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All Things Considered

So you’re part of an octet of female artists called ATC Studio... tell me about yourselves?

Anna Beam: I’m Anna - I do a bunch of different stuff… I do textiles, drawings and paintings, pattern design, ceramics, some illustration and prop making.

Laura Gee: I do painting, illustration, ceramics and no props!

What about the other six?!

AB: There’s Ellie Smith and Suzie Howell - they’re both photographers,

Suzie does a lot of analogue printing and exposes her own film, that kind of stuff, and

Ellie has been doing a lot of self published books of her photography.

Then there’s Lora Avedian who also does textiles and props, photo styling... she uses a lot of traditional embroidery to make these really nice textile pieces, and paper flowers!

Steph Parr, who’s an illustrator, and she also makes some homeware as part of Homeslice design.

Laurie Maun who is another textile artist but she’s more in the fashion realm - she does some conceptual clothing and a lot of hand embroidery.

And Hannah Snow, who’s a jeweller - her, Lora Avedian and Steph Parr have just started at the RCA.

So you all met in the Heartspace?

AB: It was borne out of this thing we were doing called crit club, which was very informal and irregular… we were all talking about how we missed crits that we used to have at uni, getting together and talking about your work, giving each other feedback, criticism and support. It turned into a support group, which is great.

You found a support group in the Heartspace! Do you think that's one of the main benefits of collaborative co-workingspace?

LG: Yeah, definitely. I think everyone's really supportive in that environment and you get too see people's processes really naturally...

AB: And people working in areas that you might not normally come across that might not be in your immediate circle of friends because they're doing something different. For example, Ellie and Suzie being photographers ... I don't know, if it wasn't for the Heartspace I probably wouldn't have met them!

So how long have you been putting ATC together?

LG: I think it's always been something that we wanted to do, and the crit club was a way of drawing us together and then it was like 'let's do something with this!' It wasn't as if we said 'let's make a collective' one day - it wasn't that strategic, in a way, it was just 'let's put a show on of some of our work, our more experimental work', and there's 8 girls who want to do it in a similar kind of vibe'.

(Laura and Anna in their Heartspaces when we popped in to chat)

Do you think there’s something about all being women that brought you together or informs your work?

AB: Maybe not informs the work, strictly speaking - it’s something I didn’t want to make a thing of at first. But for me personally now that we’ve developed it it’s become a real thing… women still need a louder and stronger voice in the industry.

LG: And just supporting each other as well. Women supporting each other is always quite powerful.

AB: That’s another thing - maybe it’s a generalisation but I think there’s a tendency, specifically within the creative fields, for a lot of competition. I think what we’ve got in a way is kind of unique, because it’s all about supporting each other, and making opportunities for each other. With this idea that there’s a space for everyone to be able to do what they want.

LG: Yeah, I don’t feel competitive with any of you guys, and it’s not because I think you’re crap!

What was the most formative quality, or the main thing that drove you together?

LG: I think it was a desire to make - well a lot of it is handmade processes isn’t it, so things that take a lot longer. Sometimes it’s not as easy to sell commercially that quickly. There was that kind-of frustration of making something original and lovingly made and to put it out there, but also having to do other jobs. And having that space to do your own practice a bit more - I think all of us wanted to do that and to make that a bit more of a priority and that’s what this does - it goes ‘this is ok you can keep doing your practice’.

AB: People naturally gravitated together… and wanting to speak to people about that practice.

How did you find yourself in the Heartspace?

LG: I've been in the Heartspace two years, when I was looking around at other spaces I saw this communal space and was like ‘this is quite exciting’, ‘this is weird’, and then I thought ‘I don’t want to have a self-contained space right now I want to meet other people' and I was working at home quite a lot and this felt like a nice community with the shop fronts and the Russet. Letting people see my work day-to-day is quite a big thing as well… I used to be really private and secretive about working and now just seeing people being able to pop in and look at your space any time. It’s a bit like ‘woah’, but it’s actually quite liberating. And that I think I forgot about because I was working at home talking to people online, you just dont get the same connection.

AB: It skews your worldview.

So one more time - tell me about your pop-up?!

LG: So there’s the pop-up shop sponsored by Beavertown Brewery! And there might be a crit club next week so you can come and see handmade processes and hang out with 8 babes!

Join ATC for their launch on Thursday 12th November from 6pm-9pm at the Hackney Shop on Morning Lane. Find out more about the pop-up shop HERE.

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