The Portobello Pavilion is a temporary architectural hub offering free art-and-doing activities to all ages. Popping up each summer in Powis Square with an exciting new experimental build, people gather here to learn new skills, share ideas and spend time with family and friends.
We stand for:
Supporting the Local Arts ecology
Empowering People through sharing knowledge
Democratising Architecture through Youth and Community Build projects
Combating the Marginalisation and Expense of arts education by Giving Everyone A Chance To Do Art
BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER by offering shared experiences in a neutral environment
The History
The Portobello Pavilion was the brainchild of local curator Tim Burke and was supported into being by Kensington and Chelsea’s site-specific INTRANSIT festival in 2015. Over the next few years, the Pavilion became the hub of the festival, tying in various local projects through free art-and-doing sessions held there each day. Tim was motivated by the need to combat the increasing marginalisation of arts education and inspired by the unique history of Powis Square.
Following the Grenfell fire, the local council's need to seek out a new relationship with its residents began to align with that of the local arts community, who had long desired a more collaborative approach. In 2018 the Portobello Pavilion became a test site for these shared desires, informing and forging a better way of working together. The council’s Arts & Culture Service now sit on equal footing with locally based artists, curators and institutions to each support local arts in their own way through the Pavilion project. The evolving group hope that each iteration of the Pavilion will give awareness and opportunity to other local practitioners who might visit the Pavilion and help to steer the future of the project.
Tim Burke sadly died in 2018. He made heartfelt contributions to his local area founding both the Portobello Pavilion and the Portobello Pop-Up Cinema. Many of the Pavilion’s members are his friends and colleagues who continue this project in his memory. RIP Tim.
How The Project Is Structured And Funded
The Pavilion usually runs for 10 days in July. Week-days usually run private activities for specific groups (eg - school groups, community groups and groups with special needs) during the daytime, followed by open access after school activities and discussions/performances in the evening. Weekends are all open access drop-in activities. There is no need to book or pay.
Remaining build and art materials are donated to other local projects for reuse.
All of our operational policies can be found here.
The Pavilion over the years has been funded by Arts Council England, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the Westway Trust and private foundations. We have also received generous in-kind support from Col-Art. A lack of year on year certainty usually means planning cannot begin until April but with recent private support we are starting to change this.
If you would like to support the project in any way please get in touch via our Contact Us page.
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