#27 Haffendi Anuar, Work/live 2023-25
50 opportunities for 50 years
“London is a very expensive city. These kinds of opportunities really help an artist produce a body of work, develop confidence in their work and practice, and allow them to invest more time and resources into their practice.”
Haffendi Anuar creates sculptures and mixed-media paintings based on research on indigenous garments and stories and texts on expeditions and experiences in Southeast Asia over the course of the nineteenth century (colonial rule).
Currently, he is creating textile sculptures and constructions that resemble architectural structures and objects such as hammocks, curtains, tents, and barriers.
Haffendi moved into one of two work/live studios at Acme’s Fire Station building, Poplar, in June 2023 on a two-year lease.
Part of Acme’s 50th anniversary, this was in response to an open call for UK-based fine artists in necessitous circumstances, with a practice of five years or more.
Acme’s work/live studios aim to provide artists with well-designed, safe, practical workspace and auxiliary living space for a stable, low rent. Artists are selected through application and allocated a studio for a fixed term and rent.
These unique opportunities aim to improve artists’ circumstances by targeting artists with a practical need for better suited space, while also increasing their time to make work.
“The work/live studio structures the way I work and inhabit a space. My work has influences from domestic objects such as soft furnishings and curtains and the domestic settings provide ways in which I can test the installation of my sculptures. I also find that I work better when I also spend time doing other things such as cooking, eating, folding clothes in the space where I work.” Haffendi Anuar
Originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Haffendi has been based in London for a few years. Upon moving in, he found the work/live studio to be “quite spacious, with a nice layout and ample natural light.”
Haffendi plans to use the studio - an opportunity he sees as “very important” for artists at his stage of career – to create “more mural-like textile works and experiment with batik painting on cotton.”
And to make the most of the work/live space itself, he is also thinking about hosting dinner parties for artists friends, collectors and curators on the patio.