Lacuna is a leading cultural studio realising contemporary art and events in urban spaces and local communities. We connect clients, including developers, city corporations, and landowners, with artists at various stages of their careers - established, mid-career, and emerging - to create collaborations where artworks sit in harmony with the chosen site.

Larry Bell, Pacific Red (IV), 2017. SITC 12th Ed, 2023. Courtesy The Artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo Clive Totman.

By placing works in public spaces, people - some of whom may never have visited a museum or gallery before - are given free access to the arts. Local communities are engaged with their areas in new ways, workers are inspired on their daily commute, and art lovers and tourists are drawn to areas they may not have previously considered visiting, boosting local economies. 

We take a personalised, thoughtful approach to each project. This includes selecting works from artists in underrepresented groups, ensuring accessibility to the installations, producing audio guides to enhance the user experience and engaging with local residents, community groups and schools. We have developed a speciality in curating in urban spaces.

One of our most successful and well-known projects is Sculpture in the City, a Civic Trust Award winning project, which was established in 2011. Sculpture in the City is central London’s ambitious urban sculpture park realised by the City of London Corporation’s public realm strategy, the city arts community and local businesses. Attracting over 400,000 visitors a year, the annual exhibition is a mix of emerging and established artists and has included Do Ho Suh, Sarah Lucas, the Chapman brothers, Marina Abramovic and Damien Hirst. To date, the project has showcased 154 major pieces of contemporary art.

The benefits of public art have been proven to improve wellbeing, increase tourism, provide employment opportunities, and combat feelings of social isolation and anxiety. Art is a powerful tool used to bridge cultural divides and promote a better understanding of values and beliefs. It is invaluable in building a sense of community and social cohesion, bringing people together to share experiences and for creative expression.

Studies demonstrate that direct access to artworks can relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety. A 2011 study by University of London found that when individuals were subjected to a beautiful painting by some of the world’s greatest artists, the blood flow to the “joy response” parts of the brain increased by 10%. Another study by Angela Clow at University of Westminster also revealed that participants who visited an art gallery during their lunch break experienced a significant drop in their levels of cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone.

The British Council for Offices found that 61% of workers believe that artwork inspires them to think and work more creatively. A 2016 study by the University of Exeter revealed that people who worked in an office with art and plants were 17% more productive than those working in a basic and functional environment.

Founded by Stella Ioannou in 2010, Lacuna exists to define public spaces which offer unique cultural encounters and build new communities. Lacuna’s core team of project associates team brings a unique combination of skills and curatorial skills and track record of delivering successful arts and culture projects in the public and private sectors of art, design and architecture in the UK, US, continental Europe and Australia.

Our vast experience comes from working with over 25 clients and
corporate partners and over 130 artists from around the globe.

READ ABOUT OUR COLLABORATORS HERE

Testimonials

Lacuna is tenacious, dedicated, proud.
Tim Lucas, Price & Myers
I was honoured to be selected for Sculpture in the City‘s inaugural Aldgate Square Commission. To develop my first ever public sculpture, to be installed on the busy streets of London, was daunting and incredibly exciting. Stella and the team at Lacuna guided me through each step. Their experience and expertise was literally invaluable.
Jocelyn McGregor, recipient of inaugural Aldgate Square Commission in City of London
Lacuna is joyous and optimistic; clear-thinking with a strong sense of drive.
Marco Savini, Como Holdings
Lacuna offers a turn-key service start to finish. Lacuna is successful because it is well organised and has a great front person with lots of charisma and persuasiveness. No one can resist.
Dave Williams, MTEC
Lacuna challenged and encouraged me to believe in my ideas. They gave me the opportunity to make a work that pushed me to make something I could not have previously envisaged, both in concept and scale.
Catherine Yass, Artist
Lacuna offers a bespoke approach and provides drive, leadership and delivery in relation to its projects and activities. Lacuna’s practical experience is a competitive advantage.
Simon Glynn, City of London Corporation 
What impressed me about Lacuna was the very good understanding of our architectural and public space intent. The public art project [at Paddington Square] is not competing with ours; it is beautifully completing it.
Jean Pattinson, Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The Team

Stella Ioannou

Director

Stella launched Lacuna in 2011 to realise visionary public art projects and events. Her established relationships with London’s business and arts communities enrich her curatorial and leadership roles and contribute to Lacuna’s growing success. Prior to Lacuna, Stella was founding Deputy Director of the London Festival of Architecture (2003–2007) and Client Director for the international luxury events agency, Profirst (2007–2009). 

Stella is Artistic Director of Sculpture in the City (since 2011), the UK’s largest annual urban sculpture park. She is former Culture Mile Outdoor Art Curator (2017–2019) and Creative Lead for Celebrate the City (2012), the Square Mile’s cultural programme for the London Olympics.

Stella is a Mayor of London and London Borough of Culture approved consultant, a trained architect and dancer, a liveryman member of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects and a member of the City Architecture Forum. Since 2017 Stella is also an advisor to the City of London’s Eastern City Cluster Area Strategy and in 2021 joined the Lord Mayor’s Culture and Commerce Task Force. She is a Liveryman Member and Court Assistant for the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects, Stella regularly lectures and sits on art juries in the UK and abroad.

stella@lacuna-projects.com

Alice Sandon

Arts Producer

Alice Sandon is an arts and culture producer with successful projects in film, theatre, festivals, events and live art. She specialises in accessibility and strategic community engagement. Alice joined Lacuna in 2022 and alongside Lacuna’s Director, Stella Ioannou, has successfully delivered the 12th and 11th Editions of Sculpture in the City, Nocturnal Creatures 2022, Aldgate in Winter 2022, SculptureFest 2023 and London Sculpture Week 2023.

Prior to Lacuna, Alice was the Senior Participation Producer at SPILL Festival: an international festival of Performance, where in addition to events production, Alice was responsible for the festival’s strategic community engagement. Alice is a qualified Covid Compliance Officer and Designated Safeguarding Officer. She is also First Aid trained, DBS update service checked and qualified in British Sign Language (intermediate level).

alice@lacuna-projects.com

Rachel Ball

Studio Coordinator

Rachel joined Lacuna as Studio Coordinator in late 2022 to support the expanding team and business. She is a creative industry manager with over 20 years of experience in working at art galleries and creative businesses in London. She has collaborated with many reputable artists, authors, illustrators and architects. A trained art historian (BA in Art History, University of Nottingham), Rachel brings a wealth of knowledge from her other posts in public relations and publishing. 

office@lacuna-projects.com

Jade Niklai

Associate Curator

Jade Niklai is a trained art historian and curator with over 25 years of institutional, collaborative and independent practice. Jade commissions and produces arts and culture projects with an interest in public discourse and urbanism, social politics and memory practices. She joined Lacuna as Associate Curator in 2020 to co-curate the Paddington Square Public Art Programme.

Jade has held curatorial posts at Foster + Partners (London), The Architecture Foundation (London) and Ludwig Museum (Budapest/Aachen). She trained at the Sydney Biennale and The Museum of Modern Art (New York). Jade has also advised LVMH/Espace Louis Vuitton (München) and other corporate clients on public art, collection building and cultural communication strategies.

Jade holds a BA in Art History (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London) and an MA in Art Curatorship (Melbourne University).

Mary Drake

Associate Strategy and Operations

Mary Drake advises on Operations and Strategy at Lacuna. She has a business background and has worked internationally in manufacturing, consulting and financial services. Mary previously worked at Zurich Insurance where she held a number of global roles in Sydney, Hong Kong and Zurich.

Mary is also Director of Atelier of Being, where she works with creative and conscious businesses and leaders by combining best practice from the corporate landscape, the healing arts, somatics, energy mastery, executive coaching and the wisdom traditions. Passionate about art and culture, Mary is currently undertaking an MA in Curating and Commissioning Contemporary Public Art at The University of Gothenburg.

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