Hamilton House on Stokes Croft is an iconic building with a great deal going on inside. The building contributes to the creative culture of Bristol in many ways. As well as housing a vast number of artists, designers and makers in the labyrinth of studios, Hamilton House also has a gallery, which is available for hire by artists from within the building and further afield. Exhibitions are open for the public to visit throughout the year.
The Hamilton House Gallery came into existence in 2012. It began life as a place to display art around the Reception Desk at the front of the building – and has been developing ever since. During this time, the Coexist Pop-Up Shop, which ran in the gallery space during the Christmas and summer season, has become a permanent fixture. The area around the Reception Desk has been split into a gallery and shop – and in January 2017 the gallery expanded into an area adjacent to the Reception Desk to provide an even bigger exhibition space, with the option to use either of the two available gallery spaces – or both.
The gallery is a large, light and airy space with white walls and a grey concrete floor, situated on the ground floor of Hamilton House opposite The Canteen, with easy access to Stokes Croft (including disabled access via a ramp). The whole gallery has a floor space of 53msq and a wall space of 21.4m, with a capacity of up to 50 people (Room 1 – Floor space: 21 msq, Wall space: 10.5m, capacity: up to 20 people, Room 2 – Floor space: 32 msq, Wall space: 10.9m, capacity: up to 30 people). The gallery space is available for hire on a weekly basis, at £275 per week (with a licensees/not for profit/charity discount rate of 25%) and Coexist takes 20% commission on all sales.
The Hamilton House Gallery is suitable for a range of different kinds of events and exhibitions. To date, the space has been used to show 2D and 3D visual art, performances and more. Exhibitors have not just come from within the building itself – they have also come from locations outside Hamilton House ranging from Bristol to New Zealand. The list of past exhibitors includes: Alex Lucas, The Misfits Theatre Company, Students from UWE and the University of Bristol, Borderland Refugees Centre, Asaro Collective, Second Look Bristol and CoResist.
Coexist, the organisation that runs Hamilton House, see the shop and gallery as important contributors to their community engagement mission. The gallery achieves this in at least two ways: by providing an affordable exhibition space for artists and by hosting exhibitions and events that explore creativity, health and wellbeing, community issues, charitable causes and other socially relevant issues. Events related to exhibitions, such as talks and workshops have also proved to be a great way to extend community engagement with artwork and creative projects. The shop is a fantastic showcase for the artists, designers and makers based in Hamilton House and independent creatives based outside of the building, in Bristol and surrounding areas. The ethos of the shop includes a commitment to supporting our local economy, educating about sustainable production and fair trade, and the importance of valuing skilled crafts.
A trip to Hamilton House can be a really enriching experience. You can visit an exhibition, look at the work on sale in the shop and then go and have a drink and some food in The Canteen. There is so much to see and – if you like what you see, you can buy a piece of art, or perhaps just a greetings card. Visit http://www.hamiltonhouse.org/events to find out what exhibitions and events are taking place in the gallery.
If you are interested in hiring the gallery for an exhibition or event, visit http://www.hamiltonhouse.org/gallery-space-hire-bristol/ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.