The initial roots of Fitzrovia Noir came about in 2007 when visual artists Lucy Williams and Garry Hunter met as contributors to an immersive theatre work, Terra Incognita set in an abandoned factory in Leytonstone.

Among their common interests they found they had a link to the central London enclave of Fitzrovia: Garry as a long-time resident and Lucy who had been born there at the Middlesex Hospital. On discovering that this 250 year old institution was to be demolished, they moved rapidly to document it, contacting the developers to allow access to the site for an artistic intervention. They invited fine artist Graham Carrick who had lived opposite the hospital, specialist large-format photographer Peter Mackertich and audio-visual artist Pamela Furness to collectively respond to the rich history of this hospital’s huge site and unusually complex building. The works made and documented in-situ resulted in a unique documentation project spanning painting, film, found object, portrait photography and projections entitled ’Memory and Demolition’. So in 2008. Fitzrovia Noir was born.

Under this banner Garry, Lucy and Graham went on to produce ambitious art interventions in underused, unusual buildings across the UK and abroad, collaborating with Venezuelan artist Manuel Sanmartin on a number of showcases for Latin American and British artists. Locations included a former aircraft factory in Hatfield; an old Edinburgh chapel; a London crypt; a Cold War fallout shelter in Peterborough; the winding shed of a 19th Century Tyneside coalmine; a crumbling 13th Century French château and numerous spaces previously untried as sites for contemporary art. Most recently through partnerships with a housing association, we converted an east London florist’s shop into a thriving community pub, The Tommy Flowers, now widely recognised as a new model of creative outreach.

Establishing Fitzrovia Noir as a Community Interest Company in 2011, the last decade has seen our continuing commitment to activities which broaden access to the arts, working fwith many learning difficulties groups and engaging a wide range of residents in neglected neighbourhoods across London and northeast England. This work has been made possible with development support from The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Heritage Fund, Local Trust, Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust and for the very first time, a direct Arts Council England grant in 2020.

Our immediate ambitions include a mobile glassblowing studio to tour as part of our commitment to public participation in creative making and the planning of an immersive workshop programme for schools. In the future Fitzrovia Noir aims to expand its reach into other parts of mainland Europe with a continuing programme of revitalising empty buildings with new art and activity.

  • Garry Hunter

    Garry Hunter

    The son of a coal miner and a chemist, Garry Hunter studied engineering, not art, in his home town of South Shields. Working in photography on assignments worldwide, from Apple in Vegas to the UN in Zinder, he gained major awards in London, LA and New York. Collaboration is key, whether working with residents of the housing estate where he grew up or as visiting artist at Roskilde University, Denmark. He contributed to The Centre For London paper on creative uses of the high street that fed into Mayoral policy from 2021.

  • Graham Carrick

    Graham Carrick

    Born in northeast England in 1974 Graham Carrick is an internationally exhibited painter with two decades of experience in project management, curation and production. Graham’s innovative approach develops extraordinary partnerships, from Montréal to Brighton, to exhibiting art in shop windows across Covent Garden. He is interested in offering alternative forms of communication and expression to those struggling to have their voices heard, nurturing from concept to completion, inventive projects to achieve inclusivity.

  • Lucy Williams

    Lucy Williams

    Lucy Williams is a practising fine artist with long involvement facilitating art projects and in mentoring other artists. A graduate of London’s St Martin’s School of Art, she has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her photography and video work challenges the viewer and aims to explore new forms, evidenced in a large body of collage work and most recently in her pinhole videos. She completed her practice-based Doctorate on lens-less imagery at the University of the West of England in 2020.

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