Arts West Side Open Evening


Location: BRISTOL


SPACE, 6 West Street, Bristol, BS2 0BH

A little while ago I was part of a studio space located in The Island. Sadly I had to let it go, but I made a lot of connections and kept in touch with the people who run the building. I put up a post about looking for people to write about on The Spiralling, and they got in touch with me to talk about their other venue which is called SPACE.

Located on Old Market, SPACE aims to create a hub for the local community where creative folk can showcase their work and share ideas. I managed to catch up with Claire who is the Project Coordinator of SPACE. “I am currently completing my placement for my masters degree, in Cultural Events Management, which is how I found myself in the role. I approached The Island for my placement module as I was aware of the fabulous stream of events, workshops and resident artists they host. Dina Ntziora (Project Manager of The Island) welcomed me with smiles and tea!”

A piece in Jono Boyle’s upcoming sale

SPACE is a joint project between the Trinity and The Island. “At SPACE we aim to offer people the opportunity to exhibit/perform/rehearse and develop their art form, whilst providing a venue for the public to enjoy as well. We aim to facilitate the ‘artist’ as much as possible and we do this by giving access to SPACE and supporting what they produce. Being able to give them the chance to do as they wish in a building open to the community is incredible, and often the results of what they do are totally unpredictable. It offers the artist/performer/pop-up shop manager to get feedback and a conversation started with audiences.” 


Black Van Publishing Launch Night Poster

SPACE’s greatest achievement to date consists of supporting all of the people that have created shows and used SPACE. “Seeing local artists use the SPACE and then continue their journey of development and achieve their aims is fabulous. A highlight for us was Claudio Ahlers residency – he invited the public and the community of Old Market to have two portraits taken. Seeing the project take off and be a success was a delight.” For Claire one of her favourite things is getting to meet the artists and performers. “I love listening to them explain about their practice and how they create work. Fairly recently Sara Zaltash was in residence and she launched the planning of her journey. Next March she will begin her walk from Kemble to Iran. Inspiring right?!”

The future of SPACE was unsure until recently. “The building was under threat from the property department of the council and there was a risk that it was going to close. In order to overcome this SPACE needed 3,500 signatures on their petition to help save the building. It was saved with the help of the public! With thanks to The Island, Trinity Centre BCC and all those involved we are now pleased that we will be staying until March 2018. As an arts organisation, we are worried that smaller more intimate places such as these may not exist in the near future, it’s sad as they add to the magic of Bristol as a city.”


An event not to miss from The Red Rash Collective

Coming up very shortly at SPACE is the Black Van Publishing Launch Event taking place on the 12th of October between 6pm – 11pm. “The new independent publishing house will open and the debut of their first two photo-books will be available. Following that we have Jono Boyle’s art sale. As he is moving studio he wants to create some space and sell ready to fund his new body of work. This will be taking place over the weekend of the 14th to the 16th. Immediately after we have The Red Rash Retrospective from the 17th – 23rd. They are inviting everyone to indulge in performance, an exhibition, talks, a fashion show and market stalls. Lots coming up, October is busy busy – watch this SPACE.” To see their full line-up of events please click here.

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