Trinity Road Police Station bought and repurposed as a space for the community by the community.
Local and artist communities thriving together
Our plan is to create a mixed use artspace that is an asset to the community and artists of Bristol, in perpetuity.
Rather than looking to rent a space knowing that we could be evicted at any point. By buying a building we will be able to be a long term partner in the community, we can invest in the asset of the building and use it to bring financial resilience. It may be one cohort of artists now, and a completely different set of artists in 5-10 years time but the idea is that this is for artists, forever.
Bricks will create spaces to support and strengthen grassroots creative activity, including spaces to make work (in permanent and temporary studios), spaces to host exhibitions and events and places to meet and connect (including cafe and residency flat).
Bricks will address some of the immediately pressing issues and entrenched infrastructure needs of Bristol’s visual arts ecology including the lack of artists studio spaces that are insulated from development, lack of exhibition and event spaces for the artists and organisations of the city and lack of support for artists to achieve viable career as an artist. These needs are clearly identified by Arts Council’s 2018 Bristol Visual Arts Review report.
Bricks will have an active public programme built on two pillars:
Championing creatives based in Bristol, and,
Making projects that are with, for and of communities in the city.
Bricks public programme would be an amalgam of projects developed by Bristol’s artists and creatives.
We will support artists at all stages of career however there will be a special focus on supporting artistic potential in emerging talent and being a key step in the pipeline of an emerging to mid-career artist.
A Shared Resource
Bricks is a shared resource that strengthens building-less projects and positively affects the viability of hundreds of artists and organisations. Bricks would do the back of house work to support these projects through marketing, audience development, running the building etc. Helping to maximise the value that can be shared from these creative endeavours and tying it together in to a consistent offer for publics and allowing artists and curators to focus on producing great work.
Bricks would host a number of artist studio spaces both for individuals with studio practice but also communal and shared spaces, spaces for collectives and for small arts organisations and agencies. Some space would be commercialised at a higher rate for creative industries to drive higher income to org however there will be a cap on the percentage space allocation to this to ensure artists are at the heart of our offer and value creation and that this offer is open to all.
We are building a wider partnership with other arts providers across the city. By holding and running the building through a charity separate to any one tenant we allow space for the building’s ecology to change and develop over time, some collectives may move on to bigger spaces or move city or re form, while new artists and organisations take their space. This being an amorphous collection of creatives. We also anticipate converting some space to family sized artist flats so we can accommodate artists visiting Bristol, for our own and other organisations programmes, swapping these flats internationally with other organisations, feeding in to the artists ecology in Bristol by bringing fresh eyes to the city.
For Artists, Forever
By investing in Bricks we will be creating a mechanism of support for Bristol’s grassroots visual arts sector in perpetuity. This area of practice need infrastructure in order to be resilient from a changing funding landscape. Bricks will give a mechanism that artists can use so that projects are not starting from scratch each time. Pooling resources, sharing learning and having known assets that can then be leveraged in the delivery of projects.
Additionally we have designed an artist development programme which we would run from this Bricks, to enable artists to make the most of their creative talent.
A key outcome of this organisation is increased viability of being an artist / creative in Bristol. Our work will lead to more artists having more successful careers in this city.