The Rum Factory: Studio Tour

After reopening our classic studio site The Rum Factory last summer in 2023, Bow Arts visited to see the signs of life inside the studios. Join us on a photo tour of our new studio site in Wapping…

Opening the doors! There’s a viewing going on in the studios today. Artists can book a spot to see the studios once they have signed-up to our weekly newsletter.

The morning light at The Rum Factory makes the building glow: east facing windows welcome in the sun.

Multi-disciplinary artist Joel Mansfield’s studio.

A moment of appreciation for the artist ‘messy sink’ everywhere.

Looking out from The Rum Factory’s first floor mezzanine, we admire the retrofit. In 2015, we modified the existing space to fill the building with artists, creating 80 affordable artist studios in London’s docklands.

Now the building is full, the final artists are moving in. This new studio space is just being set up…

Details of the building; sturdy bricks, paint scuffs, and windows all show The Rum Factory’s character.

As is often the case with England’s ports, docks and waterways, the historical Pennington Street Warehouse—part of what we now call the Tobacco Docks—inherits a legacy of colonial use. As part of the first enclosed commercial docks in the capital, the docks were likely designed in 1805 to store expensive cargo held in bond, receiving imports of wealth in the form of rum and spices from the West Indies and beyond.

We strongly encourage visitors to seek out more information at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, or to visit our current exhibition at the Nunnery Gallery, Mark of Cane.

Before Bow Arts first opened studios in The Rum Factory, the building was previously home to News International’s HQ. Some of their vinyl remains to this day…

Artists can be found wherever you look; here’s another angle on the docklands talent.

A sneak peek around the back of the building, where we spot Bow Arts’ partner organisation, St. George. Carving out space for the creative industry and the community of people who work alongside it, St. George has helped Bow Arts nurture creativity in Tower Hamlets.

Senior Studio Manager Henry stands inside the Project Space at The Rum Factory. Stay up to date with the latest news and events via Bow Arts’ newsletter. We’re looking forward to re-activating the space soon…

The final studios have been filled inside The Rum Factory as of February 2024. Keep an eye out for an Open Studios, coming later this year.

Sign up to our mailing list to see studios across London as they come available and book viewings with our Studios Team.

View from a mezzanine looking out over a long building with multiple partitioned art studios

The Rum Factory

The historic Pennington Street Warehouse in Wapping, renamed The Rum Factory Studios in 2015, will reopen its doors to artists in August 2023, once again offering 80 truly affordable artist studios that range from 80Sqft up to 400Sqft in the heart of the City.

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