How To/Find: Access art in London- Artist talks

Ruby Cedar

Insights Tutor

Looking for some tips on established arts venues and organisations in London that are guaranteed to serve up some pretty exciting events and opportunities? Read on for Ruby’s first article about artist talks.


London is host to a huge amount of talks, panel discussions and events that engage with a vast number of topics including art, culture and critical theory. We really are spoilt for choice, and a lot of them are free or cheap for students. If you sign up to your favourite spaces’ mailing lists and follow them on social media you will be notified about upcoming events. All you have to do is wait for one to come up that speaks to you and your work. Going to these events is a great way to develop your knowledge and see the research processes of other thinkers and makers. For me this can be a welcome alternative to reading.

Featured image credit:
Still from ‘Somerset House- Culture Imagined Here’ video, produced by Agile Films, 2018

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)


Credit: A short clip advertising the ICA’s ‘Playback festival 2018’, which showcased 145 films made by young people aged 16-24. The ICA has a bustling programme of events which range from talks, screenings, and panel discussions to performance, live music and DJ sets (the list goes on). They have a membership (the Blue Membership) that offers discounts and a number of free screenings for people who are unemployed, studying, or under 26 for just £10 per year. There is also a great selection of books and magazines in their shop.


If you can’t make it to the ICA their YouTube channel includes some of their artist talks, for example this recent discussion with Wolfgang Tillmans and Sean O’Hagan


Find out more about the ICA’s Blue Membership
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The Mall


Credit: Adam James, An Extension of Us, 2018. Commissioned by SPACE. Photograph, Tim Bowditch. SPACE, started in 1968 by artists Bridget Riley and Peter Sedgley, is based at Mare Street, in Hackney. They are an organisation that supports artist development through studios, residencies, professional development, commissions, exhibitions and events. Each exhibition is a commissioned solo project in the gallery alongside ‘offsite interventions, presented with contextual critical writing, workshops, events and discussions.’

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The Triangle
129-131 Mare St
E8 3RH

Somerset House


Credit: ‘Somerset House: Culture Imagined Here’, produced by Agile Films, 2018. Somerset House is a building that dates back to the 18th Century, and through its programming it strives to provide a platform for contemporary arts that spans a range of different disciplines: hosting talks, exhibitions, tours and DJ sets to name a few. It reopened to the public in 2000 as a ‘home for arts and culture’ and now houses a number of artists’ studios. The residents regularly contribute to the events schedule through artists’ talks for example. Meet some of them in the video above.


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Somerset House
Somerset House
Strand, London

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