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Educational events

Launched in 2007, the Parasol unit Educational Events programme aims to encourage people to develop their interest in contemporary art through a variety of expansive activities. Its cinema evenings, poetry readings, music and performance, artist and/or curator talks, exhibition tours and symposia are all designed to provide unique insight into the work of a currently exhibiting artist. Already immensely popular, the regular, artist-led, Sunday Family Workshops and Storytelling for Families offer creative afternoons of art activities for children and adults of all ages and levels of interest. Most of the events and workshops take place at the foundation’s gallery, but some may include a small excursion.

Committed to involving local people from the boroughs of Hackney and Islington, Parasol unit regularly works with nearby schools and community organisations. If you would like to arrange a group visit please click here.

Parasol unit is grateful for the generous support of Garfield Weston Foundation towards the Education Programme.

Family Storytelling Family Workshop: Abstraction At The Roll Of The Dice 6 December 2015

Image of Family Storytelling Family Workshop: Abstraction At The Roll Of The Dice 6 December 2015

Families will roll the dice to select a number in conjunction with dynamic shapes and intriguing colors and textures to create abstract works of art.

Image credit: Parasol unit

Talks & Lectures

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Parasol unit’s programme of talks and lectures provides visitors with a chance to learn more about the foundation’s exhibitions through artist and curator talks; lectures and gallery tours by renowned art historians, writers and academics; and symposia in collaboration with local universities.

Youth Programme

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In 2014 Parasol unit launched a Youth Programme for young people aged 8 – 13 yr. olds and 14 - 19 yr. olds. This new education strand started during the October half-term with a free 5-day Sketchbook Project: Handmade Journeys for 8 – 13 yr. olds. The project was funded by, and in partnership with, Rose Bowl, a Youth Centre in Islington.Looking forward to February 2015 we are delighted to announce a successful funding bid from Hackney Council to programme another youth project during Katy Moran’s exhibition, as part of Discover Young Hackney. This project will encourage 32 young people aged 14 – 19 yrs. old to work in creative media over 10 workshops, as well as curate and install a 2-day public exhibition in the Education & Events Room.

Image credit: Parasol unit


Image of Live

Courtesy of the artist and Parasol unit, London


Image of Film

Parasol unit Film + Video presents film screening series in response to the exhibition programme. The diverse programme screens the work of international artists and film-makers and includes contemporary and historical artists’ moving image; feature length film and video and animation.


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Since 2010 Parasol unit has worked on a yearly basis with local schools to deliver innovative and exciting workshops including annual Big Draw events. The creative sessions have actively involved children aged 7 – 11 years old (Years 3 - 6) from St Andrews Primary, Hanover Primary, Moreland Primary and Robert Blair Primary School in collaboration with the Oxford based charity The Art Room.
The foundation is very keen to create new partnerships with neighbouring schools and engage further with the local community. Schools can visit the galleries in two ways:

Through a self-led group visit, please click here to make arrangements
By booking a tailored creative workshop led by an Artist Educator in response to our contemporary art programme

To book a visit or enquire about a workshop, please contact Lala Thorpe, Education & Events Programmer.

Past events

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'A place to live when we are old', 2012. Courtesy of Ana Gallardo, Mario Gomez Casas, Ramiro Gallardo and Parasol unit, London. Photography: Hugo Glendinning