About

DRAF (David Roberts Art Foundation) is an independent, non-profit organisation for contemporary art dedicated to the transformative forces of the art encounter. DRAF has welcomed over 130,000 visitors to thought-provoking and challenging international programmes including exhibitions, commissions, performances and discussions, since it was founded in 2007. To date, DRAF has partnered with over 100 museums, institutions, and not for profit organisations and collaborated with over 1,000 artists, cultivating networks in order to amplify the impact of art in the UK and beyond. 

DRAF provides an enriching and progressive platform for artistic and critical rigour connecting artists, writers, cultural producers and the public. Fostering creative partnerships with institutions across the UK and abroad, we nurture and support the discovery of new ways of thinking and risk-taking through our commissions and presentations of ambitious work. Furthermore, DRAF takes pride in increasing the visibility and reception of one of the largest private contemporary art collections in the UK through loans, exhibitions and publications.  

The David Roberts Art Foundation Limited is a registered charity in England and Wales (No.1119738). It is proudly supported by the Edinburgh House Estates group of companies.

01 Vision & Mission

Vision

DRAF is dedicated to the transformative forces of the art encounter. Our programme revolves around unique, challenging and thought-provoking artistic visions. We believe in the necessity of a meaningful engagement with diverse audiences. DRAF cultivates networks in order to amplify the impact of art in the UK and beyond. 

Mission

DRAF provides an enriching and progressive platform for artistic and critical rigour connecting artists, writers, cultural producers and the public. Fostering creative partnerships with institutions across the UK and abroad, we nurture and support the discovery of new ways of thinking and risk-taking through our commissions and presentations of ambitious work. Furthermore, DRAF takes pride in increasing the visibility and reception of one of the largest private contemporary art collections in the UK through loans, exhibitions and publications. 

02 Team

Kate Davies

Kate Davies is Collection Director at DRAF. She joins DRAF from Newport Street Gallery, where she spent three years as Head of Collection and Exhibitions working closely with Damien Hirst to initiate, develop and deliver the exhibitions and events programme. She played a key strategic and management role in launching the gallery which was established to present works from Hirst’s Murderme art collection. Prior to that Kate was responsible for expanding and managing Hirst’s collection, which at nearly 4,000 artworks is one of the largest private collections in the UK. Her role included commissioning large-scale works from UK and international artists for public exhibition. She also spent three years working on research, production and fabrication for Hirst’s most ambitious project to date: “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable,” Palazzo Grassi/ Punta della Dogana, Venice. Kate started her career in communications and fundraising in the not-for-profit sector and holds a BA in Modern Languages.


Ned McConnell

Ned McConnell is Curator at DRAF. He works with the team to instigate and deliver an exciting programme of exhibitions, performances and commissions in London and across the UK. Previously he was Exhibitions Curator at Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park where he spent five years developing a programme of innovative exhibitions, events and commissions utilising the outdoor spaces of the park as well as the unique architecture of the Grade II listed, nineteenth century industrial gallery building. He was the founding editor of Artworks London, an online publication of exhibition reviews, curator interviews and artist profiles, where he commissioned, edited and contributed to a range of texts. Ned holds an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art.


Juan Sanchez

Juan Sánchez is Exhibition & Collection Technician at DRAF. He is responsible for the technical management of the David Roberts Collection in the UK and abroad, coordinating the loans and exhibitions of the collection with DRAF’s curators. Juan Sánchez is specialised in the preservation, installation and display of works of art. Juan holds an MA of Fine Arts in Artistic Production from the Polythechnic University of València where he was responsible for the art handling and exhibition management of the Josep Renau space for three years. He also holds a BA in Fine Arts, obtained from the Universities UCLM Cuenca (Spain), ADBK Munich (Germany) and UAEM Morelos (Mexico).

 


Lucy Cowling

Lucy Cowling is Programme Coordinator at DRAF. She has worked as an independent curator, as well as managing the exhibition and events programmes at DKUK in Peckham and SEAGER in Deptford. Prior to that she was a Curatorial Fellow at Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art. From the CCA’s inception she contributed to the delivery of a curatorially ambitious programme of commissions, historical presentations, extensive public programme and publications. In 2018 Lucy graduated Goldsmiths, University of London with an MFA in Curating.


Aukse Jonauskyte

Aukse Jonauskyte is an Administrator at DRAF. She has previously worked as a PA to the director and Programme Assistant at Block 336 in addition to gaining professional administration experience at University of the Arts London. Aukse has a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins and since then has been producing and coordinating community events as well as working on personal projects internationally.

 

All photos by Christa Holka


03 Exhibitions

DRAF has realised almost fifty exhibitions on various scales, looking at both emerging and established practices. These range from solo shows to group exhibitions, and include new commissions, works on loan and works from the David Roberts Collection. DRAF approaches each exhibition as a stage for ideas, to produce new contexts for artworks. These prototypes respond to different ideas and practices.

In addition, two distinctive models – The Curators’ Series and Studies – allow DRAF to collaborate with curators and writers.

04 The Curators’ Series

The Curators’ Series supports independent curators by commissioning special research-based exhibitions. The Series presents diverse fields of knowledge, methodologies and practices. Each year, DRAF invites an individual, duo or organisation to curate an original exhibition.

05 Studies

DRAF’s Studies are a series of focused case-studies of works from the David Roberts Collection. Each presentation centres on a single work. DRAF invites a writer to study the work in depth, from its technical and material history to its position in the artist’s practice and contemporary debates. The commissioned text is included in a printed booklet, which is available alongside the work.

06 DRAF Studio

Since its foundation, DRAF has been committed to performance and education at the centre of its programme. From 2015–2017, DRAF Studio was a dedicated space for live projects within the Camden headquarters. DRAF Studio hosted an original programme of performances, talks and residencies in collaboration with artists, choreographers, musicians, writers and peer organisations.

DRAF Studio was supported by Arts Council England and DRAF Galleries Circle.

07 Artworks in residence

Artworks in residence was a selection of works from the collection and new site-specific commissions displayed on a long-term basis in DRAF Camden building. They formed a discreet and parallel exhibition, an exhibition which follows its own rules, a treasure hunt  in the museum.

Artists who have participated in the series include: Caroline Achaintre, Rebecca Ackroyd, Ruth Beale, Martin Boyce, Luis Camnitzer, Jason Dodge, Dora Garcia, Marie Lund, Benoît Maire, Victor Man, Kris Martin, Prabhakar Pachpute, Pietro Roccasalva, Manuela Ribadeneira, Adam Thompson and Lawrence Weiner.

Beth Collar was commissioned to respond to the series. Gallery Copy, 2015, is a limited edition risograph artist’s book which acts as a guide to the Artworks in residence.