Rab Harling: artist CV (Last update: 5th January 2024)

UK & EU citizen. London-based.


MA Photography. London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. 2009-2010.

BA (Hons.) Film & Video. Surrey Institute of Art & Design, Farnham (University of the Creative Arts). 1993-1996.

Solo / Significant Exhibitions

When Walls Talk. House of European History, Brussels. 30th April – 13th November 2022.

Exile in the Kingdom. Cable Depot, London. 6th March – 3rd May 2020.

Living with Buildings. Wellcome Collection, London. 4th October 2018 – 3rd March 2019.

Inversion/Reflection. DIVUS London. 27th November 2015 – 24th January 2016.

Works in progress from Balfron Tower. UCL Slade Research Centre, University College London. 28th April – 2nd May 2014.

A Delicate Sense of Terror. Lubomirov East, London. 28th June 2013 – 20th July 2013.


Nova Perla, DIVUS Prague, Czech Republic. July 2017.

Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence, UCL Urban Laboratory, University College London. 2013-2014.

Festivals / Art Fairs

Exile in Amsterdam. Cable Depot at Platforms Project. Athens, Greece. May 2019.

Darling Pearls & Co. at Platforms Project. Athens, Greece. May 2018.

Balfron Tower Inside Out. Diffusion International Photography Festival, Cardiff. May 2017.

Awards / Grants

Arts Council England, 2020.

The Leverhulme Trust, 2013.

Public Collections

House of European History, Brussels.

Selected Publications / Citations / Reviews etc.

UK’s ugliest building cost £56million to upgrade with views over a dual carriageway. Mieka Smiles, Daily Express. 16th December 2023 (plagiarised content)

Culture-led Housing Episode 3. Laura Yuile, Asset Arrest. November 2023.

‘It’s a Scandal’: How Property Developers Failed to Sell a Single Flat in Balfron Tower. Ella Jessel, Novara Media. 4th August 2023.

Keeping the Art Houses Clean. Giovanna Dunmall, Damn Magazine. Summer 2022.

Council tenants turfed out of UK’s ‘ugliest building’ so flats can be sold for £800,000. Josh Bolton, Daily Mirror. 29th July 2022.

Rab Harling (1972- ) vs. Goldfinger / HARCA: images d’une lutte au sommet de la Balfron Tower. Valérie Morisson, Institut pour la Photographie, Lille. 19th May 2022.

Quand les murs parlent ! l’Europe s’affiche à la Maison de l’Histoire européenne. Xavier Ess, RTBF, Brussels. 29th April 2022.

When Walls Talk! Posters- Promotion, Propaganda and Protest. Perikles Christodolou and Alexandre Mitchell, editors. House of European History, Brussels. April 2022. ISBN 978-92-846-8797-8

The Doomed Pursuit of Dignity: Artists as Property Guardians in and against Artwashing. Ana Vilenica, AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, Belgrade. September 2021.

An Examination of Artwashing in Changing Urban Communities. Who is to blame for artwashing and how can artists minimise their contribution to gentrification? Erin McIntosh, University of Lincoln. April 2021.

‘Soft Brutalism’: Layers of Meaning in the Barbican Estate. Talking Volumes. 13th March 2021.

The Artist-Led Condition: Reframing Self-Organisation in the Visual Arts in the UK Post-2007. James Paul Schofield, Liverpool John Moores University. September 2020.

Ephemeral Cinema Spaces. Stories of reinvention, resistance and community. Maria Vélez-Serna, Amsterdam University Press. 4th July 2020. ISBN: 9789462986541

From wrecked cars to catwalk: the fashion hothouse born in a row of lock-ups. Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian. 26th June 2020.

Brutal London: why does brutalism invoke such strong opinions? Charlie Thomas, Luxury London. 28th May 2020.

Exile in the Kingdom – with Rab Harling at Cable Depot. Paul Conneally, A-n. 10th November 2019.

Balfron 2.0: how Goldfinger’s utopian tower became luxury flats. Tim Burrows, The Guardian. 19th September 2019.

Working Class Heritage and the City. Gareth Millington & Andrew Wallace, Journal of Urban Cultural Studies. Volume 6. Issue 2-3. 1st September 2019.

Inside the tower block refurbished for luxury living. Judith Evans, Financial Times, London. 3rd May 2019.

Billboards as site of urban conflict. Advertising and subvertising in neoliberal London. Will Jennings. 22nd February 2019.

A brave new world. Angela Cobbinah, Camden New Journal. 15th February 2019.

The tower in fiction, film and life: the Architecture Diaries Part 4. Emily Sargent, Wellcome Collection. 14th February 2019.

Social Housing in Performance: the English Council Estate on and off Stage. Katie Beswick. Methuen Drama, York 2019. ISBN: 978-1474285216.

Three exhibitions to see in London this weekend. Aimee Dawson & José Da Silva, The Art Newspaper, 1st February 2019.

Exhibition explores the pivotal role of architecture and urban planning in human health. December 2018

Living with Buildings: the Wellcome Collection show on architecture and health is a real tonic. Vanessa Norwood, Architecture Today. November 2018.

Living with Buildings at Wellcome Collection. Matthew Lloyd Roberts, London Student. 21st November 2018.

Living Proof. Michael Boncza, Morning Star. 14th November 2018.

Top ten museum exhibitions in London. Time Out London editors. 6th November 2018.

‘Living With Buildings’: A Healthy Look at How Architecture Shapes Our Wellbeing. Charlotte Luxford, the Culture Trip. 5th November 2018.

Living with Buildings offers a welcome breakdown of the link between environment and wellbeing, especially in the post-Grenfell context. Pamela Buxton, RIBA Journal. 28th October 2018.

Living with Buildings: new Wellcome show looks at urban architecture and health. Juliet Dobson, British Medical Journal. BMJ 2018;363:k4235. 10th October 2018.

Five reasons not to miss ‘Living with Buildings’ at the Wellcome Collection. Rosemary Waugh, Time Out London. 10th October 2018.

Living with Buildings: The example of Finland’s Paimio. Herbert Wright, The Journal of Wild Culture. 7th October 2018

Living with Buildings review. Rosemary Waugh, Time Out London. October 2018

Wellcome Collection presents Living with Buildings, a major exhibition exploring the pivotal role of architecture and urban planning in human health. Wellcome Collection, London. 4th October 2018

Against Creativity. Oli Mould. Verso Books, London 2018. ISBN: 978-1-78663-649-2

Living with Buildings. Tank Magazine. Issue 76, Autumn 2018.

Creative Placemaking: Research, Theory and Practice. Cara Courage, Anita McKeown (eds.), Routledge 2018.

Campaigners and local residents are furious with a Labour council for ‘allowing social and ethnic cleansing’. Nye Jones, the Canary. 25th July 2018.

Meet the Fundraising Regulator – another public champion that doesn’t care about you. Christy Romer, Arts Professional. 21st June 2018.

A new documentary shows the harsh realities of regeneration in East London. Nye Jones, the Canary. 17th June 2018.

Artwashing and Gentrification. Stephen Pritchard, Bella Caledonia. 27th April 2018.

Performing Architectures: Projects, Practices, Pedagogies. Andrew Filmer, Juliet Rufford (editors). Methuen Drama, York 2018. ISBN: 1474247989

Gutsy, organised Londoners have learned to stop gentrification in its tracks – here’s how. Oli Mould, The Conversation. 1st March 2018.

Edge- Situated Practice in Art, Architecture and Urbanism. Stephen Pritchard, UCL / Here East, London. 7th October 2017.

Balfron Tower: The Artwash of an Icon. Urban Transcripts Journal. Vol. 1 No. 3, Autumn 2017 ISSN 2514-5339

Challenging the artwashing of social cleansing means calling out & critiquing artists involved. Stephen Pritchard, Colouring in Culture 2017.

Rethinking the role of artists in urban regeneration contexts. Stephen Pritchard, Colouring in Culture 2017.

Site and Situation: The Street. Wendy Charlton 2017.

Artists Against Artwashing: Anti-Gentrification & the Intangible Rise of the Social Capital Artist. Stephen Pritchard, Colouring in Culture 2017.

Artist squares up to Regulator over “manifestly unreasonable” fundraising investigation. Christy Romer, Arts Professional 2017.

Artwashing: Social Capital & Anti-Gentrification Activism. Stephen Pritchard, Colouring in Culture 2017.

Make public: performing public housing in Ernő Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower. David Roberts, Taylor & Francis 2017.

Diffusion Live- Interview. Diffusion International Photography Festival, Cardiff 2017.

Arts in Place: The Arts, the Urban and Social Practice. Cara Courage, Routledge 2017.

Urban Transcripts Journal. Vol. 1 No. 1, March 2017 ISSN 2514-5339.

If only Balfron Tower could talk, if only we could see – an ode those in social housing so cruelly dispossessed. Stephen Pritchard, Colouring in Culture 2016.

Are artists the shock troops of gentrification – or just another of its victims? Alastair Ball, CityMetric 2016.

Unguarded. Alli Shultes, Goldsmiths University of London 2016.

Interview with Iavor Lubomirov. Susie Pentelow, Traction Magazine 2016.

‘Teviot Tales – art washing? Hannah Nicklin, Poplar People. May 2016 (undated).

Art For? Framing the Conversation on Art and Social Change with Steven Hill. University of Alberta, Canada / ResearchGate 2016.

Social Cleansing: What Does Balfron Tower Mean To You?’. Mark Baynes, Love Wapping 2016.

Umelec Magazine. Edition 1-2016 ISSN 1212-9550.

Magazine F. Edition 20, 2016 ISSN 2287-1330.

Olympics 2012: Regeneration Legacy — Motion to Take Note. Lord Cashman of Limehouse, House of Lords, November 2015.


Rab Harling’s Tower Art and the Battle for Poplar. Ivan Meçl, Divus London 2015.

Closed House Weekend | Spitalfields Life. Paul Godfrey aka The Gentle Author, Design Exchange Magazine, 2015.

Balfron residents: ‘Privatising the tower will segregate the community’. Dr Vanessa Crawford, Architects Journal 2015.

Égbe emelt utcák, avagy a jóléti álom vége. Simon Bettina, Artmagazin Online 2015.

Fad Magazine. 28th June 2013.

Photographic Deconstruction. Michaela Freeman, State. 23rd June 2013.

Rise Art & Alisn present the Tower Hamlets Spring Open. Steven Nodot, Rise Art. 21st March 2012.

Turning Balfron Tower Inside Out. Juliette Golding, Litro NY. 10th August 2011.

Selected Artist talks, film screenings, academic & public engagements etc.

Exile in the Kingdom (film premiere, science talks & poetry performances). Cable Depot, London. 8th November 2019.

ACAVA Open Studio 2018. Limehouse Art Foundation, London. October 2018.

Hub 67, London (film screening & artists talk). Rainbow Collective. 13th June 2018.

The Battle of Chrisp Street (film premiere and artist talk). Focus E15, Sylvia’s Corner, London. 1st June 2018.

Building a Movement (film screening & artist talk). East End Film Festival, Rich Mix, London. 14th April 2018.

Social Housing, Social Cleansing (Interviewee, additional photography, co-producer). Velvet Joy Productions / Channel 5 Television, United Kingdom. First broadcast 28 March 2018.

Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle (Interviewee, additional photography, co-producer). Velvet Joy Productions. Participant on the q&a panel at: Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow – 24th June 2017 & Genesis, Tower Hamlets, London – 27th July 2017.

Building the Revolution. Diffusion 2017 Festival: Symposium (film screening & artists talk). Cardiff University. 5th May 2017.

ACAVA Open Studio 2016. Limehouse Art Foundation, London. November 2016.

Visualising London’s Housing Crisis: Problems & Solutions (film screening & panel debate). London School of Economics & Political Science. 12th July 2016.

New Perspectives on Researching Social Inequality (film screening & artists talk). North RTD / Kingston University / University of Cambridge. Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames. 5thFebruary 2016.

Ours or Theirs? Who Owns London? (panel debate). Camden Peoples Theatre in association with Londonist. 27th January 2016.

London’s Turning: The post-Olympic Legacy- Dream or Reality? (film screening & artists talk). Phil Cohen Works. University of East London. 24thOctober 2015.

Turning Balfron Tower Inside Out (film screening & artists talk). Centre for Social Justice & Inequality, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick. 10th July 2015.

Real Estates (film screening). Peer Gallery, London. 19th March 2015.

The Work of Art in the Age of Urban Cannibalism (film screening and artists talk). Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths University of London. 18th March 2015.

Methodologies of Making: Turning Balfron Tower Inside Out (film screening and artists talk). Centre for Cultural Studies. Goldsmiths University of London. 5th December 2014.

Inversion / Reflection: Turning Balfron Tower Inside Out (film screening and artists talk). Vertical Worlds. Royal Geographical Society, London. 28th August 2014.

Learning to Walk (panel member). Stadtkolloquium. UCL Slade Research Centre, University College London. 2nd May 2014.

Photographing Balfron Tower: The Ethics of Photographing and Filming on London Council Estates. Cities Methodologies 2014. UCL Slade Research Centre, University College London. 29th April 2014.

The Regeneration of the Brownfield Estate, Poplar (estate tour and artists talk). MSc Urban Studies with Dr Pushpa Arabindoo. University College London. September 2013.

Fine Art Photographers of Tomorrow (artists talk). Hampstead Photography Society, London. October 2009.

Selected Group Exhibitions

Architecture for Humanity. Adrem Dreamspace Gallery, London. London Festival of Architecture. June 2018.

Haloclines. Jessica Carlisle Gallery, London. December 2016

Summer Salon. Lubomirov / Angus-Hughes Centre for Contemporary Curation, London. July – August 2016

Open Salon. Lubomirov East, London. February – March 2015

Learning to Walk. UCL Slade Research Centre. University College London. April – May 2014.

Urban Transcripts. ICN Gallery, London. December 2012.

Tower Hamlets Spring Open 2012. Mile End Art Pavilion, London. March – April 2012.

Tower Hamlets Spring Open 2011. Mile End Art Pavilion, London. March – April 2011.

Reports from an Ordinary Satellite. Rhubarb Rhubarb Photography Festival. AE Harris, Birmingham. July-August 2010.

Reports from an Ordinary Satellite. Galerie der Fachhochschule, Bielefeld, Germany. February 2010.