In celebration of our 20th anniversary in Bristol, Studio Upstairs will be opening the doors of our Bristol studio in May. We will be holding an exhibition that showcases our Bristol artists and celebrates our 20 year journey in the city.
We started our journey in Bristol in Spike Island, where we were based until 2005 when we moved a short distance away to our current home by the harbour’s edge. We’re proud to have their continued support and our 20th anniversary exhibition will coincide with Spike Island Open Studios.
The exhibition will open on the evening of Thursday 7th May and remain open for the May bank holiday weekend.
“Cos every little thing is gonna be alright”. The cheerful and reassuring message of Bob Marley’s song has been chosen to represent a new exhibition by artists from Studio Upstairs’ North London studio in Dalston.
This exhibition showcases the work of over 25 artists who attend or work at the studio, demonstrating the creativity, preoccupations, humour and diversity of the Studio Upstairs community.
“As artists, we make art to explore our experiences of everyday life and use them as raw material in the creative process. In doing so we can make these experiences understandable or acceptable to ourselves and to the world outside.” (studio manager)
The opening event will take place on Wednesday 29th Jan in the evening. To be invited to attend this celebration and have an opportunity to meet the artists, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Studio Upstairs members were actively involved in a collaborative process that brought together various charities and the Tate Modern to exchange ideas, feelings and thoughts about mental health, wellbeing and creative practices, including visual arts.
Our members and studio managers contributed by responding creatively as individuals to cube structures which were used to make an installation display. The cubes became the heart of the event as members of the public entered the space and walked around them. Throughout the afternoon people had conversations prompted by the images, colours and words they saw in the cubes, which were all related to experiences of mental health.
Sarah Walker, a member of Studio Upstairs, said:
“We took part in this project to highlight mental health issues by creating meaningful dialogues, to strengthen awareness of the work of Studio Upstairs, and, as artists to create exciting, enjoyable and creative opportunities for Tate visitors.”
Jake, also a member of our studio added: “I was very honoured to be a part of this project. I found it empowering: to produce the artwork and to witness others, random strangers interacting with the art. I particularly enjoyed seeing my work appreciated. It was also empowering because I felt the event was lifting the lid on stigma towards mental illness.”
At the event, members of the public were encouraged to help to make a long paper chain and placards with messages related to wellbeing; and take selfies or portraits against a background which reflected the person’s mood through the use of colours and shapes. Each one of these activities asked the public to respond to the question ‘How Are You?‘
Few of our members also volunteered their time to help deliver the activities.
We ask – How are You?
The question initiates one of the most everyday exchanges we all face. We also ask – Is there a way of answering the question so that our actual truth can exist in a world which often seems to require glib and positive responses.
Art, drama, music and poetry create languages for grief, trauma, terror, ecstasy and joy. However, in society, these areas of human experience are usually talked about in the language of illness – depression, mania, psychosis, bipolar, schizophrenia etc. We ask – Can there be other languages to describe people’s existence in a more real way.
In the field of psychiatry, we recognise that there are many individuals and groups who have a supportive and helpful influence for patients. However, we ask – Is it helpful for a person’s thoughts, endeavours, emotional life and struggles for existence to be viewed as symptoms of illness? Can there be more supportive and meaningful exchanges between psychiatry and the people seeking its support? Does mental illness in fact exist? We ask you to join us in exploring these questions.
Using some of the most powerful forms of exchange, art making, drama and discussion, consider the question – How are you? In this exploration we hope to learn more about what it is that we all need in order to connect, create and contribute?
Written by Sarah Walker
This morning a couple of the team and some members from the Bristol Studio visited the Expressions 2013 Festival at the Paintworks Event Space. Expressions is a yearly exhibition run by The Milestones Trust. This year’s Expressions is about ‘bringing the outside in’.
It is such a fun show! Weird and wonderful with a million things to look at. The entrance is very spring-like, with hundreds of hand crafted projects.
Then the visitors have to pick through hanging images printed on material to get into the main show. Once into the main show the visitor is greeted by a felted Angel and busts of Elvis, The Queen, Gandalf and others (including a particularly unnerving owl-woman).
The show is split up into different parts for different projects and installations, most of them collaborative. There was an Afghan Box Camera, a project called ‘Bringing Yourself to the Table’ and a Secret Garden amongst other installations. It was a pleasure to look round such a lively and intriguing space. They also had a great cafe (lovely tea!).
Written by Megan Hoyle.
Studio Upstairs is delighted to announce we will be taking part in the RA POSTCARDS project organised by Galleri VOX, in Norway – both Studio’s are hard at work producing postcards for this unquie project that will unite ‘Outsider’ Artists from across Europe! For you own chance to be involved check out their website:
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.
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.