Acme Studios, supporting art and artists since 1972


Marianna Simnett

‘Marianna Simnett’ 5.9.2014 - 21.9.2014

'Noses Off' by Marianna Simnett. Image Marianna Simnett (2014)
'Noses Off' by Marianna Simnett. Image Marianna Simnett (2014)
Private View of Marianna Simnett at the Acme Project Space. Image: Fiona Haggerty (2014)
Private View of Marianna Simnett at the Acme Project Space. Image: Fiona Haggerty (2014)
'Ryan's Hymen' by Marianna Simnett. Image: Marianna Simnett (2014)
Private View of Marianna Simnett at the Acme Project Space. Image: Fiona Haggerty (2014)


Thursday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm

Private View: Thursday 4 September, 6pm to 8pm


Marianna Simnett at the Acme Project Space, the artist’s first solo exhibition, is the culmination of the year-long Adrian Carruthers Studio Award. The exhibition presents a selection of Simnett’s most recent work, through which the artist explores themes of sexuality, innocence, corruption and martyrdom.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is 'The Udder', a short film commissioned as part of the Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Awards 2014. Contextualising this film within a wider practice are 'Noses Off', a series of graphite drawings of disembodied noses, and 'Ryan’s Hymen', a pencil drawing on MDF board depicting a piece of jewellery given to the artist by her first boyfriend.

Words by Patrick Langley 


Established in 2002 for artists graduating from The Slade School of Art, the Adrian Carruthers Award provides a free studio for a year, plus a bursary of £6,000. The award was created in memory of the artist Adrian Carruthers, who died in October 2001 at the age of 40.



Acme Project Space

44 Bonner Road
E2 9JS
020 8981 6811
F 020 8983 0567

Acme Project Space is located in the heart of East London's gallery district, around the corner from The Approach and a short walk from Vyner Street. The venue is well served by public transport (see map on right):

  • Underground - Bethnal Green (Central Line)
  • Train - Cambridge Heath
  • Bus - D3 & 309
  • Car - On street pay and display parking (unrestricted at weekends)


Journey Planner


The Acme Project Space provides an opportunity for those artists who are part of our Residency & Awards Programme and our International Residencies Programme with a public space within which to develop projects, show new work and engage in a critical dialogue with a wider audience.

The programme of projects and exhibitions is developed in collaboration with those individual artists, who have already been through a selection process and aims to highlight the benefit artists gain from this support. The Acme Project Space therefore, is not currently able to accept unsolicited exhibition proposals from other artists.

Access and facilities

There is level and ramped access throughout the Acme Project Space. All printed material is available in a range of formats, please contact or 020 8981 6811 for further information. There are no public toilet facilities on site.



Sarah Duffy

‘Breathless’ 3.10.2014 - 19.10.2014

Sarah Duffy
Sarah Duffy
'Come on in' by Sarah Duffy (2014)
'Marilyn Upset' by Sarah Duffy (2014)
'Teeth' by Sarah Duffy (2014)


Thursday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm

Private View: Thursday 2 October, 6pm to 9pm. Live ventriloquism performed by the artist at 7pm & 8pm at the Private View


Sarah Duffy, the current recipient of the inaugural Goldsmiths MFA Studio Award, presents her first solo show at the Acme Project Space. The exhibition features a series of Duffy’s recent works across text, sculpture, video and performance.

Key to Duffy’s current practice is a fascination with the art of ventriloquism, particularly with ventriloquism’s beginnings away from its modern incarnation as a variety act that makes use of a dummy. Instead, Duffy is concerned with the practice of belly speaking, or speaking without movement of the lips, which extends far back throughout various religions and spiritual practices, chronicling the complex relationship humans have had with the voice over time.

Woman were particularly associated with the practice at its beginnings. Like The Pythia, The Oracle of Delphi, many women who were engaged in spiritual and necromantic practices utilised illusion, cunning and trickery alongside the practice of belly speaking. Their bodies were seen as supernatural vessels, a view that obscured the fact that these women were employing their beings as powerful performative instruments, capable of manipulating those around them. However, this history of female cunning is not without tragedy, ambiguity and horror; starlet ventriloquist of her day and likely epileptic, Elizabeth Barton, ended up with her head on a spike after she tried to use her powers of prophesy and ventriloquial utterances to prevent the marriage of Henry Viii and Anne Boleyn.

Fascinated with the history of these lauded and yet often vilified female performative figures, Duffy set out a year ago to learn this discipline for herself. In particular it was her goal to learn how to sing the song 'I wanna be loved by you' without moving her lips, made famous by Marilyn Monroe. Duffy saw that Monroe had something in common with these female ventriloquists; she was electric and wild, a master of her body, but also somehow vulnerable and subject to the gaze of others. She was at once a puppet and a puppeteer. Duffy will perform Monroe's famous song twice at the private view. This work will be shown alongside other video and sculptural pieces that further probe the connections between Marilyn and the art of ventriloquism.

The Goldsmiths MFA Studio Award is a partnership funded by Jane Hamlyn, Acme Studios and ISA Charity and is one of Acme’s growing number of studio awards managed under its Residency & Awards Programme, aimed specifically at recent graduates. These awards have been carefully developed with Acme’s partners to provide a valuable and effective bridge between college and professional practice. Each award provides a rent-free studio for 12 months plus a stipend, and in addition mentoring and exhibiting opportunities.



Matthew Hunt

‘Dirty Pools’ 29.8.2014 - 31.8.2014



Friday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm

Private view: Friday 29 August, 6pm to 8pm


Bringing back to life, that what was
lost, erasing that what was barely
there, painting to remember,
painting to destroy.

Struck by the shadow of a plane

Dirty Pools is Matthew Hunt’s first solo exhibition in the UK. Coming at the end of his Associate Artist Residency as part of Acme Studios' International Residencies Programme, Hunt has produced a body of work that combines painting, photography and sculptural elements that explore the dynamics between subjective and cultural history. Delving into the past, using the process of painting as a conduit to remember personal and cultural histories, Dirty Pools collapses time and space.

This coalescing of the past and present creates a whole, and yet at the same time, a dislocation from both locations. The dirty streets of London do have a relationship with the algae and insect ridden swamps of Hunt's childhood in Australia. The metaphorical fear of the London sewer and the untested quicksand of North Lake become part of the same beast.

But it is also the re-found recorded moments from black and white photography that holds interest. These fragments are discarded and contextless – and we are forced to form a narrative from our own subjectivity.

Key to all this is a consideration of composition, both as an aesthetic exploration but also as a more indescribable, intuitive link between the form of the subject and the surrounding context.

Special thanks to Janet Holmes à Court & Copyright Agency Australia


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Acme Studios
44 Copperfield Road
E3 4RR
T +44 (0)20 8981 6811
F +44 (0)20 8983 0567

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