BV Studios is located in the heart of industrial Bedminster. A warehouse of 30,000 square feet, it was originally built to house Wiltshire Printing Works, and it is where the magazines Viz, 2000AD and the Big Issue were first printed. It later became Panel On motor parts company, however it had lain empty for some years before Robert Anderson bought it in January 2007. The Andersons as a family have long been engaged with the arts as visual artists, arts educators and performers. Whilst predominantly based in London, their connections with Bristol date from the early 1980’s when Lea Anderson founded the award winning dance company The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs, which was supported by the Arnolfini. The family also managed the studios at the old Robinson Building, overlooking East Street, Bedminster during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
It was through their generous decision to welcome artists, as tenants, into the Robinson Building at minimal rent, that the Andersons began their closer relationship with visual artists in Bristol. The Robinson Building was sold to developers in September 2004; however understanding the impact of this loss to the visual arts community in Bristol the family committed themselves to seeking new premises for development as studios that would offer both long-term security and affordable rents. Thus, within walking distance of Spike Island, Arnolfini and major transport links, BV Studios is set to make a valuable contribution to the cultural life of Bristol.
BV Studios Aims:
- To provide secure space at affordable rent to artists working in Bristol
- To welcome applications from artists working at all levels, from recent graduates to those with emerging or established and successful careers
- To provide a supportive and stimulating environment for the production and presentation of contemporary visual art
- To engage with and inform a diverse audience in the local and wide community
- To instigate and encourage dialogue and collaboration with other studio groups both national and international
The building has three separate areas, the first and largest of which is now ready for occupation. This first stage in the development offers 18 large studio spaces – 12 on the ground floor and 6 on a raised mezzanine. The studios range in size from 750 sq.ft. ( 69.6 sq.m) to 1150 sq.ft(107sq.m) most of which are expected to accommodate several artists sharing. It is important therefore that each artist should specify the size of space he or she requires and can feel confident that the mix of studio holders will be organised with the greatest of care. Each studio is completely self-contained; has lockable double doors; is supplied with electric heaters, daylight fluorescent lighting, adequate power points and a Belfast sink with a cold water supply. Each studio has its own meter and studio holders must take responsibility for all electricity used in their own studio, including the heating.
A communal kitchen is situated at the far end of the main corridor providing a sink with hot and cold water, a kettle, a fridge, a microwave cooker, work surfaces etc. In the longer-term future a programme of national and international residencies will be launched, these will be accommodated in a dedicated space sitting alongside the longer-term studio spaces.
There is a 1000sq.ft gallery on the ground floor that will have an active programme of presentation and events. A comprehensive CCTV system operates 24/7 and both the front door to the building and the door to the main corridor are operated by a secure entry system. Each studio has its own dedicated door buzzer. The entrance hall has an electrically operated insulated roller-shutter door allowing access for vehicles, up to the size of a hi-top van, to load and unload inside the building.
Artists working in any medium and at any stage in their career are invited to apply, including students engaged in post-graduate study. Small creative businesses and designers are eligible however will be responsible for their own Business Rates. Please email email@example.com for further information and application forms.
37 Philip Street
Bristol, BS3 4DR