The artistic programme at Peckham Space focuses on contemporary art practices that engage directly with the public realm, establishing a sustainable forum for research, critical reflection and knowledge sharing. The programme aims to invite participation between artists, educators, researchers and critics as well as local groups including residents and students.
Since being appointed as Peckham Space Director in 2008 the artistic policy has aimed to support and promote artists who prioritise public engagement within their practice. By working towards long term partnerships with local community groups, a unique commissioning opportunity has been developed for artists who have a proven track record of working within this field. Since June 2008 Peckham Space has commissioned the following artists: Lottie Child; Gayle Chong Kwan; Furtherfield.org; Rachael House; Manu Luksch; Ana-Laura Lopez de la Torre; The People Speak and Neal White. Since the opening of the purpose-built space in June 2010 the following artists have been commissioned: Barby Asante; Sonia Boyce; David Cotterrell; Harold Offeh and Jessica Voorsanger.
The University of the Arts London act as the host institution for Peckham Space with half of the capital funding coming from Southwark Council. The ongoing running and programming costs come from Camberwell College of Arts, Widening Participation, Higher Innovation Education, Arts Council England, Trusts and Foundations. The programme operates with the specific objective of commissioning creative practices that are capable of connecting 'art, people and place'. Its funding structure creates both a bridge and a dependency between artistic and curatorial practice, higher education, and public policy, and this interaction between different fields and their respective demands forms a critical basis for wider research to take place.
At present Peckham Space is seeking expressions of interest from the academic research community, who have a desire to share knowledge on the theme of participatory practice. These expressions of interest would form a network or a platform for individuals concerned with contemporary art practice and the public realm. The 'public realm' in relation to Peckham Space is one that is location-specific, in relation to the demands of particular locations and communities. Any expressions of interest should be directed to Emily Druiff via firstname.lastname@example.org.