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DRAF is 10! We announce exciting plans for the future

This autumn, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of DRAF (David Roberts Art Foundation). Since its foundation, DRAF has focused on a model of experimentation, regularly reimagining the programme and testing new models of producing and sharing contemporary practices. Along the way, we have collaborated with over 1,000 artists to produce exhibitions, commissions and performances.

We launched our first DRAF gallery in Fitzrovia in 2007, led by Chief Curator Vincent Honoré. The following year, we produced our first Evening of Performances, a night of live works that has become an annual highlight of our programme. In 2009, the first Curators’ Series invited an independent guest curator, to present a research-based exhibition. Over the next years, our programme expanded to include music, film screenings and theatre.

In 2012, we moved to a former factory in Camden, which allowed us to increase the scale of our projects, and commission permanent interventions in the space. A House of Leaves was an evolving exhibition over six months, structured as a symphony performed by works from the collection by iconic figures including Louise Bourgeois, Gerhard Richter and Pierre Huyghe. The Study series started looking in depth at individual works from the Collection. Exhibitions proposed a ‘stage for ideas’, and The Violet Crab transformed DRAF into a fantastical cabaret.

In 2015, we launched a new space dedicated to live programmes, unique in London. DRAF Studio hosts regular new performance residencies, commissions and discussions. Last year we made past and ongoing performances available online through our Live Archive.

Now we look ahead to the next ten years. We have exciting plans to significantly expand our programme beyond our London base, with the aim of reaching new and broader audiences. This will include partnerships with regional institutions, tours, increased loans of works from the David Roberts Collection and innovative pop-up events. We will continue to present projects in London, including our popular annual Evening of Performances. This ambitious UK-wide programme will be enabled by an endowment of funds raised from the sale of our London exhibition space in Camden.

Looking even further ahead, we’ve announced our ambition to open a twenty-acre sculpture garden in Somerset, displaying sculptures from the David Roberts Collection in the open air for the first time. We hope to open the garden in 2019 – in keeping with DRAF’s other programmes, the garden would be free to visit and open to all.

David Roberts, Founder, DRAF, says:

“DRAF was founded to be an organisation that would constantly reinvent itself, which could activate the collection, and use it to inspire unique projects and commissions. The DRAF team have been essential in helping me achieve this, welcoming well over 100,000 visitors to the London spaces. I hope that this new direction will allow us to build on the success of our London programmes, and take them to more places than ever before.”

 

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  • An Evening of Performances + DRAF 10th Anniversary Party at KOKO. Photo: Max Colson
    1/2An Evening of Performances + DRAF 10th Anniversary Party at KOKO. Photo: Max Colson
  • An Evening of Performances + DRAF 10th Anniversary Party at KOKO. Photo: Max Colson
    2/2An Evening of Performances + DRAF 10th Anniversary Party at KOKO. Photo: Max Colson