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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. If you would like to discuss any other educational partnership or opportunity please email

Parasol unit is grateful to Cass Art for supporting our Education Programme, offering a wide range of materials and discount offers at the Flagship store in Islington.

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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.

Early Years

Parasol unit launches a new series of pilot workshops tailored to Under 5’s. Project Light is a new and exciting series of workshops which invites adults and young children to respond, explore through playful experimentation in an immersive and stimulating environment created by Artist Educator Natalie Zervou, Director of Starting with Art (

Image credit: Parasol unit


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Launched in 2012, our Sunday Family Workshops are suitable for 5 –15 year olds and offered at a low ticket price of £2 per participant, ensuring they are available and accessible to all. This education strand consists of Sunday Family Workshops offering creative workshops in response to the current exhibitions and Storytelling for Families a project that specifically promotes reading, writing and freedom of expression inspired by the importance of storytelling in different cultures.

Adult Workshops

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Teachers & Artists Workshop: An Introduction to Stop-Motion Animation

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.In February 2015 we received a successful funding bid from Hackney Council to programme a youth project during Katy Moran’s exhibition, as part of Discover Young Hackney. This project involved 32 young people aged 14 – 19 yrs. old working in creative media over 10 workshops, as well as curated and installed a 2-day public exhibition in the Education & Events Room.
In Feb 2016 as part of the Julian Charriere exhibition with a series of events and workshops including a special holiday programme for young people from both Hackney and Islington.  Our Youth programme across the year also includes Free Workshops to local Secondary schools and F.E colleges, extending experience and learning of contemporary art beyond the classroom.

Image credit: Parasol unit


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Courtesy of the artist and Parasol unit, London


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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, or
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 email, including your school name and address, your phone number, the year/age and number of children.

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