Studio1.1 London is a small, not-for-profit gallery based in Shoreditch close to the City, in the borough of Tower Hamlets. Since studio1.1 started in 2003, the area has changed dramatically, becoming distinctly upbeat and trendy.

As you traverse the tarmac and concrete, street art, graffiti and stickers assert themselves in a cacophony of visual noise. Premises selling ‘Patty and a bun’ (burgers) jostle alongside the Shoreditch Mosque, situated next door to the gallery. Equally assertive is studio1.1s inventory of artists.

Redchurch Street, Tower Hamlets Alan Dedman
Redchurch Street in the Shoreditch area of East London

The curators, Michael Keenan and Keran James, have successfully created an off-beat base for artists, hosting a variety of practitioners. Annual exhibitions provide opportunity to participate in the precarious business of showing in the capital. These events create a refreshing mix of personalities plying a difficult and fickle trade.

Redchurch Street studio1.1 London Alan Dedman
Exterior of studio1.1 and Redchurch Street

Overseen by Michael and Keran, who have the luxury of being able to draw on a large roster of artists, there is always a sense of humour about their modus operandi. Jay Cloth features regularly in their programme, as might Cillit Bang! 

Graffiti studio1.1 London Alan Dedman

From the street, the gallery itself looks more like a shabeen or speak-easy. Its lock-up frontage has been decorated with colourful graffiti; tolerated and somehow appropriated into the fabric of the place. For artists like myself it makes all the difference being connected with studio1.1 London.

pic of studio1.1alandedman
studio1.1 is next door to the Masjid Trust

Redchurch Street is a far cry from the rain sodden shires and pop-up galleries of Somerset with its senior populace and conservative outlook. Urban pressure and the sheer tumult of people passing through makes a visit to studio 1.1 worthwhile. Inebriated pin-stripes from the City add lustre and potential lucre.

photo of audience at gallery dedman alan dedman
Gallery Dedman, pop-up gallery in Somerset

As usual, the promise of something more is always in the air. After the Covid interlude it is cheering to re-engage with the bigger picture. Come along for a glimpse of things outside the mainstream.

This Year’s Model ’24, part II, runs from April the 4th to the 28th, 2024. It is one of a series of three shows comprised of works by a selection of artists amongst studio1.1s membership.