Spike Associates is a membership network of artists, writers, curators, designers and other creative practitioners. Built on a culture of collaboration and experimentation, the group offers a dynamic context for the development of individual practices by facilitating new connections, hosting critical discussions and supporting ambitious projects.
The Associates programme of activities is shaped by members and includes regular trips, critiques, projects and events. Associates have recently travelled together to the Venice and Istanbul biennials and to British Art Show 7 in Plymouth. Members gather at regular peer critique sessions to share their work and are invited to suggest curators, artists and academics to invite for talks and one on one studio visits. Recent visitors have included Jan Verwoert, Sally O’Reilly, Adam Szymczyk, Mark Fisher and Ruth Proctor.
Professional development is offered through practical workshops on topics such as taxes and social media, panel discussions on career paths in the arts, and access to the advice and expertise of Spike Island staff and other advisors. Spike Associates support members’ practices through travel and project bursaries, opportunities for exhibiting and curating, and strong ties to other artist-led groups across the country such as Extra Special People in Birmingham and S1 Artspace in Sheffield. The network has helped a number of artist and curatorial groups to realise projects in Bristol, including Bristol Diving School and Central-Reservation.
The shared Associates space is a flexible venue that is ideal for working, holding meetings or hosting events. It is home to a comprehensive reference library, notice board and IT facilities.
“I’ve found valued ‘critical friends’ amongst the Associate membership... I’ve appreciated these opportunities to test out ideas and experience new work with an engaged and supportive group of artists.”
artist Clare Thornton