#19 Childers Street
50 stories from The Acme Archive
Acme’s Childers Street studio building is a former propellor foundry and, more recently, paper bag factory in Deptford. Part of the building was initially advertised to let as warehouse space in 1989 and identified to Acme as a potential studio building by an artist tenant. This section was converted into 31 studio which opened in 1991. Further sections of the building were converted over 3 further phases between 1992 and 2010, resulting in the conversion of the entirety of the building to create the current total of 132 studios. During one conversion phase, one floor of the building was used as a temporary gallery space called “The Paper Bag Factory”.
Artists at Childers Street have participated in Acme research and documentation on a number of occasions. Alongside artists from other studio buildings, they participated in Acme’s knowledge transfer project. As part of this project, artist studios were photographed at four monthly intervals as visual documentation of the way in which studios are used by artists.
In January 2022, Childers Street was the focus of one of the events for the Day One events for Lewisham Borough of Culture. Commissioned works, images of artworks and new portraits of artists from the studios were projected onto the exterior of the building while a local café provided a hub where oral history interviews with artists could be listened to. A selection of past and current tenants also contributed to a research project commissioned from UCL about the value of artists’ studios, and subsequent oral history project conducted by Acme staff. These oral histories and images from these events have been collected for the archive.