Royal Standard, Liverpool, United Kingdom – The Visit

On Thursday, we visited the Royal Standard in the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool to explore what artist studio spaces are and how they operate. We had a speaker from the studio space to teach us what goes on and how they work. Therefore, in this article, I will be discussing how I felt about this example of contemporary studio space and how it has affected me.

A cafe at the entrance with a warm environment makes the atmosphere feel homely, along with the informalities of the artists staying in the studio spaces. To the left was the access to the studio space with a rather industrial door as the building is a refurbished industrial building. Studio spaces are in these areas as they supply cheap places for artists to create their works and for other artists in a safe and secure place. The building is usually cold, as explained by the speaker, though it was hot on that day. It is supplemented by the relatively small cost of £70 to £100 a month to rent out a studio space (assuming that it does not increase due to rising land prices when the area becomes more attractive to investors).

The practitioners of the art produced in these spaces can socialize and share their ideas and artworks- though the styles and types of work made vary, we can assume that the artists feed into each other and form a symbiotic sharing of this. Therefore, artists can experiment with each other’s ideas.

It was a somewhat quirky experience there as the artist/speaker had their dog with them, which I can derive from the fact that the artist spaces are pretty open and friendly. I will further answer questions posed by Thursday’s lecture:

Royal Standard – Questions Posed through the lecture:

  • Studios as a concept: Studios as a concept are spaces provided to artists to produce artwork on themselves or with others. It gives them an area with no distractions other than creating the artwork around other artists’ studio spaces, which foster relations and developments. (to edit later: add a space with bibliographical references on historical studio spaces to compare)
  • The studio as a workspace gives the artist a secure and safe environment to produce work surrounded by like-minded individuals in similar situations. 
  • The studio as a laboratory (and how it facilitates experimentation): While being around other artists, they have the chance to share ideas and feedback on work. This allows them to open their mind to experimentation and stimulates an environment that forges outside influences on the artists’ artworks.
  • Studios as a social space: Artists socialize with each other on their breaks and are nearby (suggesting that the situation is similar in the idea of this studio being cold)- have the same issues they face there. In this, my professor suggested that this humbles them. Therefore the artists are close and friendly (and to get to the other point which feeds this point!).
  • The post-studio practice: Some studios have parties or events frequently; this is a symbiotic relationship to the point above and helps forge social relationships even more. Artists can share their works with other artists and those who attend these events. 

Excerpt

This session and external visit has taught me how conceptual art is shaped in the North West and the spaces that they use. Especially the fact that they’re using unused buildings and that it gives artists cheap rents. Though the sad part about this is that most likely- these places are going to gentrify eventually and the artists. Pushed out.

To get there: TRS is located in the Cain’s Brewery Village area. 3 Mann Street

Notes: This blog article is for the Summative Assessment: Reflective Blog assignment for my university undergraduate course, History of Arts and Museum Studies- if you are interested in it, you can apply for the course here (link only applies in 2022).