The Island – Way Back When

Ever wondered how Artspace Lifespace and The Island started in Bristol? Well now you get to delve further Invisible Circus: No Dress Rehearsal (Feature documentary by Naomi Smyth) was a massive four-year documentary undertaking. It was originally screened at The Brewery Theatre which is sadly now no more, but The Island is still going strong! […]

Job Opportunities at The Island and Arts Mansion

With great sadness, we announce that our wonderful centre manager Jane Hartoch is leaving the Island after 6 years of incarceration in the Old Bridewell Police Station. We are now seeking a new ISLAND CENTRE MANAGER. We are also looking for Duty Managers for The Arts Mansion. Flexible 3-10 hour shifts – £9.90 per hour. […]

Covid-19 Update – April 22

As of 1st April, free universal testing in England comes to an end. Check-in to venues ended in February of this year. Visit England’s Good to Go Industry standard is to close, In England, face coverings are no longer required by law. Most of the remaining Covid restrictions in the UK have ended. So the […]

New Beginnings at Ashton Court

Artspace Ashton Court welcomes an experimental new sculpture by artist Luke Jerram in the grounds of Ashton Court in Bristol. Situated beside the Courtyard Café of Ashton Court with stunning vistas over Bristol and the iconic Grade I listed mansion sits a giant wooden seed, a sculpture which will slowly be transformed by members of the […]

Together We Make

Join the first instalment of this Performance Art Workshop Series. Creatives Jo Chalkblack, Kevin D’Orso and Jasper D’Orso lead this first installement as we are guided through a day of experimentation on themes of deep ecology through their workshop Second Body.

Covid-19 Update – Feb 2022

As of 24 February 2022, most of the remaining COVID-19 guidance in England has ended. You are no longer required to check in to your venue using the NHS COVID-19 or app. However COVID-19 has not gone away, please take steps to protect yourselves, others and the NHS Please stay home if you are […]


The UK has always held a firm ‘at arms length’ stance on the arts and heritage sector. Our diversity is our greatest strength.   It is the job of cultural charities to reflect on our past and enrich this heritage through recontextualising in the present day. The presentation of narratives counter to those that we may […]

Mental Health at Christmas Time

We hope you have safe and happy holidays but not everybody looks forwards to the festive season. With thanks to Rehab 4 Addiction, a UK-based addiction helpline for sharing this infographic with us. It visually illustrates the reasons why people may be negatively impacted by Christmas, and it also illustrates ways people can avoid or […]

All the best laid plans

Reflections on 2021 It has been a year of reflection and challenges for Artspace Lifespace. Looking back on the past year at our AGM at the beginning of December, and seeing the amazing artists and activity that was supported during such a challenging time reinforces just how essential the arts and grassroots organisations are. Next […]

Invisible Army Interview by Ella O’Loughlin

Writer Carina Andrews and photographer Tina Gue sat down with Ella O’Loughlin to discuss their collaborative project: Invisible Army. Their work aims to educate people on the real lives of carers in and around Bristol, and, importantly, uplift them. Invisible Army will be sharing carers’ stories and photographs at The Vestibules in their exhibition “Stories […]

Notice for an Annual General Meeting for Artspace Lifespace CIO

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the fourth Annual General Meeting of Artspace Lifespace will be held via zoom at 17:30 on Thursday the 2nd December to transact the following business. The AGM will be recorded for minute taking. You can keep your camera off but please use your full name rather than an alias when […]

#TrinityFutures – Have your Say

Artspace Lifespace a Bristol Charity that provides creative solutions for properties is working with Trinity Bristol to understand how Trinity can increase community engagement through the activities and programmes it offers.  As well as helping shape Trinity’s future, by completing this survey you can enter a prize draw to be in with a chance to WIN a fantastic #MiniRig […]

The Mansion Through Time

At Home With The Smyths – Ashton Court Mansion Eastenders has the Mitchells, Bristol had the Smyths. On June 25-27, Show of Strength brought us on a journey where we met characters from the dynasty that gave us Ashton Court Mansion. Impostors, buried treasure, a lost ring and it’s even better than a soap opera […]

There is no freedom without responsibility

Restrictions might be about to go away, but Covid has not We published the Roadmap out of Lockdown in March 2021 at which time we stated that the capacity of events will be limited until we have evidence it is safe for us to lift them.  The announcement of the lifting of most remaining Covid-19 restrictions in […]

Keep it Arms Length

Words are more than conveyors of meaning – when used enough, when repeated like a mantra, when held by consensus, they can create cognitive boundaries between subjects and their objects. They can wall off the human from the humane. From the Book of Trespass: Crossing the Lines that Divide Us by Nick Hayes In 2020 […]

Inspiral Residency Interview

Last month, Saskia Collyns and Maxine Sircana – the duo that make up Inspiral – held a Residency with us in our Circus Training Space. Here’s what we learnt about the adventurous pair. We are currently working on our first show as a company, ‘Interlaced’. We work with narrative-based circus using Aerial Straps, Aerial Hoop, […]

Interview with Chloe (NotNow Studio)

As part of our continuing series profiling the brilliant people to make The Island tick, we sat down with Chloe from NotNow Studios for a (virtual) chat. Here’s what we found out… Tell us about your work? My studio is called Not Now Studio. I am a hand pulled screen printer. I share the space […]

Halt Harassment

It should not take a case of extreme violence for us to see that male violence permeates throughout our society – in our Government, our police, our workplaces, our nights out, and our individual actions. Throughout all these levels we need to make changes, so that no one feels the threat or result of male […]

Ashton Court’s Prince Has Come

In May 2018, Artpace Lifespace took over the meanwhile use management of Ashton Court Mansion, with the support of Bristol City Council, and with thanks to pro-bono support from Womble Bond Dickinson. Since taking on the Mansion, Artspace has been operating Ashton Court as an Arts Venue – the Arts Mansion. In 2019 we ran […]

The Roadmap out of Lockdown

From March 8th some of our team who have been furloughed will be able to return to work. Restrictions requiring staff to work from home where possible will however remain in place and we urge those who can stay at home to do so. From March 29th outdoor sport and leisure facilities will be permitted, […]

How Can I Help Update

In October, FixX bikes bikes began a six-month residency of our Electric Cargo Bike. ⁠⁠FixX bikes are a social enterprise based in Hartcliffe who pre-pandemic were delivering bike mechanic workshops to young people in the area. At the start of the pandemic, FixX bikes began delivering meals in partnership with Heart of BS13 to residents […]

Notice for an Annual General Meeting for Artspace Lifespace CIO

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the third Annual General Meeting of Artspace Lifespace will be held via zoom at 19:00 on Wednesday the 10th February to transact the following business. The AGM will be recorded for minute taking. You can keep your camera off but please use your full name rather than an alias when […]

Open Studios photo series

We commissioned our photographer tenant Chandra Prasad to produce a series of photographs of Island tenants and staff for our Open Studios and ask them about how 2020 has been for them.

Contra Project

Our Circus Training Space is usually filled with some of the most talented and daring performers in Bristol. One of our favourites is the genre-defying, queer, and female-led Contra Project, made up of Laura Murphy and Nicole A’Court Stuart. The duo are committed to making, touring and supporting the development of politically engaged, interdisciplinary, and […]

Robbie Cathro

An interview with Island resident Robbie Cathro, an illustrator making colourful illustrations for kids magazines, children’s books and editorial pieces.

Helen & Rise

Our first Spotlight story is an interview with Island resident Helen Wilson from RISE Youth Dance Company.

History of the Old Bridewell Police Station

The Island is based on the site where the Central Police Station used to be. Also known as the Bridewell, it is a historic building on Nelson Street, Broadmead, Bristol, England. It was built in 1928 by Ivor Jones and Percy Thomas and opened as a police station in November 1930 near the site of […]