Gabriella Sonabend is a multi-disciplinary artist and creative entrepreneur based in London. With a focus on storytelling, the strands of her practice and professional work are linked by her passion for narrative and people. Concerned by the future of our cities, the way we communicate and use resources, Sonabend creates large scale projects, which seek to nurture collaborations and support creatives. Working with meanwhile spaces in the past, her focus has now changed to establishing long-term affordable artist spaces which will anchor creatives to the capital and prevent the cultural hollowing of the city.

In 2016 she co-founded The Koppel Project, the intention for this was to create a space focused on storytelling, programming exhibitions with international artists featuring collaborations with writers, philosophers, musicians and scientists. The Koppel Project used a former Barclays Bank, a meanwhile space at 93 Baker Street as a gallery, Phaidon bookshop, co-working hub and cafe/event space. During the time it was open it transformed the local area, attracting artists to a part of the city lacking in creative vibrancy. The success of the first site led to the rapid development of The Koppel Project Hive in Holborn which focuses on artists studios and a gallery. This project continues and provides studios however it occupies a meanwhile space and a longer term solution is necessary to anchor artists to the city.

In 2017 Sonabend was Gallery Director of The Gallery of Everything in Marylebone. Here she worked with a roster of self-taught artists, curating exhibitions and a programme of public events. The Gallery/Museum of Everything's focus on autodidacts (both historic and contemporary) seeks to readdress the problematic canonical presentation of art history as we know it. Working to find and expose crucial artists missing from art history, their work readdresses history beyond art.

Sonabend left The Gallery of Everything in order to pursue her own long-term venture. Working with business parter Daniel Hudson, in 2019 Sonabend will launch Proposition Studios, a new creative complex with 300 artist studios, a gallery, professional sculpture workshop, radio station, restaurant and lecture hall providing a programme of talks and events. Proposition Studios will be unique acting as a bridge between the arts and sciences. The profits from the studios will support the activities of the Proposition charity, established to fund the development of agroecology research and training centres in the UK. These centres will carry out research into regenerative and sustainable methods of farming and provide opportunities for people to learn how to set up their own food enterprises. Proposition will work with its Trustees (leading scientists in agroecology and reforestation) in order to curate a relevant and engaging programme of talks and seminars open to studio artists and the public. 

Concerned about the prohibitive cost of living in London, Sonabend works with a property protection company providing affordable housing in vacant buildings. Though this is not a long term solution it gives people a chance to experience living in London whilst providing a necessary service to building owners. This work offers a great insight into the development of the city and helps to bridge conversation between developers and creatives.

Sonabend works as a consultant for companies and individuals seeking to support the arts. She bridges collaborations, curates collections, consults on curatorial and event programming and production. Sonabend mentors creatives in professional development and strategy and represents a small group of artists.

Within her own practice Sonabend writes fiction, creates music under the name Evelyn Drach, makes short films and paintings. Her work has been published by Young Vic Theatre in London, Nomadic Press,  After Nyne and has been aired on NTS Radio. Her visual artwork and short-films have been exhibited in Colombia, Peru, China, London, Oxford, Jerusalem, Italy and India. Sonabend studied at The Slade School of Art graduating in 2012.

To contact Gabriella Sonabend about collaborations, consultancy, future projects or her own work please email gsonabend@gmail.com

Evelyn Drach by Sam Gregg 2.jpg