There's been an air of excitement surrounding London's newest contemporary art hub, the Koppel Project, since its launch in March. It's already onto its second venture – a new location in Holborn called The Hive.
While the original spot houses the UK's only Phaidon bookstore along with a communal artist's study room, The Hive contains 40 dedicated studios, spanning an enviable 3,500 sq m – something of a rarity for the space-strangled city of London. More exciting still is the equally expansive two-storey gallery, which will host a one-month exhibition every two months.
The first residency to occupy this progressive, expansive space is aptly named 'Zone d'Utopia Temporaire'. Curated by Alice Bonnot, the exhibition looks into shared ways of working towards a 'utopian' goal. If it sounds abstract, that's because it's meant to be. Dubbed a 'social and creative experiment' by the organisers, nine interdisciplinary young artists, two theorists and an art-historian were invited to use the residency in whatever way they wished, together or alone, responding to the word 'utopia'.
Influenced by each other's diverse practices – which range from sculpture to cinema – the resulting 'Temporary Utopian Zone' houses a forseeably eclectic array. Highlights include a foam four-piece suite from fine artist Thomas Langley, which nestles next to a series of quaint, wire-cotton embroidered wall-hangings from Julia Drieski, together forming a fantastical, futuristic living room.
This zone is a bold calling-card for The Hive, suggesting the curators are ambitious, forward-thinking and keen to promote emerging talent. Next up, an intriguing collaborative exhibition from the Koppel Project's creative director Gabriella Sonabend – 'From Myth to Earth' – which launches on 8 September. 'Since the Project opened in March,' she explains, 'we've been overwhelmed by the positive responses to both of our spaces and our cultural programme. It's so exciting to watch the project flourish and expand.'