Bobby Baker’s Daily Life…

The ever talent Bobby Baker has launched her new site which you can check out HERE.

Also keep your eyes out for Bobby’s diary sketches one of which she has kindly donated to our ONE IN FOUR auction later this summer!!

Tight Modern comes to Gillett Square

We are very please to annouce that we are working in partnership with Creative Futures to deliver this years Tight Modern….

The Tight Modern is a miniature replica of London’s iconic Tate Modern Gallery and showcases 50 disabled and marginalised artists in the world’s smallest temporary gallery.

Tight Modern is touring the country and touching down in Gillett Square in October as part of Hackney’s annual celebrations for World Mental Health Day Sunday 14th October.

If you are interested in submitting work please follow the link HERE

Its a little bit strange at Studio Upstairs Bristol

Normally at this time of the year we would be running around making last minute touches to our annual Open Studio Exhibition…but not this year.

This year thanks to some funding from Arts Council South West we are moving our annual show to the autumn as part of Drawing Through. If you follow us on Facebook and Twitter you will undoubtedly have heard about this already so forgive me if this is old hat:

Drawing Through is a project that sees Studio Upstairs Bristol collaborating with artist Alice Jones and curator Jack Gibbon of Antlers Gallery. It will culminate in three – yes that’s right THREE – shows later this year in venues throughout Bristol. Our annual Open Studio will of course remain at our Studio space in Bristol’s Harbourside but the other shows will be in town and high profile!

So if you are getting your walking boots ready to tackle the  behemoth that is Spike Island’s Open Studios then remember that this year we are not exhibiting. Instead we are planning and plotting our next show! Watch this space to find out more as we confirm dates and venues over the coming weeks.

Celebrating Studio Upstairs at The Royal Academy of Arts

On Friday 20th July 2012 we are delighted to be hosting an evening of celebration and a silent auction at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, to raise awareness that ONE IN FOUR adults in the UK suffers mental health problems at some time in their life. All proceeds raised will go towards supporting the work that we do in both London and Bristol.

We are now looking for artworks to be donated to the auction from the UK’s most promising artists of 2012, and that could be you!

Bristol based artist Anthony Garratt has already donated a piece to the auction alongside Rob Ryan  and Dan Baldwin.

Auction pieces  will be uploaded to the Studio Upstairs website for bidding to commence online from the 12th of July.

The event will be tied in with an evening at the Summer Exhibition, which is the Royal Academy’s busiest time of year. Artists work will be displayed in the Royal Academy, and of course its all for a good cause! Works will feature on the Studio Upstairs website, in the catalogue for the event and be exposed to art collectors.

You may submit 2D or 3D work. 2D work must be no bigger than 1m x 1m and 3D work no larger than 50cm squared.

Works selected to take part in the event will be notified by email and need to be delivered to Studio Upstairs London Unit E3, 3 Bradbury Street, London N16 8JN by MONDAY 25th JUNE.

Quartet Community Foundation support Studio Upstairs Bristol

Quartet Community Foundation supporting Studio Upstairs Bristol

This morning’s post has brought with it an offer of funding from Quartet Community Foundation and Sport relief Community Cash Grants Programme. The foundation who have supported our exhibitions in the past is now supporting Drawing Through, adding to the funds already secured from Arts Council England and The Tedworth Charitable Trust.

We are delighted that this project is shaping up so well! Watch this space for news about Drawing Through.

Artist and Curator announced for Arts Council Funded project

Bristol based charity Studio Upstairs has recently been awarded funding from Arts Council South West to stage a year-long arts project called Drawing Through. Today they announced that they have appointed local artist Alice Jones to work on the project alongside Jack Gibbon of Antlers Gallery in Bristol.

Studio Upstairs is an artist’s studio that supports adults suffering from mental health issues and those in drug and alcohol recovery. The Drawing Through project will involve Alice and Jack working alongside the 50 members who attend Studio Upstairs. Over the next few months Alice, Jack and the team at Studio Upstairs will arrange workshops, gallery visits and artist talks as well as encouraging the members to look at different ways to create art. The project will culminate in three exhibitions later this year, which will include work from the Studio’s life drawing class and writers group.

Alice Jones is an Artist and Illustrator specialising in pencil based drawing. In 2010 she received the Emerging Artist Award at The Royal West of England Academy autumn exhibition.  She studies the themes of people and landscape and is currently developing a new body of work. Of her appointment as lead artist for Drawing Through she said: ‘Studio Upstairs promotes a great place for members to express themselves creatively within a supportive community. It is a wonderful opportunity to be the Lead Artist of Studio Upstairs’ Drawing Through project in Bristol. I cannot wait to see what the members have been working on and sharing my own practice with them.’

Jack Gibbon, Director of Antlers Gallery in Bristol is going to be curating the three exhibitions later this year. “I am very excited to be working on ‘Drawing Through’ with Studio Upstairs and Alice Jones. You can tell straight away from Alice’s work that she has a deep understanding of drawing processes. I can imagine this will provide a great source of inspiration to the studio members.”

This is the first time that Studio Upstairs has received funding from the Arts Council and follows a year of intense fundraising under the leadership of Director Zlatinka Hristova who took over in February 2011. “This funding really goes to show the high quality of artwork that is produced at Studio Upstairs. We are very pleased to be able to run the project and showcase the great work of both our artists and of Alice Jones and Jack Gibbon. ”


2011 Bristol Open Studio Exhibition


Preview 29th April 6-8pm. Everyone welcome

30th April – 2nd May open daily from 11am – 5pm. Free Admission


Studio Upstairs, Units 1&2 Albion Dockside Estate, Hanover Place, Bristol, BS1 6UT


Studio Upstairs, a thriving artists’ community based in Bristol’s Harbourside, is opening its doors to the public this May Day Bank Holiday weekend. Now in it’s twelfth year this annual show promises to be bigger than ever. The exhibition presents a rich variety of work by fifty emerging and established artists, including media as diverse as painting, drawing, sculpture, music and creative writing.

Arranged in conjunction with the Spike Island Open Studios, this is the largest annual showcase of work by Studio artists and for many this is their first exhibition in a public gallery space. Most of the works on display are for sale making this a great opportunity to buy an original piece of artwork at an affordable price. The preview on 29th April is the first opportunity to see and buy the work and is open to everyone.

For Rachel Starkie an artist at Studio Upstairs this exhibition is an important opportunity to show her work “Being shown at the Open Studio Exhibition is a great chance for my work to be seen. Exhibiting in last year’s Exhibition gave me the confidence to take part in a show at The Grant Bradley Gallery with other Studio Upstairs artists earlier this year.”

Recent events organised by Studio Upstairs’ artists include ‘Breaking Through the Barrier’ at The Grant Bradley Gallery and a live musical accompaniment to a pedal powered screening of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis at the Cube Cinema.

This exhibition comes at a time of exciting change for Studio Upstairs after the appointment of new Director Zlatinka Hristova earlier this year. In spite of the continuing funding challenges that this small charity faces, the quality of the work created by Studio artists makes it a force to be reckoned with in the Bristol arts community.

As well as the exhibition, the weekend includes a musical improvisation session open to everyone on Saturday 30th April from 12-2pm and an afternoon of poetry, tea and cake on Sunday 1st May from 3-4pm. Admission to the exhibition and to all events throughout the weekend is free.

Studio Upstairs Receives Arts Council Funding

We have been awarded funding from Arts Council South West towards a year long arts project.

Drawing Through will be a project looking at the importance of drawing and in particular focusing on the role that creating artwork has on the healing process. This project will involve all members of Studio Upstairs and will culminate in three exhibitions over 2012.

For the last eleven years the Studio has been providing support to adults from around the South West. Studio Members hold regular exhibitions in and around Bristol and the funding from Arts Council will allow the members to widen their experience and exhibit to a wider audience. This is the first time that the charity has received Arts Council backing.

The Studio team is currently in discussion with artists and curators from around the UK to participate in this project, which will start early next year.

Zlatinka Hristova Director of Studio Upstairs said of the award: “We are delighted to receive this support from Arts Council England which is also a recognition of the quality of our work. The service that we provide is vital as it builds peoples creative and life skills through membership of the Studio community. Our community is unique in offering its members the opportunity to develop as artists in a safe and accepting environment where they are supported by  dedicated and well qualified team”.

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Studio Upstairs Awarded £6,000 From Natwest Communityforce

We are delighted to announce that NatWest CommunityForce have awarded us just over £6000. The money, which was awarded to the three projects in each area with the most public votes, will go directly towards the core costs of running the Studio.

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or if you receive our newsletter you will undoubtedly have seen the messages in September asking for your votes. Our office team spent countless hours reminding friends and family to register their votes in support of Studio Upstairs and it really paid off!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to vote. This really is proof of the power of social media and confirmation that it really can be used to generate much needed funding.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and views from Studio Upstairs.

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Three Year Grant From Lankelly Chase

We received news today that The Lankelly Chase Foundation has awarded Studio Upstairs a three year grant. The Foundation, which is an independent charitable funder, has offered to support our core costs over three years which will mean that we are able to continue to offer our life saving service to members in Bristol and the surrounding areas. Watch this space for news on how this money will be used and how it will strengthen our service.

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Studio Upstairs Needs Your Help

We need your help when voting starts on 26th September for NatWest CommunityForce Awards. The charity is in the running for £6,000 award which will be given to the three charities who receive the most votes in the Bristol area.

Studio Upstairs provides a vital lifeline for artists experiencing mental distress and has been doing so for over 11 years.  The problems range from anxiety, depression and addictions to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The charity offers a safe creative space for artists to develop their skills and receive therapeutic support at the time of need.

Natwest CommunityForce is a new initiative which sees the bank working with local communities to support the people, projects and charities that make a real difference to their communities. Charities and projects throughout the UK have been applying to be in with a chance of winning an award. In September everyone will be able to vote for their favourite projects. The three projects with the most votes in each CommunityForce area will win the awards. Simple!

Studio Upstairs, like many other charities, is feeling the squeeze of local government cuts and changes to the way that health care is funded. The money from NatWest CommunityForce will go directly towards the running of the Studio and is enough to fund 5 new members to attend the Studio for a year and gain access to this important resource.

“Studio Upstairs is the foundation stone of my life that helps to keep me safe, stable and sane.” Anonymous member 

”Studio Upstairs has been the most meaningful intervention in my mental health support that I can remember” Anonymous member

Please remember the voting starts on 26th September and help Studio Upstairs win the award!

You can view the Studio Upstairs profile at


Monday, September 19th, 2011

New Writers Group Leader Starts Tomorrow

We are delighted that our new Writers Group leader Amy Mason is starting at the Studio tomorrow. Amy is a writer and writing tutor and is currently in residence at Spike Island. We are really excited about the work the Amy is going to do with our writers. Watch this space for more performances in the coming months.

 Friday, July 8th, 2011

Studio Takes Part In Leading Philosophy Festival

We are happy to announce that one of our Art Therapists, Livy Powell is taking part in a discussion as part of How The Light Gets In, the Philosophy and Music Festival held in Hay on Wye at the end of this month.

Livy will be in discussion with David Maclagen on Tuesday 31st May when they will be exploring the concept of ‘outsider art’ and whether this label actually does more harm than good.

For more information and to book ticketsclick here

Friday, May 6th, 2011