About

DRAF (David Roberts Art Foundation) is an independent, non-profit organisation for contemporary art. Since it was founded in 2007, DRAF has welcomed over 100,000 visitors to international programmes including exhibitions, commissions, performances and discussions. To date, DRAF has partnered with over 100 museums, institutions, and not for profit organisations and collaborated with over 1,000 artists.

DRAF moved from its original premises in Fitzrovia to a converted former factory in Camden in 2012. In 2015, DRAF Studio opened as an additional dedicated space for live projects. In Autumn 2017, DRAF celebrated its 10th anniversary with exciting plans to significantly expand the programme beyond its London base, closing the Camden space to activate projects across the UK.

DRAF launched an ambitious programme of collaborations under new Director & Chief Curator Fatos Ustek in 2018.

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

Fatoş Üstek

DRAF is delighted to announce that Fatos Üstek, Director & Chief Curator, is appointed as Director of the Liverpool Biennial. She will take up her new position in Liverpool in May 2019.

David and Indre Roberts said: “We have enjoyed working with Fatoş Üstek whilst she has been with DRAF and we wish her the best in her new position at the Liverpool Biennial where we are sure she will be a great success.”

Fatoş Üstek said: “I am thrilled to take up the role as Director of the Liverpool Biennial. I have been fortunate in my career to work with exceptional people and organisations including most recently the David Roberts Art Foundation, to whom I am immensely grateful.”


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.


Charlotte Fechoz

Charlotte Fechoz is Head of Partnerships & Communication at DRAF. After working at the Centre Pompidou, the NYC Guggenheim and Google, she is bringing her expertise and in-depth knowledge of the cultural ecosystem to position DRAF as a unique and influential voice in the UK and the international art world. Charlotte was born in France and lived in Hong Kong, New York and Paris before moving to London in 2018. She previously worked as a researcher and conducted several extensive studies into French Public Policy on Cultural Affairs and digital economy for the French Ministry of Culture and Sotheby’s. Charlotte obtained a BA in Political Sciences and an MA in Public Affairs with a speciality in Cultural Management at Sciences Po Paris.


Marlies Augustijn

Marlies Augustijn is Assistant Curator at DRAF. She supports the team to deliver DRAF’s artistic programme by conducting research, writing texts and organising the production and logistics. She also assists in managing the David Roberts Collection. Marlies has previously worked in exhibition and events management for the Darling Foundry in Montreal and Art Night in London. She is a regular contributor to Dutch magazines KLEI and Glas, for which she writes about emerging artists in contemporary glass and ceramics. Following her BA in art history and media studies at Amsterdam University College, Marlies moved to London in 2016 where she obtained her MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art.


Rebecca Moss

Rebecca Moss is Project Coordinator at DRAF. She is supporting the team with the programme, communications and partnerships. Prior to this, she worked at Arts Council England for two years, with a focus on supporting emerging artists in London and international development with partnership countries. Rebecca has also worked in Venice at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Biennale. She is currently studying towards an MA in History of Art at Birkbeck, with research interests in gender, activism and emerging technologies. Rebecca grew up in Italy and Belgium, before moving to London in 2011 to study at Camberwell College of Arts and UCL.


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).


José Carlos Naranjo

José Carlos Naranjo has been working on the production and installation of artworks for galleries and international art fairs for five years. He holds a BA and a MA in Fine Arts Painting from the University of Seville, Spain. As an Exhibition and Collection Technician at the DRAF his work is focused on the organisation of the collection’s storage space and safety features.

 

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.