Richmond Road Studio artists find new space in Phibsborough Tower

09 October 2022
  • Sherlock says this good news is all too rare
  • Time for govt strategy for artists’ workspaces

Labour Dublin Central Senator Marie Sherlock has welcomed the news that Phibsborough Tower has become available as a new space for artists affected by the Richmond Road Studio closure in July.

Highlighting the importance of spaces to support artistic work, Senator Sherlock reiterated her call for a government strategy for affordable workspaces for artists and cultural workers.

Senator Sherlock said:

“Our capital city has a biting and well-documented problem with providing secure, affordable workspaces for artists and cultural workers. In July, in an all too familiar tale, the Richmond road artists were evicted to make way for the redevelopment of their building.

“I am thrilled that the brilliant artists in Richmond road are now located in Phibsborough. The area has a great tradition of supporting artists and arts activity so it’s a great addition to the area.

“But it’s an all too rare good news story.

“When it comes to valuing the arts, this government has been found lacking. In July I called for an emergency strategy to be put in place to deal with the fundamental lack of secure workspaces for our artists. The failure to protect and promote the arts shows a government lacking vision or ambition for our people. The closure of Richmond Road Studios should have been a wake up call to government. We need to convert our ambitions for our artists into action now.

“According to the Dublin City Cultural Infrastructure Audit of December 2021, there are over 2,500 artists and 25,000 creative workers in Dublin, but no more than 392 individual and 137 shared artistic workspaces. The Audit found that “there is a scarcity of affordable, safe and accessible artist/ maker workspaces in Dublin”, made worse by precarious income patterns for artistic workers.

“Furthermore, the Artist Workplace Findings Report, commissioned by Dublin City Council in 2020, surveyed nearly one in five of the city’s artist population and found that 41% were actively seeking a secure workspace.

“I would urge the government to work with the Council and support Dublin City in becoming a place where creative people can pursue their dreams. When we imagine our capital cities, like Dublin and Cork, we imagine vibrant, thriving artistic communities. Take a look around the globe – Paris, Berlin, New York, there’s a reason why these are cultural hubs of the world. For a city so defined by its culture, Dublin must give artists an opportunity.”

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