FACES TO PLACES: Shirley at 198 & Martin at Island Art Studio

198 Contemporary Arts and Island Arts Studio are two community, arts and education-focused venues located in Herne Hill. With first Jazz On The Hill sputtering to closure and then the Half Moon flooded out of business - both venues with raised stages indoors - good, regular live performance space in Herne Hill has become very hard to find. Herne Hill Market offers occasional marquee live music dates but these are affected by weather. Off The Cuff, in the old arches timber yard, has only recently opened. So both 198 and Island Art are being used as venues this year by Herne Hill Music Festival. We met up with two locals who help run them.

198 Contemporary Arts & Learning Centre is situated at  - you guessed it - 198 Railton Road! Others handle funding, organising collaborations with the likes of Loughborough Creatives, or sorting exhibition schedules. But SHIRLEY keeps the space on its feet on a daily basis. She's the one who makes sure things run on time, crucial bits are in stock and operational, sorted the fabulous decoration, and also serves as house photographer. She ran 198 during Herne Hill Music Festival's Composition Competition this week (won by David Norris btw and played by Gelachter Trio) and found the evening's programme "peaceful and really relaxing." Job done, back to the hectic life Shirley! www.198.org.uk

198 on Railton Road (photo via Andrew Wilson/Gelachter Trio; IAS from IAS

MARTIN and his extended family run Island Arts Studio. The venture began in the Herne Hill arches on Milkwood Road closer to the main junction around 12 years ago, then moved to Brixton for a while (mainly for storage) while Lambeth went to work doing up arches spaces, before reopening where it is today at 278 Milkwood when the space became available. It initially began with an exclusively educational push but has gradually expanded into the venue it is today, offering not only workshops but live music as well on a regular basis. Martin says he's had a lot of fun as a host venue for the 2014 Herne Hill Music Festival. "People seem to really like what we do here, and that's what makes me happy."  www.islandartsstudio.co.uk

HHMF are back at IAS tonight for local jazz legend-in-his-own-time - Tim Richards with his trio.


Gelacher Trio with Competition composers at 198; Tony Marten and Robin Bibi at Island Art Studio - photo John Holland