Announcing ONCA’s Ending

We are incredibly sad to announce that after 12 years, ONCA is closing down.

Since 2012, our gorgeous project has lived and thrived in Brighton, at both 14 St George’s Place and then for a period at the ONCA Barge in East Brighton. At ONCA’s heart there has always been the desire to inspire discourse, communication, and creative collaboration around environmental and social justice issues. We have worked with, and been supported by, so many incredible artists, projects, funders, and activists, and feel so very lucky to have been able to do such necessary work for more than a decade.  

After a lot of thoughtful consideration, we have taken the extremely difficult decision to close, not because this work is no longer needed – it is needed now more than ever – but as the years have gone by, the struggle to find funds has become ever more challenging. This is in part due to the shrinking funding pots available, the massive increase in competition for grants since the pandemic, and a broader social atmosphere in which the arts are devalued, despite the brave work of so many within the sector.

Sadly, these difficult models of funding often lead to competition rather than collaboration, making the processes within small non-profits a constant challenge. Although we are so very grateful to all our supporters, we believe that now is the right time to close our doors. Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Lankelly Chase Foundation, we will be able to close our project with care, allowing for a staggered end that will honour all the work ONCA has done over the years, our incredible staff and their immense contributions, and all the wonderful artists and communities connected to our project.

At the end of June, we will bring ONCA’s co-working space to an end, and the gallery programme will close as we enter 2025. This will enable us to honour commitments to our community programme, whilst also offering a vibrant end to our beloved gallery space – providing a rich series of exhibitions, which will include a legacy project, where we will revisit some of ONCA’s key themes, invite artists and practitioners to reflect on what endings mean in a transitional planetary phase, and offer our communities a thoughtful programme of workshops and engagement.

The news of ONCA’s closure will no doubt come as a shock, perhaps reflecting the changing landscape all around us. Over the coming months, we will hold community gatherings alongside our programme of exhibitions and activities, allowing us to sit with our trusted supporters to share ideas around how we grieve our ending and stay in community outside of the formal organising of ONCA.

We offer our heartfelt thanks to everybody who has been a part of the journey so far and encourage you all to stay with us as we wind down. We hope that ONCA’s spark will continue to spawn thinking, action and feeling through many people’s lives and work. 

If you’d like to get in touch with us, we’d love to hear from you, you can email .

“What if racism, colonialism, and all other forms of toxic, contagious divisions are preventable social diseases? 

What if the texts, education, and forms of organization we revere have carried and spread the disease, but also contain latent parts of the medicine that can heal it? 

What if learning to activate this medicine requires coming to terms with our violent histories (as painful as that may be); learning to see the world through the eyes of others (as impossible as that sounds); and facing humanity (in our own selves first) in its full complexity, affliction, and imperfection? 

What if the purging prompted by this medicine leads us to confront our traumas and learn to let go of fears of scarcity, loneliness, worthlessness, guilt, and shame? 

What if we must learn to trust each other without guarantees? 

What if the motivation to survive alongside one another in a finite planet in dynamic balance (without written agreements, coercive enforcements, or assurances) will come through being taught collectively by the disease itself? 

What if collective healing will be made possible precisely by facing – together – the end of the world as we know it?”

(from “Hospicing Modernity: Facing Humanity’s Wrongs and the Implications for Social Activism” by Vanessa Machado De Oliveira)

Image from Creative Commons, care of US Fish & Wildlife Service.