By now, you may have noticed that there has been a significant reduction in activity on this site in the last 12 months. Creative Bristol was a project that I set up in January 2013 – an experiment, which ended up being bigger and more successful than I could have imagined. It is a website, Facebook page and Twitter account, run by one person – me. It’s aim was to share the creative culture of Bristol and let people know how they could get involved – by taking classes, visiting galleries or buying the work of the many creatives in the city.
I am an artist and since 2013 I have been lucky enough to work on my own art and make significant progress with my work. This was made possible because I became one of the community based at Hamilton House on Stokes Croft. I worked in my little studio, surrounded by like minded people who became my friends.
In the last 18 months the future of Hamilton House has been thrown into doubt. Tomorrow, the people whose time and passion made Hamilton House possible (Coexist CIC) will leave the building, after being given 24 hours notice. We knew that this was coming but it is still a very sad day.
The constant uncertainty about the future of the building really affected my ability to make art. I made the difficult decision to give up my studio at the end of September – partly because I did not want to stay in the building after my friends had been forced out, and partly because I have become involved in another project that does not involve art.
This project is taking up a lot of my time and, exactly 10 years after I began my current creative journey, I have decided to take a break from making art.
I would still like to continue with the Creative Bristol project and hope to increase the amount of time that I can spend sharing Bristol’s creative culture in 2019. So – apologies for the lack of activity this year.
Ironically, some of what has been happening to me and my friends is a consequence of how successful Bristol has been at showing the world its creative side. Gentrification is an issue that will always threaten creative spaces, but I know how adaptable we are, and new spaces will develop in the future. It is the creativity that we have that will allow us to find a way forward.