(hARTslane Alternative)*

Link to the Frequently Asked Questions 

What are artists doing in general? When they are not creating objects that are intensely exquisite, sharply thought-provoking, and simultaneously, shocking. When they’re not using their materials for company, creating a doll, and eating paint as sustenance. When they are not hanging out on the steps of the Tate…wondering. No but really? Is anyone else wondering? 

Can we talk a bit more genuinely about the “true lives” of artists.

The artists who are outside of funding or a residency, the ones who are outside of an institution or loan, those who have graduated, those who haven’t, artists who don’t align with the working hours of other artists, artists who can’t find the time to hang out in the museum, or on its steps.

How do you find the time to collide with your other artists? Do you want to make your artistic life spicy? Again? 

HA! Is an alternative “MA” Fine Art programme designed by artists in collaboration with hARTslane.

HA! provides artists with a focus on skill-sharing, affordability, and living/working life as an artist in London.

HA! responds to discontentment with mainstream art education models.


* HA! is an alternative MA fine art programme which is not officially recognised or accredited, which is why we are “alternative”.

It’s an artist-run education model and takes place with collective resources and skill share at its heart. We learn from each other by sharing skills and knowledge.

This programme was designed around affordability and the working/living life as an artist in London. It is for those who want to develop their artistic practice but can’t afford the costs of higher university education.

If you’d like to see other alternative school programmes, I’ve attached a link here:



HA! (hARTslane Alternative) 2024

Location: hARTslane Gallery

Duration: 4 months (15th April –  5th August)

Commitment: 2 x evenings per week (Monday and Wednesday)

Credential: Certificate in Master of Art by the authority of the assembly *

*held at the convocation


Course content:

Studying in the belly of the beast and between the walls and afterhours of hARTslane 

We will have a large selection of crits, talks, workshops, visiting artists/experts and off-site visits, gathering as a group 1-2 times a week.

There will also be the chance to test exhibiting work in a weekend interim show with your cohort at hARTslane Gallery. 

Your graduation will be captured in a final 9 day show at the end of the course, also taking place at hARTslane Gallery, with a total of 8 artists.

All the sessions will be happening between hours of 6-9pm on a weekday evening, staggered over the course of 4 months. 

This is a launch of a project we’ve been crafting for the past year. This year we only have 8 places available, but we are hoping to keep the project returning year after year, with many cohorts and hARTslane alumni.



3 expert-led sustainability talks

–          Cristiana Botigella.

Founder & director of hARTslane, established the artist in residence at the Pistoletto Foundation (Italy), research in international work (Artquest), self-determination and economic sustainability for artists.

–          Charlotte Warne Thomas.

Artist, lecturer, freelance researcher and advocate for artists’ fair pay; author of Artists as Workers (2021), editor of Structurally F~cked (2023); founder of Peer Sessions post-graduate crit group; and current practice-based PhD candidate (AHRC-funding) at Kingston University. 

–          Sophia Kosmaoglou.

Artist and organiser who works collaboratively and across media to address the construction of identity through relationships. Founder of the alternative art education network ART&CRITIQUE (2015) and co-founder of the Radical Pedagogy Research Group (2019). She is currently working on a participatory action-research project to start a co-operative art school, in order to provide a self-organised and sustainable alternative to mainstream art education.


2 Group crits

–          One crit will be with a group of 4.

–          One crit will be with the whole cohort of 8.


2 visiting practicing artists talks

–          Hanne Peeraer.

Artist, facilitator and interdisciplinary problem-solver.


–          Alek Mechlinski.

Artist and curator with a painting practice, engaging with this dynamic environment by reiterating, digesting, and contemplating images.

1 x Workshop on a workshop

–          led by founders Rachel Lonsdale and Sarah-Athina Nahas


8 skill-share workshops

–          Every artist on the course has to offer up 1 art related skill share workshop for the rest of the cohort. Skill share can take any form, but practice-based skill share is encouraged. Some examples include technician work/sewing machine skills/ archiving/ materials/ paper making / natural dye/ sculpture/ installing work/ movement based workshops


3 off site visits

–          To an art space/event/opening

1 x weekend interim show

–          May 2024


9 day graduation show at hARTslane Gallery

–          July 2024



 We have set the fee for the course at £90 per month, coming to a total of £360 for the whole programme. 

This will be in 4 instalments from April-July, expected on the 1st of the month

The first instalment will be expected on 1st March 2024. Instalments will not be refundable


Project Lead(s)


–       Rachel Lonsdale and Sarah-Athina Nahas

Rachel is a multi-disciplinary artist. Rachel puts questions to the environments she encounters (mainly spaces in London but sometimes in the Northeast of England when train fares are low and she goes home).  She creates narrative in the form of performance, writing, text and film. She restages elements of contemporary life and interacts with everyday objects, misusing them to create unresolved mysteries, satire, and conflict.

After graduating from Wimbledon College of Art on the BA fine art course that has since been axed ~RIP~, she is now Programme Co-ordinator at hARTslane gallery where she programmes events, co-curates exhibitions and other action.  She is the co-founder of GRAVEL* (2022-2023), and now is part of conch collective* as another extension of live performance projects.


Sarah-Athina is Lebanese-French multidisciplinary artist with a particular interest for painting, textiles, sewing and any time consuming, painstaking activity. She studied BA:Fine Art at Wimbledon (UAL) and then had a very contrasting experience at the Royal college of Art.  It reinforced her love for the alternative and underground culture in general.

She co-ran GRAVEL* (2022-2023) where she developed her drawing performances, exploring silky paints mixed with honey and spilled goblets of wine. She’s part of conch collective, a get-together of artists with a particular focus on performance(s) with a small P but with a big S. 

(for both)

*a tri-monthly live performance art evening at hARTslane gallery

* a humble collective of seven


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