& our history
Fabrica is a visual arts organisation based in a former Regency church in the heart of Brighton, which commissions contemporary visual art installations specific to the building.
Fabrica is a place where artists come to make new work. Fabrica supports and encourages the artists with whom it works to be adventurous and to test the boundaries of their practice. It encourages an open dialogue between artists and visitors within the gallery space and produces an integrated programme of education and audience development activity that strives to remove barriers to access, engagement and understanding.
There are six interlinked strands that define Fabrica’s activity.
Three main shows each year often developed in partnership. We also regularly commission artists in residence.
Learning and Education
Covering artists’ professional development as well as work with schools, further and higher education students and community groups.
Health and Wellbeing
We work across all our programmes to provide creative and inspirational ways of developing better mental health and wellbeing through art.
Support For Artists
Built around the Artist Resource that offers a reference library, one to one sessions, talks, workshops, seminars and
Volunteer and Work Placement Scheme
Providing people of different ages and backgrounds with opportunities across all areas of the gallery.
Multiple platforms to allow the different voices of the organisation to shine through and to highlight some of the activity at Fabrica that may not have a public outcome.
How is Fabrica funded?
Like most arts organisations, Fabrica is funded from a variety of ever changing sources. Researching and applying for funding is a major occupation for us. There are some basic areas into which our current funding falls.
We are fortunate enough to have regular funding from Arts Council England for whom we are an NPO (National Portfolio Organisation). This funding is typically awarded over a three-year period and regular reapplication is required. This public funding covers about 35-40% of our costs and we have to consistently seek additional sources of funding as detailed below.
Fabrica has a history of successful applications to the European Union Interreg and Creative Europe programmes. During that time we have successfully completed and delivered a number of projects that support collaboration with cultural partners in the UK, France, Belgium, Italy and Macedonia.
We regularly apply for funding for specific projects. Growing an Older Audience is an example of this type of funding.
Hiring out Fabrica for social occasions and conferences or meetings is valuable income for us.
We welcome donations in the gallery during exhibitions and events, the majority of which are provided free of charge. If you would like to make a donation to Fabrica, you can do so via our support us page.
2019 - Fantastic for Families - Best Age-Friendly Welcome Award
2019 - National Wedding Awards - Best City Venue
2019 - Sussex Student Awards - Community Volunteer of the Year
Opened in March 1996 in the deconsecrated Holy Trinity Church, Fabrica was established by a group of artists from Red Herring Studios in Brighton as a focus for contemporary visual art practice, with the support of South East Arts, Brighton Borough Council, The Foundation for Sport and the Arts, and the Chichester Diocese.
Holy Trinity church closed in 1985 and the Council intended the building for use as a museum of Brighton history. Ultimately that role was taken up elsewhere, and that’s where the artists from Red Herring came in. The first exhibition took place in the newly named Fabrica in 1996.
The name Fabrica was chosen because of its association with making, blending the words fabricate in English and fabriquer in French. Additionally, Fabrica, with slight variations means factory in many European languages. The desire for Fabrica to be a place of creation was important to the founding artists.
Matthew Miller 1961 – 2011
Matthew Miller was one of the founding members of Fabrica and its co-director. Today it is impossible to imagine Fabrica without Matthew. As well as being a strikingly original artist, he was, for us, an understated but visionary leader, a meticulous project manager and a man who was totally dedicated to his task. The many artists, arts practitioners and managers Fabrica has worked with in the South East and across the country, and in France and Belgium over the past ten years will miss him greatly.
Holy Trinity Church
Trinity Chapel was built in 1817 by Amon Wilds for Thomas Read Kemp, developer of Kemptown, who led his own dissenting sect there. Later, when Kemp returned to the Church of England, the building went with him. Later redesigns of the building have been attributed to Somers Clarke and Sir Charles Barry, the architect for St Peter’s Church, the Sussex County hospital and the Houses of Parliament.