Opening hours Gallery closed until 24 May 2024

Open Studios 2024

Open Studios 2024

Spike Open Studios 2023. Photograph by Dan Weill

Information

Information

Spike Island is pleased to present Open Studios 2024, our hugely popular annual event offering free behind-the-scenes access to our 80,000-square-foot arts space.

From 3—5 May, fans of art, culture and design are invited to see the expansive network of artist studios, galleries, and creative businesses that inhabit the former tea-packing factory, as well as the working studios of UWE Fine Arts programmes and award-winning Spike Print Studio, the largest open-access print studio in the South West.

Beginning Friday 3 May (6—9pm), visitors are free to explore Spike Island, an integral part of the South West’s cultural ecosystem and one of the UK’s largest spaces for contemporary art. With much of the building closed to the public during the rest of the year, this is a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in its community, learn about your favourite creative practices – from graphic design to sculpture, see works-in-progress, and even buy original pieces from both emerging and established talent.

Additionally, a variety of Bristol-based street-food vendors will be situated across the site to fuel your Open Studios visit, including festival favourites Small Fire Pizza, Houria, 91 Ways, Cibomatto and Bosh. Spike Island’s ever-popular on-site Emmeline café will have a selection of colourful salads, their famous mega toasties, and tasty cocktails and coffees all weekend.

View the full programme

  • FRIDAY 3 MAY

    BAR: PERCEIVED – A NOT SO DISTANT REALITY
    6–9pm, UWE BA Fine Art Studios
    Centred around a bar, UWE BA Fine Art students create a space of heightened surveillance and intrusion, livestreaming everything on CCTV. Curated by Sophie Cridland, Matt Harrison, George Lawrence, Martha Lawrence.

    PERFORMANCE: Non Contact Sports
    6–6.45pm, UWE Fine Art Studios
    A LARP (Live Action Role Play) performance by UWE BA Fine Art student Ewan Mitchell and associates.

    PERFORMANCE: PAULINE LOTTI MÜLLER AND MAYA ALBAGALOO
    6.30–6.45pm, Associates Space
    A performance by UWE BA Fine Art students Pauline Lotti Müller and Maya Albagaloo, exploring time travel as a mode for connection and friendship.

    PERFORMANCE: A1 VANGUARD
    7–7.30pm, Associates Space
    A series of short films and spoken word performances by UWE BA Fine Art student A1 Vanguard, encapsulating the multi-dimensional upbringing of the character Matanmioluwa (God please don’t deceive me), as they navigate the complexities of societal expectations.

    PERFORMANCE: TECHNICOLOUR PSYCHEDELIC CIRCUS FRANKLY BIZARRE ANTI-FASHION SHOW
    7.30–7.45pm, UWE BA Fine Art Studios
    Costumes, performances, art works, sculptures and sound pieces come together for this unique fashion show curated by Lily Strong.

    PERFORMANCE: AÉR
    7.45–8.15pm, Associates Space
    aér is an asynchronous audio-visual performance exploring transcendent experiences. It aims to induce meditative states through ambient music, motion graphics, and improvised performances. Performed by Mamoru Watanabe and devised and composed in collaboration with Kohei Kamoto.

    PERFORMANCE: SEA SLUG
    8.30–8-45pm, Associates Space
    A collaborative performance by UWE BA Fine Art students exploring the sensory experience of an imagined sea slug, featuring sound by Maeve Clenaghan, soft sculpture by Lily Strong, and movement by Sharkey Elliot.

    Please note: Entry to the preview is free, but booking is advised.
    Book your place for the preview

  • SATURDAY 4 MAY

    KIDS WORKSHOP: DREAM AND MAKE
    11am–1pm, Associates Space
    Laura Phillimore leads a drop-in session of discovery based, creative activities for children aged 5-11.

    DROP-IN CONVERSATIONS: STUDYING FINE ART
    11am–1pm, UWE MA Fine Art Studios
    Chat to Senior Lecturer Steven Paige about UWE Bristol’s MA Fine Art Programme.

    DEMONSTRATION: EX LIBRIS
    11.30am–1pm, Spike Print Studio
    Printmaker Ivana Svabic-Cannon leads a lino cut ‘Ex Libris’ demonstration, showing the process of making a bookplate from drawing, to block, to paper.

    EXTENDED SOUND PIECE: ESTHER HESKETH AND LILY FRANCES (Ages 18+)
    12–12.20pm, Studio 19c
    Artists Esther Hesketh and Lily Frances share a series of experimental sound pieces through a group listening experience. Limited capacity.

    IN CONVERSATION: OLU OGUNNAIKE AND CÉDRIC FAUQ
    1–2pm, Gallery 2
    Join artist Olu Ogunnaike as he discusses the themes of his solo exhibition Fix Your Face with curator Cédric Fauq. Free, booking required.

    VIRTUAL REALITY: THE MUSEUMS OF HAUNTOLOGY (Ages 12+)
    1–3pm, Loading Bay
    The Museums of Hauntology is a Virtual Reality environment created by artist Stephen Gray under the pseudonym ‘The Electricity Board’. In the Museum you’ll find fragments of a lost future, you’ll be transported from an abandoned Polar research base to a living room in Enfield, featuring original music and digital installations.

    COLLAGE WORKSHOP: COMFY CLUB (Ages 12+)
    1.30–3pm, Associates Space
    Comfy Club collective host a collage workshop where participants can reimagine their childhood bedroom, exploring nostalgia and memory.

    DEMONSTRATION: TWO-COLOUR SILKSCREEN PRINTING
    1.30–3pm, Spike Print Studio
    Printmaker Alex Higlett leads a live silkscreen printing demonstration, showing how a two-layer print is made. Pick colours and have one printed to order, or pull your own.

    PERFORMANCE: ._.
    2–2.15pm, UWE BA Fine Art Studios
    A performance by UWE BA Fine Art students Pauline Lotti Müller and Maya Albagaloo, exploring time travel as a mode for connection and friendship.

    TALK: BFI NETWORK SOUTH WEST AND WATERSHED
    2–3pm, Commissioning Bay
    A discussion with curators, artists and filmmakers exploring what is meant by ‘narrative’ and ‘process’ in filmmaking.

    SCREENINGS: CLAUDIA PILSL AND JO LATHWOOD
    3.30–4.30pm, Associates Space
    Screenings of moving image work, What does it mean to be an artist? (2024) by Claudia Pilsl and The Belief in Things Disappearing (2023) by Jo Lathwood.

    SCREENINGS: BFI NETWORK SOUTH WEST AND WATERSHED
    Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 May, Commissioning Bay
    A screening of short films organised by BFI NETWORK South West and Watershed. The programme features moving image works that take creative risks and bring experimentation and process into the narrative. The screening includes early work from Bait director Mark Jenkin, works from BFI Doc Society and BEEF member and Spike Island studio holder Vicky Smith.

  • SUNDAY 5 MAY

    KIDS WORKSHOP: DREAM AND MAKE (Ages 5-11)
    11am–1pm, Associates Space
    Laura Phillimore leads a drop-in session of discovery based, creative activities for children.

    DROP-IN CONVERSATIONS: STUDYING FINE ART
    11am–1pm, UWE MA Fine Art Studios
    Chat to Senior Lecturer Steven Paige about UWE Bristol’s MA Fine Art Programme.

    WORKSHOP: SCREEN-PRINTING
    11am–2pm, Outside Studio 108.2
    Artist Cliff Andrade holds a drop-in screen-printing session. Combine pre-prepared stencils and colours to create your own unique print.

    DEMONSTRATION: TOTE BAG PRINTING
    11.30am–1pm, Spike Print Studio
    Printmaker Emma Studd leads a live demonstration of screen-printing with tote bags.

    EXTENDED SOUND PIECE: ESTHER HESKETH AND LILY FRANCES (Ages 18+)
    12–12.20pm, Studio 19c
    Artists Esther Hesketh and Lily Frances share a series of experimental sound pieces through a group listening experience. Limited capacity.

    PERFORMANCE: The Future of Art
    1–1.20pm, UWE BA Fine Art Studios
    An improvised performance by BA Fine Art student Maeve Clenaghan, exploring the idea of play by creating live music through voice, recording, and pots and pans.

    VIRTUAL REALITY: THE MUSEUMS OF HAUNTOLOGY (Ages 12+)
    1–3pm, Loading Bay
    The Museums of Hauntology is a Virtual Reality environment created by artist Stephen Gray under the pseudonym ‘The Electricity Board’. In the Museum you’ll find fragments of a lost future, you’ll be transported from an abandoned Polar research base to a living room in Enfield, featuring original music and digital installations.

    WORKSHOP: SPECULATIVE MATERIAL FUTURES (Ages 16+)
    1.30–3pm, Associates Space
    Steph Tudor and Charlie Taylor lead a hands-on workshop exploring the ecological impact of materials, by investigating what can be made from a limited pool of resources in a zero-carbon future

    DEMONSTRATION: LETTERPRESS PRINTING
    1.30–3pm, Spike Print Studio
    Printmaker Fiona Hamilton leads a letterpress printing demonstration using a hand operated Adana press.

    SCREENINGS: THE SPACE BETWEEN
    3.30–4.30pm, Associates Space
    Screenings of moving image work by UWE Bristol BA and MA Fine Art students, selected by Tina Salvidge (MA) and Beth Towers (BA).

    SCREENINGS: BFI NETWORK SOUTH WEST AND WATERSHED
    Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 May, Commissioning Bay
    A screening of short films organised by BFI NETWORK South West and Watershed. The programme features moving image works that take creative risks and bring experimentation and process into the narrative. The screening includes early work from Bait director Mark Jenkin, works from BFI Doc Society and BEEF member and Spike Island studio holder Vicky Smith.

  • ALL WEEKEND

    UWE BA FINE ART: EXHIBITIONS, PROJECT SPACES, BAR AND PERFORMANCE
    UWE BA Fine Art studios
    UWE BA Fine Art students present a weekend of curated exhibitions, screenings and performances including an Andy Warhol-inspired Silver Studios environment and exhibitions on 21st Century iconoclasm and fantastical lands far far away. Also featuring ‘Perceived’ – a specially designed bar of heightened surveillance and intrusion for opening night.

    UWE MA FINE ART: SCAPES
    UWE MA Fine Art studios
    UWE MA Fine Art students present a curated exhibition, across three interlinking spaces: ROOM/LOBBY/HALLWAY, adjacent to the Fine Art studios. The works respond in kind to the idea of Scapes through video, painting, sculpture, sound and soap.

    SOUND INSTALLATION: YOU THERE
    First Floor stairwell
    A site-specific sound installation by artist Alice Sheppard Fidler, exploring the boundaries between sculpture, sound and language.

    SHOWCASE: SHOP / TOM HODGKINSON
    Unit 113
    Shop is a boutique motion design studio founded by Neil Harris and Tom Hodgkinson, focusing on creating content for high-profile music and broadcast events. Co-founder and artist Tom Hodgkinson will show recent collage work in the studio, alongside a showreel of productions by Shop.

    INSTALLATION: THE CORRIDOR SALON
    THE CORRIDOR
    Join Spike Island studio artists in the Salon to discuss and peruse the wide range of work made in the studios, with select pieces available to purchase.

    INSTALLATION: JO LATHWOOD
    Opposite studio 38
    A series of three large drawings depicting ladders by artist Jo Lathwood, made from scavenged waste paper and homemade Oak Gall ink collected from trees in the artist’s local woodland.

    INSTALLATION: SPIKE ISLAND WORKSPACE
    Outside Spike Island Workspace
    A showcase of work made by the creative residents in Spike Island Workspace.