Last April, some Bristolian friends of mine took me to Spike Island. I've been to Bristol a fair few times but didn't have a clue about this place. What used to be the home of the Brooke Bond Tea Company now houses over 70 studios for artists, writers, and sculptures and while there are often exhibitions, workshops, and courses on offer once a year, they open up their studios to the public.
This creative hub is based on Bristol’s historic harbourside and one day last spring, we hopped on a boat from Bristol city centre to see what it had in store for us.
When we visited, the majority of the studios were open for the public to wander in and take a look around.
In one particular studio, there was an exhibition with Brooke Bond Tea as the theme. Back in the day, when the building was a tea factory, it was tradition to make a wedding dress from tea bags for any young bride-to-be to wear on her last working shift.
Some of the studios offered a more interactive experience where you could chat with the artist and create your own piece of art to take home.
In addition, when we visited there were a couple of great cafes serving lovely homemade cakes and drinks. Then upstairs, more exhibitions, and art for sale:
Overall, this is more than just studio space. There’s a real sense of community here. If you get the chance, go and visit. The website lists all of the forthcoming exhibitions.
133 Cumberland Road, Bristol, BS1 6UX, UK