50 stories from The Acme Archive
For this week’s story we are looking at Acme’s only building outside of the London area – the Breageside net-loft studios which were open between 1986 and 2018.
The Breageside net-loft was built in 1814 and initially used as a warehouse, this use being noted in the building’s history recorded in the Porthleven heritage trail. In 1986, it was converted with financial help from the Council for Small Industries in Rural Areas, providing 10 studios initially intended for short stays by London artists. These studios later became the home for several local artists from west Cornwall and a central location for artists in the area. For Acme’s closed studio online engagement event, artist Fiona Leus-Lambert recalled her time in her studio in Porthleven and shared a video of photographic memories compiled at the time that the studios closed in 2018. In an interview with Art Cornwall, artist Jeremy Annear notes that in the late 1980s, Porthleven had become a centre for artists, with the Acme Studios building being a central hub for the Cobalt Group, a group of artists who experimented with and documented process.
Acme gave up its management of the building in 2018, in advance of plans to develop the site, having negotiated a temporary extension of the artists’ tenancies with the building’s owner until work began on the development. In 2023, the building is again in use by artists, as a pop-up co-working and shared studio space managed by the Porthleven Arts Community.