elizabeth Porter

Interlocutor: Bonnie Kempse

Respondent: Oliver Roy


27 Nov 2013: Performing Memory - considering the performance of loss, nostagia, solitude and subjectivity. 6.00pm

Panellists: Barbara Bargiel, Claire Blundell-Jones, Chris Minchin, Dionea Rocha-Watt

Chair: Jack Tan

Interlocutor: Nigel Rolfe

Respondent: Oliver Roy


4 Dec 2013: Performing Space - considering the performance of space, architecture and the city. 6.30pm

Panellists: Kimberley Chandler, Luke Burton, Nina Shen-Poblete

Chair: Jack Tan

Interlocutor: Richard Wentworth

Respondent: Oliver Roy


11 Dec 2013: Performing Voice - considering the performance and performativity of voice: spoken, sung, guttural, unvoiced. 6.00pm

Panellists: Lina Lapelyte, Nicola Thomas, Stuart Wood

Chair: PA Skantze

Interlocutor: Leah Capaldi

Respondent: Oliver Roy


Web links for Autumn 2013 Onion Discussion participants: Barbara Bargiel, Bonnie Kemske, Chris Minchin, Claire Blundell-Jones, Dionea Rocha-Watt, Ellie Doney, Elizabeth Porter, Harry Lawson, Jack Tan, Kimberley Chandler, Lauren Kelly, Leah Capaldi, Lina Lapelyte, Luke Burton, Nicola Thomas, Nigel Rolfe, Nina Shen-Poblete, Oliver Roy, PA Skantze, Richard Wentworth, Stuart Wood


November - December 2013 and beyond: Our Central London space, 55 Gracechurch street, has always been a hub for educational meetings (in particular London's monday night radical education group AltMFA who meet there regularly). Departure curator Louise Ashcroft will be taking this further by developing a full time Masters level pedagogical project on site which will involve crits, seminars, critical writing and artist visits. More information coming soon.


Past Educational Events:

7th October 6.30 - 9.30pm - Unperforming Exhibition Crit at 55 Gracechurch Street. Exhibiting artists discussed and critiqued one anothers works as well as sharing reading and references relevant to the works discussed.

24th April 2013 - Westminster University one day takeover event at Gracechurch Street OPEN PLAN space. During the day students will curate a show (assisted by Departure curators) and in the evening there will be an opening event 6-9pm. It's a great chance for these young artists to exhibit outside of the institution and to experiment with this unique context.

7th March - Artist Carey Young led an afternoon discussion at the OPEN PLAN space in Gracechurch Street with artists involved in the current Nomadologies show there.

5th March 2013 - Departure Foundation's Louise Ashcroft spent a day doing tutorials with undergraduate art students at Westminster University.

4th March 2013 - Artist led group crit of the Nomadologies show, 6.30-9.30pm.

19th February 2013 - Westminster University Fine Art Workshops with undergraduates in the first year of the BA programme. A day of three workshops culminating in an exhibition and opening / crit event, led by Departure Foundation curator and artist Louise Ashcroft. Some really intelligent and adventurous works were made by students. They pushed their expectations and interpretations of drawing - exploring video, performance and found objects, in reponse to a suitcase full of fragments of Louise's own studio at the Royal College of Art. Westminster students have been invited to have a show at the OPEN PLAN space in Central London later in the year.

(above: translating 2 materials in the form of a sculptural drawing, by one of the students who took part in the workshop).

5 December - Featherstone School Workshops

Adorn and Decorate. 5th December - Departure Foundation artists' workshop at Featherstone. Louise Ashcroft and Fritha Jenkins led a workshop. Drawings, foil sculptures and graphite rubbings were made by year 9 pupils. After a series of intensive drawing exercises the students began a more detailed drawing bringing together all the ideas and skills they had developed. In early 2013, the same students will come to visit artists at Departure's sculpture studios in Southall.

November - Chiswick School Project

During September artists from our studios in Southall have been working with 6th form students from Chiswick School. For part one of the project we visited them with objects and curiosities from the studio, which they responded to sculpturally and through drawing. A workshop was held, a short film by Helene Kazan was screened and the artists presented their works to the class. For part two of the project 16 students visited us at the studio and completed an afternoon of experimental drawing exercises. Students met many of the artists who are working on site and had a chance to talk to them about their practices. It was a great experience for all and we are looking forward to continuing our relationship with the school.

More projects with Chiswick School and Featherstone School coming soon.

If you are a teacher and would like us to do a workshop with your students please email our Curator


Artist Meetings and Crits

Throughout 2012-13 - AltMFA will be using Gracechurch Street and other Departure spaces to hold peer led educational meetings.

As well as the crits we have recently hosted a symposium at our space in Leeds (as part of the HOARD exhibition) and artists at our Manchester studios have curated an exciting programme of educational events and talks.

We also offer free one to one crit sessions which are open to all artists. Critical feedback is fundamental to the development of any art practice, but it can be difficult to get this kind of support beyond art school. So if you want to discuss your work in depth, contact to arrange an appointment. Crits will be held at one of our London studio sites and will last up to one hour.



Departure Foundation offers internships for emerging artists and curators based in London. Interns will be given paid work invigilating exhibitions and will also have opportunities to shadow and assist with exhibition installs, studio management and the day to day running of the foundation.