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About

About

Alex Cecchetti, Singing Chandelier (2018) 1000 unique blown glass pieces, waterphone, iron structure. Installation view: At the Gates of the Music Palace, Spike Island, Bristol. Photograph by Lisa Whiting

Spike Island is more than just a building; we’re a public space where people can discover and connect with art, feel inspired, and learn something new or unexpected.

We celebrate the very best of international contemporary art in our museum-scale gallery spaces, while also supporting artists to develop, produce and present innovative work throughout their careers.

We want to make Bristol a great place to see and make art. That’s why Spike Island provides a home to a community of over 70 artists, designers, makers, artist-led organisations and creative businesses, right in the heart of the city.

Sriwhana Spong Ida-Ida (2019) Performance still, Uniform art collective, Spike Island, Bristol. Photograph by Max McClure
Sriwhana Spong Ida-Ida (2019) Performance still, Uniform art collective, Spike Island, Bristol. Photograph by Max McClure

We produce and present commissions, exhibitions and events

Every year, Spike Island brings artists from all over the world to our museum-sized gallery spaces. We champion new and exciting work that we believe in, and support artists at all stages of their careers.

We want to provide an opportunity for emerging and established artists to create new work that they otherwise may not be able to make. In many cases, Spike Island offers an emerging artist their first major UK solo exhibition. At other times, we support more established artists to make work that is of crucial importance to their progression.

Patrick Staff, The Foundation (2015) Co-commissioned by Spike Island and Chisenhale Gallery, London. Installation view at Spike Island. Photograph by Stuart Whipps
Patrick Staff, The Foundation (2015) Co-commissioned by Spike Island and Chisenhale Gallery, London. Installation view at Spike Island. Photograph by Stuart Whipps

We aim to be a place where artists from all backgrounds can develop and collaborate. Spike Island is where artists are inspired to be productive, to take their career onto the next level, and to challenge our own thinking about contemporary art.

Alongside our gallery programme, we run a series of events to deepen your engagement with the art on display. These include gallery tours, artist talks, and creative workshops.

We also bring writers, thinkers and filmmakers to Spike Island, so you can connect with all forms of art and culture.

We are a community

Spike Island’s founders were determined to create a community of artists, and support artists to stay in Bristol.

Our affordable artists’ studios continue that vision.

Spike Island is one of Europe’s largest studio complexes. We are home to over 70 artists, over 35 creative businesses, over 160 Associates, and hundreds of MA/BA Fine Art students of UWE Bristol. Our community is built to support artists to develop their careers, gain new knowledge, and grow their networks.

That includes our volunteers. Not only do they help us inspire and inform our visitors, but we support them to build their networks and develop new skills.

We are a vital part of the wider Bristol community — making Spike Island a great place to visit, and a great place to make art.

Conway and Young's studio (2017) Photograph by Lisa Whiting

We help artists and organisations to develop, produce and present artwork and exhibitions

From affordable studio space to specialist equipment hire, Spike Island is a place to make and produce art and exhibitions.

Because we have our own Technical and Exhibition Services teams, we can offer hands-on, practical support — helping artists and organisations to access specialist equipment, produce new work, or install an exhibition.

Our services cover everything from high-end projectors to kilns. Our Technical team work with commissioned artists to fabricate new work on site, meaning that many of our exhibitions are constructed within our gallery spaces.

We also offer competitively-priced audio-visual equipment hire, so that artists and organisations can access the technology and expertise they need to present their work to the highest possible standard.

“As an art loving parent it’s easy to feel like you’re only supposed to enjoy an art space despite of your children but Spike Island is a place where we’re encouraged to enjoy it together. ” – Fran, Bristol Arts Monster

“Spike Island is an amazing place not just for the artists who make it home, but for the wider community that it serves so well. ” – Martin Evans, BBC Radio Bristol

“Spike Island is an incredibly supportive space for emerging artists like myself.” – Sian Norris, writer

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