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Named afterInstitute of International Visual Arts
  • 16 John Islip St, London SW1P 4JU
Melanie Keen
Key people
Stuart Hall
Formerly called

Iniva (which was formerly written as inIVA) is the Institute of International Visual Art, a visual arts organisation based in London that collaborates with contemporary artists, curators and writers. Iniva runs the Stuart Hall Library, and is based in Pimlico, on the campus of Chelsea College of Arts.


During the course of its 24-year existence, Iniva has hosted and/or produced major solo exhibitions by significant British and international artists,[1] including sculptor Hew Locke ("Kingdom of the Blind", in 2008),[2] filmmaker Zineb Sedira ("Currents of Time" in 2009),[3]Donald Rodney ("In Retrospect", in 2008), Keith Piper ('Relocating the Remains' in 1997 and 'Unearthing the Banker's Bones' in 2016), Yinka Shonibare ('Diary of a Victorian Dandy' in 1998) and Guyanese painter Aubrey Williams in 1998.

The institute has also raised the profile of many artists to a wider UK public, including Israeli conceptual artist Roee Rosen,[4] British painter Kimathi Donkor, British filmmaker Alia Syed, Indian conceptual group Raqs Media Collective and British contemporary artist Joy Gregory.


Iniva was founded in 1994 with a remit to address an imbalance in the way culturally diverse artists and curators were being represented in the UK. Funded by Arts Council England and governed by a Board of Trustees, the institute has worked with artists, curators, creative producers, writers and the public to explore and reflect cultural diversity in the visual arts.

Rivington Place

Iniva and Autograph ABP partnered to build Rivington Place, a five-floor, 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) visual arts centre in East London. The £5 million building was designed by architect David Adjaye and opened to the public on 5 October 2007. It was the first publicly funded, purpose-built international visual arts venue constructed in London since the Hayward Gallery opened more than 40 years earlier. Rivington Place housed two exhibition spaces and the Stuart Hall Library, established by Iniva, as well as art education and seminar rooms - plus the offices of Iniva and Autograph.

Until 2008, cultural theorist [5] and sociologist Stuart Hall was chair of Iniva and Autograph ABP (the Association of Black Photographers, also based in Rivington Place).[6]

Iniva's first director was Gilane Tawadros, followed in 2005 by international curator Sebastian Lopez, then the curator and cultural historian Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, Tessa Jackson, former chief executive of the Scottish Arts Council, and, from 2015, Melanie Keen, who was a curator at Iniva from 1996-2003, and most recently a senior manager at Arts Council England.[7]

Its funding has been greatly reduced in recent years. When the Arts Council announced its new National Portfolio Organisation structure for arts funding in 2012, Iniva's funding was cut by 43.3%, and by a further 62.3% in 2015.[8]

In October 2018, Iniva and the Stuart Hall Library moved out of Rivington Place, to the Chelsea College of Arts in Pimlico.[9]


Iniva operated as an arts publishing house, often working in collaboration with larger publishers and producing books by writers such as the cultural theorist Kobena Mercer,[10] curator and educator Sarat Maharaj, artist Sonia Boyce[11] the art historian Guy Brett, and the art critic Jean Fisher.

Education and youth

Alongside its exhibitions and publications, the institute also runs a visual arts education programme, consisting of lectures, educational workshops and seminars. Based in the London borough of Westminster, the institute has developed a consistent strategy of working with young people, aimed at extending the field of arts education to include wider cultural objectives such as 'social inclusion' and personal development.[12]


Iniva has charitable status under UK law and is governed by a Board of Trustees. Over the years board membership has included prominent figures in the world of ideas and the arts, including Stuart Hall, Yinka Shonibare, Sarat Maharaj, Henry Louis Gates, Jr, and Isaac Julien.[13]


  1. ^ Review of Lebanese artist Rabih Mroue on
  2. ^ Jessica Lack, "Exhibition preview: Hew Locke, London", The Guardian, 30 August 2008.
  3. ^ Laura McLean-Ferris, "Exhibitionist: The best art shows to see this week" (on Zineb Sedira's films), The Guardian, 29 March 2009.
  4. ^ Roee Rosen review at
  5. ^ Fisher, Jean. "Vampire in the Text, Narratives in Contemporary Arr". Iniva. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ Stuart Hall, 80th birthday bibliography, February 2012.
  7. ^ Iniva announces its new director
  8. ^ "Morgan Quaintance: Iniva: Fit for Purpose?, [[Art Monthly]], December 2014". Archived from the original on 9 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ "Iniva Moves On". iniva. 21 September 2018.
  10. ^ Kobena Mercer (ed.), Exiles, Diasporas, Strangers, MIT and Iniva, 2007.
  11. ^ Sonia Boyce & David Bailey (eds), Shades of Black, Duke University Press and Iniva, 2005.
  12. ^ learning Museum Newsletter 14
  13. ^ Maggie Lee, "The Art of Being Different", Caribbean Beat, Issue 73 (May/June 2005).

External links

Coordinates: 51°29?25?N 0°07?44?W / 51.4902°N 0.1290°W / 51.4902; -0.1290

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