Free Life Drawing Event | The Disappearing Island


Join LARA for a free life drawing session 12-4pm at The Averard Hotel on Thursday 5th May #InhabitYourCity


THURSDAY 5TH MAY - 12:00 TILL 16:00

FREE Life drawing session

The Averard Hotel, 10 Lancaster Gate, W2 3LH

As part of 'The Disappearing Island', a 24 hour exhibition at
The Averard Hotel

LARA will be holding a FREE LIFE DRAWING SESSION to help highlight the issue of London's rapidly disappearing creative spaces

A life model will provide a mixture of long and short poses, please bring your own materials and easels (if required)


About The Exhibition

On display are 100 photographs of the artisans and artists of The Old Gasworks in West London, a social document of the last inhabitants of this historic industrial site before it is paved over for a luxury development. ‘The Disappearing Island’ is based on the incident in the voyage of Saint Brendan when the monks disembark upon an island, which turns out to be the back of a sleeping whale. The incident is both matter-of-fact and dreamlike, unexpected and foreknown. It seems a good metaphor for exploring issues around exile and artisans 'in extremis’ in our city. We found temporary sanctuary at the Old Gasworks and made a community (we met in the car park!), but we will be shipwrecked when the whale wakes up and we are moved on.


The essential virtue of a city lies in how successfully it is able to help people connect. Just as we love and protect our ‘national treasures’ in museums, we want to see these extra-ordinary hubs of talent and friendship celebrated, by more strategic and enlightened use of derelict spaces in London. We value objects but do we value the people? London's reputation as an artistic and creative hub has never been greater, the UK’s creative industries export over £16bn annually (Confederation of British Industry), yet every day we see the spaces where we 'do' and where we 'make', closing down.

In his recent publication 'Slow Burn City' the architecture critic Rowan Moore writes: 'London is suffering a crisis of generosity and availability. Once a place where anyone could find a niche, whose central areas could be shared by my many, the latter are becoming zones that most of its citizens visit as gawkers, spectators, tourists in their own city....There is a loss of individuals’ sense of belonging, of their access to the gifts of knowledge and pleasure that a city offers, to freedoms, and to decent homes as streets. The capital remains available to buying and selling, but less so to other ways of inhabiting a city.'

This event is called to celebrate the milliners, clockmakers, artists, printers, framers, restorers, book-designers, cabinet-makers, musicians, artisans, designers, gilders and other creative entrepreneurs who have inhabited the 300+ small businesses and workshops of the Old Gasworks for decades. This quirky, labyrinthine, decommissioned industrial site undergoes demolition from June 2016.

In the lead up to the mayoral election, we ask the question: how do we ‘inhabit’ and ‘breathe life into’ our city?

This event will take place in The Averard Hotel, a beautiful forgotten nineteenth century mansion in Bayswater, currently re-imagined as a site of investigation and play.

Photograph from

With special thanks to Alex Meurice at The Averard Hotel, Ken at Genesis Imaging, Henny Acloque, Johnny de'Ath, Will Ayres, Andrew Gow, Tilo Kaiser, Louise McKinney, Emily Pennock, Louise Pragnell, Francesca Sanders, Hidde van Seggelen, Daisy Shields, and the 100 makers who allowed their workshops to be photographed.


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