Beaconsfield offers a large and well-designed laboratory space, a stone’s throw from Westminster, for artists, curators and lay people from all backgrounds to experience art.
Since 1992 the directors have worked in the non-profit sector with many artists, on a wide variety of contemporary visual arts projects, through which a distinctive approach to producing and presenting new work has been developed. Beaconsfield acts as a unique testbed and primary research vehicle informing theories of curatorial practice and the practice of making art.
Our distinctiveness reveals itself through our artistic practice that takes into account both the gestalt and the individual elements involved in the development and consumption of art. We put equal energy into the consideration of both our artists and our audiences, often making the activities of production and presentation seamless.
Beaconsfield’s curatorial approach aims to challenge artists at all stages of their careers, recognising the importance of both sensual and intellectual dimensions of the artist’s creative process. We typically work with an artist from inception to completion in the realisation of their vision and focus all Beaconsfield’s resources on them throughout the course of the project. Often we offer them custodianship of one of our gallery spaces for a residency period. We provide an environment that, by design, evokes a laboratory-style space without boundary conditions and restrictions, in which there is the opportunity for the artist to take risks. Crucially, we support and encourage the artists we work with as well as challenge and stimulate. We like to work with artists of diverse ages and backgrounds and are proud of the relationships we have built over the years with disabled artists.
An integral part of Beaconsfield’s artistic practice is the way in which we challenge and re-define the way in which people relate to art. We aim to provide a reflective space in which people can adjust their perspective through the original ways in which we deliver art.
Each year we design a diverse and eclectic artistic programme that aims to develop both artists and curators through the realisation of individual projects and further refines our model.
Beaconsfield’s approach to experiencing art is an ongoing process of revision to the time-honoured tradition of visiting a gallery (or more contemporary outreach arrangements) and is an integral part of our practice.
As part of our public programme we host a wide range of Higher Education institutions, offering tailored seminars to visiting groups of students and lecturing in their places of study and at the other end of the educational scale we continue to work with children from Lambeth and Southwark in developing their appreciation of both art and artists from an early age. BGV’s discursive public lectures and seminars are integral to our relationship with our audience, especially arts professionals and academics.
In this way Beaconsfield remains faithful to its underlying purpose: to extend and continuously push forward the cultural and critical context within which art is interpreted.
In so doing we build on our artistic legacy, whilst being open and alive to our changing environment. We like to think we lead in our field whilst avoiding the straight jacket of slavishness to fashion.