SET free-studio-prize 2021

We have awarded 19 artists, projects and collectives a free 400 sq ft artist studio for one year, running from the 10th of March 2021 to the 10th of March 2022.

Below is a brief overview of all the selected artists.

We have chosen a broad array of disciplines and practices including installation, video, performance, writing, architecture, fashion and sculpture. The awarded workspace covers one whole 10,000 sq ft floor at our SET Woolwich centre.

For more information about SET Woolwich see here.

Elena Gileva

Elena Gileva is a Russian born, London-based artist with an interest in exploring the decorative, historical and the ornamental through the mediums of ceramics, sculpture and installation. Their practice is situated at the intersection between craft and art and examines the language and history of objects, often including forms and motifs from Russian folklore.

Elena’s work has been exhibited internationally and they also teach classes and workshops at Morley College and The Kiln Rooms.


Orthostadt, 130 x 150 x 100 cm. stoneware, glaze, cnc milled birch plywood. 2019 

London Art Fair 2020 with White Conduit Projects

photo Yoi Kawakubo. 

Alex Margo Arde

Alex Margo Arden is a multidisciplinary artist from South East London. Her work excavates theatrical models of production and interpretation, and queer narratives: in particular everyday performances of survival, defiance and difference. She considers questionable authority through creating multilayered performances, installations, and large scale backdrop paintings.

Alex’s previous projects have been presented at Cell Project Space, London; The Royal Standard, Liverpool; Matthew Gallery, New York; AND/OR, London; Serf, Leeds. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, where she won the Hamad Butt Memorial Prize.


1. Manteía, 2020; 2. Untitled (figure) 2020; 3. Sóma, 2021 and

4. Crypta, 2020

Milo Kester

Milo Kester is a London-based sculptor and Goldsmiths Fine Arts graduate. His recent work explores non-human agency and intelligence, carving ‘alien towers and trophies’ from wood, further contextualised by his drawings. Milo is interested in the ‘wood wide web’, cross-species communities and the relationships between plants, fungi and microbes. Through sculpture, drawing and multimedia, Milo’s practice explores how our understanding of these symbiotic relationships shapes our struggle against the climate emergency.


Miya Browne

Miya Browne is a London-based artist who approaches painting through the performative. In a statement on their work they write: ‘Rejecting both colour and femininity, I adopt a builder’s aesthetic and dress in black overalls. I am ready to go to work. Embodying ideas of masculinity and race, I use my body as a vehicle. My three-inch platform boots help me get cocky with the canvas. Man-Spreading my female form, taking on the archetype of an ‘artist’, my work questions Euro-patriarchal knowledge and the Female gaze.’

Miya graduated in 2020 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Mixed Media from the University of Westminster and is currently studying for an MA in painting at the Royal College of Art.


Alexis Zelda Stevens

Alexis Zelda Stevens is an artist, producer and artist coach working in sculpture, installation, video and dance. Her practice is experimental and cross-disciplinary, often taking place outside of the gallery in unusual locations ranging from a Cornish mine to a car park in London’s Aylesbury Estate. Alexis is interested in what structures us in relation to others and how this is embodied and expressed; her recent works are concerned with the body, psychology, and poetic slippery signs and symbols.

Alexis’s work has been exhibited nationally at galleries such as i.o.u.a.e / SHELF Spanish City, Newcastle and Scaffold Gallery / Paradise Works Manchester and has been funded by ACE, ArtHouse and Jerwood Arts. As a Producer, she established the Visual Arts Commissioning Programme at Green Man music festival in 2015.


Mona Cordes

Mona Cordes is a German, London-based fashion and print designer. She graduated with a Masters from Kingston School of Art in 2020 and self-produced her own socially distanced fashion show during lockdown. Her work presents physical expressions of multi-coloured kaleidoscopic visions, using graphics and a punk aesthetic to voice political and ecological messages. Mona’s previous collections have explored Scandinavian myths, the spiritual and the supernatural. Her upcoming collection is based on the seven deadly sins.

Mona produces sustainable, high-end garments for all genders. Her brand works towards a sustainable business model creating garments that are locally produced in London. Mona writes that she ‘feel(s) a strong connection with the young creative community in London and want(s) to be part of the change – we can work together to build a more sustainable and open-minded future.’


Hannah Ewens

Hannah Ewens is a creative writer, mentor and workshop lead. Hannah writes about music, subcultures, mental health and fandom in an intimate, approachable and analytical style.

Hannah’s work has been published in the Guardian, the Sunday Times Style, The Paris Review, Times Literary Supplement, the Observer, Kerrang! and Crack. She currently works as a writer and editor at VICE UK where she covers culture. Her first non-fiction book Fangirls: Scenes From Modern Music Culture was published in 2019 and she is working on her second book.

Scream Queens Inside The World of the Female Superfans or Fangirls, The Guardian


Eleni Papazoglou

Eleni Papazoglou is an Athens-born designer, researcher and producer. She lives and works in London, where she completed MA at the Royal College of Art and a BA at Camberwell College of Arts. Eleni’s varied curatorial, written and visual practice operates within institutional and self-organised settings to explore participation and social dynamics.

Eleni’s work centers on human interaction, often taking on collaborative, participatory or educational formats such as workshops, curated walks and manuals. In a time where social interactions are shifting, Eleni’s practice will continue to facilitate and explore them. She intends to use her time at SET to work on projects that are socially engaged, locally-minded and exist beyond the gallery.


Davinia-Ann Robinson

Davinia-Ann Robinson’s art practice explores the politics of colonial emotions and how these are impressed onto Bodies of Colour who reside within colonial spaces. She is interested in the implications of these emotions and the sensations they create in-between the outer and inner layer of one’s skin and the experiences of living within the societal peripheries that these emotions enable as they distort readings and connections to one’s physical and metaphorical body, connections between individual bodies, and connections to one’s environment.

Davinia-Ann is also a founding member of Narration Group, a collective of Women and Non-Binary people of colour who meet to discuss, dissect and reclaim their narratives. During the academic year 2019-2020 Davinia-Ann was the Artist in Residence with The South London Gallery on their Supersmashers programme, delivering weekly art sessions exploring aspects of her art practice with children in looked after care.


Catriona Robertson

Catriona Robertson is a Scottish artist who lives and works in London. She graduated from the Royal College of Art, MA Sculpture in 2019 and was recently selected for the Standpoint Gallery studio residency programme, supported by the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award. Catriona was also awarded a funded place as artist in residence at MERZ in Sanquhar, supported by Creative Scotland with a solo exhibition ‘This Way,That Way’ at the MERZ gallery in September 2019.

Catriona’s sculpture and installation explores architecture and the monumental, including ruins of buildings and void spaces interwoven with the fast changing rising concrete landscape and urban geology. Working site-responsively, Catriona uses collected detritus materials to make and unmake work in the same space in a performative interaction between object, audience and site. Fragments of previous sculptures become the aggregate for the next in a constant regurgitative flux, forming layers of synthetic sediments in a material journey.

Puer Deorum

Puer Deorum is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily with documented performance (moving image), costume, and sculptural prop-making. Their work is centred around marginalised communities who lack representation in British art history, via the gathering of collaborators and their insights and research on the history of anthropology and migration of communities in the Western Landscape. Their British-Bangladeshi heritage is harmoniously linked to their practice as a second-generation immigrant navigating and splicing through with a focus on the body and its subtle wavers to love. Working as a performance-based artist, they make use of a variety of references including Bengali travelling groups from Kolkata, working to develop sequences of surreal mysticism and fantastical ambience, parallel to feelings of eeriness and longing. In 2020, they participated in the We Exist x The Koppel Project – a trans artist residency creating an inclusive space for self-expression.


Rhoda Adum Boateng

Rhoda Adum Boateng is a writer, artist and archivist based in London. Rhoda currently works under the moniker ‘trusting mechanics’, a writing-based project fleshing out ideas around maintenance, reparation and the relationships between language and freedom. She has shared her work in public readings at galleries such as South London Gallery, Auto Italia, 198 Gallery and Arebyte Gallery. Rhoda also works collaboratively with other artists who have writing at the forefront of their practice, producing poetry publications and mixtapes, readings, workshops and dinners.

trustingmechanic newsletter


Batool Desouky

Batool Desouky is a computational artist working with technology, archival research and magic. Her work uses magic to interrogate notions of techno-solutionism, productivity and personal agency. Taking magic as the ancient sister system to computing, she builds custom software based on mediaeval Arabic mathematical studies of objects known in English as Magic Squares. Her work is rooted in the Arabic history of the talismanic use of Magic.

Batool is the co-founder and editor of an online publishing platform called Tariff, which commissions experimental works by artists and writers from the SWANA region. She started Tariff to create a space for artistic and discursive exploration outside of the museum and gallery spaces in the SWANA art scene.


Hyun Ah Kwon

Hyun Ah Kwon is a London-based, South Korean multidisciplinary artist working in various mediums including print, sound, digital formats and installation. Her artworks are about depicting a transcendent moment of being and the experience of a blurred boundary between inner-self and outer-self. Her works often incorporate immersion in vast landscapes, prayer, holding heavy weights and facing the fear of death in order to evoke a feeling of the Sublime.

Hyun graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2018 with a Masters in Fine Art and in 2020 she was awarded the Skaftfell Art Center Residency in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland, and the Art Like Salt Residency in Jeonnlla-do, South Korea.


Aaron Ratajczyk

Aaron Ratajczyk is a London and Berlin-based artist whose interdisciplinary practice consists of choreography, video, sound and text. He graduated with a BA in Dance, Context, Choreography at HZT / University of the Arts Berlin and recently completed an MFA in Fine Arts at Goldsmiths College, London. Aaron’s work is influenced by his background in dance and his complex relationship with the body, treating it as a fluid interface for navigating the environment and relations with others.


MassHysteria is an all-female collective of twelve dance artists based in London. They represent a fluid body of artists collectively facilitating hybrid connections within the realm of

contemporary movement practice, creating work for stage, gallery and digital spaces. They believe in the importance of sharing young women’s artistic practice and experiences and their work showcases contemporary dance, interdisciplinary collaborative art-making and strong female voices.

Recent digital works exploring choreography in digital spaces have gained commissions from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, HERVISIONS @ LUX Moving Image, Dampfzentrale Bern and recently, the V&A Museum.


The Sandwich Club

The Sandwich Club is a multidisciplinary spatial design collective formed during lockdown by students and staff from the University of Greenwich. They are interested in how space influences social gathering (virtual and physical). From online gamers to 5-aside players, community gardeners to night time dancers, they look to see how design can inform and create community culture.

The collective have been working with social enterprise Raybel Charters based in Sittingbourne, Kent.  They have proposed designs for Lloyd’s Wharf, a retired industrial timber dock and paper mill which can accommodate  multiple users groups (shipwrights, historians, skateboarders, ecologists, community workers, artists) whilst encouraging future growth for the site to include a community kitchen / café, a workshop and tool library and teaching rooms. SWC members have also been involved in the restoration of Hackney Bumps community skatepark in East London.


School of the Damned

School of the Damned is a free, self-organised alternative to arts education, formed in protest against the marketisation of education. The Class of 2020 is the school’s seventh iteration and is made up of 30 artists across the UK and Europe. The school hosts weekly crit clubs as well as producing a monthly radio show and experimenting with writing groups, magick and RPGs.

School of the Damned envisages their free studio space as a shared workshop, office, archive, storage, project space and meeting place all rolled into one. They plan to use it for live radio broadcasting, collaborative walking forums and a skill-share social club (Covid-19 permitting), sharing their amateurism and expertise to further develop the open-ended resourcefulness that characterises SOTD.