In 2015, Create commissioned artists Ruth Beale and Amy Feneck to establish a substantial artist-led residency space as part of Old Manor Park Library. Through a partnership with Newham Council and their collaborative project The Alternative School of Economics, the artists worked with the local library network and community groups to establish Rabbits Road Institute as place for exchange, education and community led activities.
Drawing on the history of the Old Manor Park Library building, Rabbits Road Institute celebrates the Free Public Library and Worker’s Education Movements by creating an open space dedicated to self-education and independent thought. It exists to promote the development of culture, ideas and debate through everyday knowledge and experience. It is a space for new ways of thinking and creating inspiring activities that are open to all.
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Supported by Arts Council England and Newham Council.Ruth Beale and Amy Feneck are artists with individual practices, who started working together through a shared interest in The Working Class Movement Library in Salford, which holds a vast collection of material on labour history, trade unions, political philosophy and class struggle. Both artists draw on histories of radical politics and alternative pedagogy within their own practices: Ruth Beale employs performance, discussion and archival processes to identify relationships between culture, governance, social discourse and representation. Amy Feneck works with film, video and photography, focusing on the relationship between instinct and the political. Their on-going collaborative project ‘The Alternative School of Economics’ uses the practice of self-education to study economics, creating a framework for investigating political, social and cultural issues. The ASE is in part a reaction to the 2007/8 financial crash, a situation that has created a new demand upon the public to understand the workings of the economy and how it effects day to day life. Recent projects for the ASE include: Pensions and Pricarity, for ‘Labour of Love’, Collective, Edinburgh, The Fiction of Money for ‘MirrorCity’ Hayward Gallery, London and Money, Money, Money for ‘Now I Gotta Reason’, Jerwood Space, London.