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Shift, Cardiff

Vacant Space

What is Vacant Space?

Our innovative Vacant Space programme transforms unused commercial properties into vibrant hubs for creative activity. By repurposing these spaces for artistic and community use, we further our vision of making contemporary visual arts a part of everyday life, accessible to all. This initiative supports artists, engages communities in unique ways, and promotes access to contemporary visual arts.

Why Vacant Space?

As part of  our mission to support art for everyone , Vacant Space creates  new centres of artistic activity and community engagement, helping to breathe new life into underused areas. This initiative champions sustainability by utilising existing spaces and contributes to the cultural vibrancy and cohesion of communities and neighbourhoods. By addressing the challenge of finding affordable, functional spaces for artists, Vacant Space also enriches local areas with cultural programming and artistic presence, making contemporary art more accessible and engaging for everyone.

How Does the Initiative Work?

  • Partnership with Property Owners: We secure spaces that can be transformed into dynamic art projects, contributing to our strategic priority of supporting artists and engaging audiences.
  • Support for Artists: Axis assists our member artists in utilising these spaces, offering resources and guidance to bring their creative visions to life. This effort is part of our commitment to empowering artists with the opportunities they need for professional and personal growth.
  • Amplifying Activities: Showcasing activities in these spaces engages wider audiences, turning vacant properties into must-visit cultural destinations and making contemporary art more relevant and accessible.

Who Benefits?

  • Local Artists: Gain access to unique spaces to develop and showcase their work, enhancing their visibility and career opportunities.
  • Communities: Enjoy access to a wide range of creative and social activities, fostering community engagement and cultural appreciation.
  • Property Owners: See their vacant properties revitalised and contributing positively to the local area's appeal.

The Impact of Vacant Space

Since 2015, Axis has activated over 200 properties across England and Wales as artist-led creative hubs, supported over 1,000 artists in their professional development, and engaged tens of thousands of people in creative and social programmes. This initiative has significantly enhanced public access to art, aligning with our vision of integrating art into daily life and our mission to champion and support contemporary visual arts in the UK.

What Sets Us Apart

Axis's approach to unlocking underused spaces for community cohesion and artistic expression has transformed unloved buildings into vibrant artistic hubs. By reducing financial risks for artists and encouraging creative enterprise, we've not only increased the diversity of art and culture in local areas but also embodied our commitment to innovation, inclusivity, and sustainability.

Vacant Space is a celebrated movement, showcasing the power of art to rejuvenate, inspire, and unite communities.

Further reading


Vacant Space: The Row, Coventry

By Axis web

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