Sunday, May 28, 2017

Spike Island Open

Over the early May Bank Holiday weekend, Spike Island art centre had their annual open event. I'd never been to Spike Island before, despite walking past it more times than I could count, so I took advantage of the event and popped in on their opening night. I'd been under the delusion that Spike Island was "just" an art gallery, and had no idea that the building also housed Spike Studios, with many artists studios.

There was some incredible artwork on display, and I was particularly taken with the interconnected cardboard architecture of Steve Joyce,

the beautiful sculpture and ink sketches of Patrick Haines,

the strikingly surreal work of Phil Toy,

 and the whimsical ceramics of Nicholas Wright.

I was also very struck by the haunting collaborative work of Carol Laidler and Pat Jamieson, which mixed poetry, embroidered words and phrases, photographs and found objects. 

I was fascinated by their adjacent studios, which were filled with strange and wonderful objects, old books, and hundreds of embroidered hankerchiefs. 

As a creative person myself, it was wonderful to explore behind the scenes in the studios. I found it just as interesting as seeing the artists' work.

I'm mostly self taught as an artist and creative, and I don't really know many creative people "in real life", so I always find it really comforting to see that other artists also have teacups everywhere,

and boxes of assorted strange objects that might come in handy for a creative project. 

You can find out more about Spike Island at


  1. Oh this is so cool! I love it when you can see some of the creative process and the behind the scenes of different pieces and where they were created too. That paint spattered sink is really aesthetically pleasing, as they say, too. Love it! - Tasha