Since October 2007 I have been one of six co-directors of The Royal Standard, an artist-led studio, gallery and social workspace in Liverpool. After taking on the organisation at an uncertain time in its history, with no permanent premises after an unaffordable rent increase, no funding and a rapidly dwindling studio group, we succeeded in turning its fate around, securing a five year lease on a former printworks, recruiting an active and engaged studio membership of 27 local artists, and successfully applying for funding which enabled us to undertake a bold renovation and re-working of the space and re-launch our exhibitions and events programme to acclaim in October 2008.
Highlights of our first year of activity have included Mr Democracy, an ambitious international solo project by Berlin-based artist Oliver Walker which saw the commissioning of a UK constitution in China and the importing of 1000 speaking plastic toys, The Winner Takes it All?, an international artists conference critiquing the Capital of Culture, Mobile Sports Foundation, a series of playful interventions into controlled public spaces, and a commissioned essay by LJMU Head of Art Juan Cruz.
Running alongside our exhibitions programme is an ongoing programme of critical discussion, talks, screenings and social events. We have recently partnered with EAST International09 to host the Liverpool leg of their touring video screening, worked with online journal ArtArtArt to develop a live art / performance event for their magazine launch, and collaborated with several other arts organisations in the city in delivering the TAXED programme of events for and by local artists, presented across multiple nights, galleries and spaces throughout 2009.
Visit the Royal Standard website