Projects and events blog

Spike Island Open Studios

Art in Motion, Studio 45

Open Studios happens just once a year. It sees artists, designers and creative businesses throw open their doors for you to explore their workspaces and learn about what they do, alongside exhibitions, family friendly activities, tours, events and street food from some of Bristol’s best traders.

Spike Island is one of the largest and most comprehensive organisations in Europe dedicated to the production and exhibition of contemporary art and design. We’re open to the public all year round with free entry exhibitions and a varied programme of talks, workshops, screenings and more.

Talking Shop

Installation, exhibition, shop and events

Throughout Spike Island Open Studios

A collection of ideas were pulled together by AIM artists to produce AIM’s 2019 Open Studios event; which became a temporary shop, installation, exhibition, film and event space all rolled into one.

A dedicated exhibition space was created with walls, counters, shelving and a cash-register ingeniously constructed from cardboard; inspired by the work of AIM artist Chris Rose who regularly works in this medium.

Artwork covered the walls and shelves. There were film projections of artists discussing their work while Dave Pearse engaged visitors with his witty a Pun or a Poem on demand writings. Artists intermittently gave readings or read their poems. All of this took place in the colourful cardboard ‘Talking Shop’.

AIM artists included: Dave Pearse, Chris Rose, Betty Sargent Jeff Johns and Jonathan Barr Lindsay.

The Tea Service

The Tea Service is an interactive project combining art, tea and discussion. The common activity of drinking tea and conversation forms the background to this artwork.

AIM artists are keen to find a creative way to share their artwork with other groups, organisations and community networks. They wanted to find a relaxed and informal way to engage in discussion to explore a wider range of topics and issues such as art, disability and a sense of place.

The Tea Service takes place at Spike Island Cafe, part of Fair Saturday Bristol, supported by Spike Island and Bristol City Council.

Make Space for AIM

AIM has received an exciting new commission from We The Curious, a science, arts and education centre in Bristol, UK.

Make Space is a participatory project led by We The Curious, which is working with community organisations who will each explore one of seven questions that influence the design of an installation. The piece will form part of the new exhibitions at We The Curious in 2020.

AIM is one of the Bristol based organisations selected to research and design one of these new displays.

The project is currently in production stage, so watch this space and we will update you when the installation is ready for you to visit!

Each to Another

Each to Another is a unique art education programme designed to support individuals with learning disabilities to develop their artwork through sharing their work with others. The project guides participants on how to facilitate their very own art workshop.

“We often learn most when we have to teach others what we do. Learning by teaching is a great way to improve confidence and communication skills.”

The project is led by Art in Motion in collaboration with No Bindings and with support from Bristol Libraries, Spike Island Artspace and the Arnolfini. The project addresses issues faced by artists with learning disabilities including challenges to access, inclusion and a lack of diversity in the arts.

Through three distinct programmes, individuals will be supported to develop their art skills and share their practice through a series of public workshops which will be held at Bristol Libraries.

The project will culminate in a celebratory public event. Aspects of the project will be captured by No Bindings, a socially-engaged publication that brings together groups to reflect on shared issues. This collaboration will result in a publication reflecting on the development of those individuals taking part.

With thanks to The Arts Council England and City of Bristol Council for their funding support.

Free Drop-in

Art In Motion celebrate the launch of their new art activity book Each to Another.

This is an opportunity to meet the artists, find out about their creative exchange and try some of art activities!

The Each to Another project and publication has been devised and led by Art in Motion in collaboration with indie press and publishing studio No Bindings.

Funded by Bristol City Council and Arts Council with support from the Arnolfini.

AIM Receives a WAIWAV

AIM has received this national commission from DASH and are now working in collaboration with Arnolfini to realise new project.

This exciting commission is to create performance intervention inspired by Dada.

The artists have already started researching ideas focusing on making sculptural costumes, which will be the starting point and inspiration for the performance.

The completed work will be performed on 2nd July 2022

This will also coincide with an exhibition in July 2022 by AIM artists at the Arnolfini.

AIM for Art School

AIM for Art School started in September 2021 and has been working with a small group of artists to explore ways and approaches to making art.

They have had opportunities to engage with professional artists and learn new skills. They have met with other artists AIM has supported, who have shared their artwork and led workshops.

The art school has been support by the Arnolfini who have provided opportunities to engage in exhibitions, and learn the different ways contemporary artists make art.

Supported by Bristol City Council

The Postal Project

The last few years have been particularly challenging for individuals with learning disabilities, particularly the feelings of isolation and loneliness. We developed the Postal Project to support AIM artists and others to stay creative and keep connected.

By sending out art materials, creative activity worksheets and providing mentoring through phone; we supported artists with learning disabilities and those who face disabling barriers to staying creative through unstable times.

Each worksheet helped artists explore their creative expression by encouraging the use of different artistic modalities and inspiring a subject matter that can be interpreted in any way that best suits the artist.

So far, the AIM Postal Project has a been an amazing success providing individuals and organisations with art packs, accessible creative activity worksheets and telephone support. Through this project we minimalised some of the isolation and loneliness individuals with learning disabilities have been experiencing.

Pages – The Sketchbook Project

Sketchbooks are a great way to stay creative and to collect your thoughts, feelings and ideas.

During 2021 AIM issued sketchbooks to individuals and groups across the city along with accessible worksheets suggesting ideas and themes to help them get started.

Home and Away

Home and Away is a collaboration between AIM artist Chris Rose and Artist Helen K Grant

Chris and Helen met through AIM where they discovered a shared enthusiasm for making art from scrap materials.

Their exhibition at SVA in 2021 considering how they feel about ‘home’ from the distanced perspective of the gallery. How has this changed post-lockdown, when our homes became places of both refuge and confinement? Helen and Chris created an installation that filled the entire gallery space and invited guests to peek within.

AIM and SVA also invited people from the Guideposts Community Hub to contribute artwork. The hub (based in London Road, Stroud) provides opportunities for adults with learning disabilities to make friends, develop skills, be creative, gain confidence and feel connected to their local community.

Together We Are Stronger


We spent a great day with fellow artists from Art Shape Gloucester.

Sharing stories, making art and having fun.

We continue to develop on our possitive relationship for future work together.


AIM artist

Betty Sargent to take part in


El Arreciado, Toledo Spain

21 -26 May, 2019

A six-day residency where artists with and without disabilities can carry out

creative investigation. Working with freshly shorn wool, in the beautiful

natural setting of Telado central Spain.




Installation – Exhibition – Shop – Events


PREVIEW EVENING.                  Friday 3 May 2019, 6-9pm
CONTINUES                  Saturday 4 to Monday 6 May 2019, 11am – 5pm


FREE ENTRY  …………………………………………………………………….  STUDIO 45


A big thanks to Paul Blakemore.

Winner of the Proper Bristol Postcard Competition, Paul Blakemore has donated

his winnings to Art in Motion

28points_205Big Jeff (by Paul Blakemore)

The winning picture of Big Jeff by Paul Blakemore is a celebration of the people and culture of Bristol. After a successful public ballot which received 1,400 votes  PRSC announce the final result on 8th January 2018.


Paul Blackmore(bottom centre) with AIM artists Chris Rose, Jonathan Barr Lindsey, Jeff Johns, Dave Pearse, Betty Sargent and Director Colin Higginson


Working with our partners in Madrid

We continue to work with our partners Debajo del Sombrero in Madrid

AIM artist Betty Sargent was invited in  March 2019 to run a workshop for a group at the Matadero


The Tea Service and Exhibition

Stroud Valley Artspace

6 -21 October 2018

The Tea service 2

exhibition • conversation • workshops • tea & cake!

John St Gallery, SVA, 4 John St, Stroud GL5 2HA
(click here for venue access information)

Exhibition opening

Saturday 6 October 10am

Tea service sittings
Saturdays 6, 13 & 20 October 12 noon or 3pm

Exhibition dates
6 -21 October Fridays and Saturdays 10am–3pm


Spike Island Artspace

open studios 1

Studio 45 was open over the May bank holiday from Friday 4th to Monday 7th May 2018 showing work by AIM artists Betty Sargent, Chris Rose, Dave Pearse, Jeffs Johns and Jonathan Barr Lindsay with artists Colin Higginson and Helen Grant

Betty Sargent and Nobindings

AIM attended the Here we Grow event at Henbury today 6th June 2018. A great sharing event with readings by A A Abbott and AIM artist Betty Sargent. A big thanks to Lily.


Spike Island Open Studios

open studios 1

Studio 45 was open over the May bank holiday from Friday 4th to Monday 7th May 2018 showing work by AIM artists Betty Sargent, Chris Rose, Dave Pearse, Jeffs Johns and Jonathan Barr Lindsay with artists Colin Higginson and Helen Grant


Art in Motion spin tales, imagined sounds, and scenes from the homes of Betty Sargent, Chris Rose, Dave Pearse, Jeff Johns and Jonathan Barr Lindsay.

10th to 25th March 2018
Open 12-5pm daily closed Mondays

spinimage3Paradise City

Art in Motion & Back in 5 Minutes Squad

Ignite Residency at the Trinity Arts Centre Bristol. June 2017

Art in Motion and Back in 5 Minutes Squad, two very different artists groups based at Spike Island Studios in Bristol worked together for the first time to produce an epic, evolving installation during their IGNiTE Summer Residency.

Over two weeks they explored the idea of a shared utopia to develop Paradise City.

“This opportunity will give us time and space to explore our common interest in the impact environments have on society and in imagining possible futures”. Helen Grant, Back in 5 Minutes Squad.

Back in 5 Minutes squad make immersive installations that imagine possible futures, taking a toungue-in-cheek look at the post-apocalyptic, the nihilistic, the existential and the revolutionary through the lens of popular culture.




AIM was at New Fosseway School in June as part of their creative day ‘Fosstonbury’. Working with the school prior to the event we created an installation of white painted objects.*

On the day of the Fosstonbury pupils and visitors joined us in painting the objects, transforming them from with colour. to create a vibrant installation.

*credit to our Spanish partners Debajo del Sombrero who first developed this workshop idea.



Jeff Johns at Edinburgh Film Festival

AIM artist Jeff Johns developed Anything But Me,  as part of Different Voices film scheme run by biggerhouse film, and supported by Creative Skillset and 104 Films.

104 Films are the UK’s leading production company focussing on disability both behind and in front of the camera.


Anything But Me! Jeff Johns/UK/2017/3 mins

The Tea Service Launch at Spike Open

Spike Island Open Studios from 28th April to 1st May 2017

The artists working with AIM developed the idea for this project. They were keen to find a creative way to engage with other groups, organisations and local community networks in Bristol, to discuss and share ideas about a wide range of topics including art, disability and local history.

The central focus of this touring installation consists of a purpose-made tea set. Artists were invited to join us at the table for art, tea and discussion. The discussions were led by the artists using their artwork as the starting point, creating opportunities for different and diverse groups to meet share experiences and ideas in a relaxed informal way.

I great weekend meeting many interesting people, the Tea Service will now start its tour.




AIM artists at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork

AIM artists had work exhibited at the Crawford Art Gallery as part of Perceptions 2016. An amazing international exhibition of work made by artists from supported studios exhibited across 10 city venues. AIM contributed to a creative fair at the Crawford Gallery and gave a talk at the Perceptions Symposium, illustrating their approach to supporting artists.

Artwork and films from the Expanding Realities international workshops between Debajo Del Sombrero, Madrid, Spain, GASP, Cork, Ireland and AIM, Bristol, UK were also on show. This highlighted the European Erasmus + partnership that supported the professional development of the artists from the different groups.


Transnational Workshop – Cork/Madrid/Bristol

Between the 13th and 17th June 2016 artists from AIM were in Cork Ireland for transnational workshop lead by Gasp in collaboration with CIT. A week packed full of delights with opportunities to develop skills in screen printing, sound recording, performance, dance, bookbinding to mention just a few. Alongside this there were tours of Cork and the surrounding area.

art cafe logo

Art Cafe Workshop – Cork Ireland

Artists from AIM Michael Phillips, Louise Morgan, Maisie Fortune and Colin Higginson traveled to Cork to join artists from GASP (Cork) for a Creative exchange event. Artists, community and arts organisations and individuals interested in the connective power of creativity participated in a Creative Exchange event at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork on Tuesday, 12th April. Both groups shared their experiences of using art in public spaces to engage, connect and inspire the people around them. Activities on the day included artistic explorations, interactive discussions, a creative café and light lunch.

Travel and the City

Expanding Realities Transnational Workshop

Bristol | Cork | Madrid

29th February to 4th March 2016

AIM hosted a 5 day Transnational art workshop with artist from Debajo Del Sombrero, Madrid, Spain and GASP, Cork, Ireland will be in Bristol for a 5 day transnational arts workshop hosted by AIM, Bristol.

Expanding Realities is a European Erasmus + partnership engaging the creativity, and supporting the professional development of artists who have some form of learning disability.

The workshop was devised by the artists working with AIM who recently exhibited ‘Somewhere in the City’ at the Arnolfini, they will be are sharing their methods and approaches.


AIM : Somewhere in the City – Arnolfini
Tuesday 24th – Sunday 29th November

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Art in Motion (AIM) presents Somewhere in the City, an exhibition of work made by five Bristol based artists: Betty Sargent, Chris Rose, Jeff Johns, Jonathan Barr Lindsey and Dave Pearse.

Somewhere in the City is a participatory arts and heritage project that has been exploring an over-looked, historic area of Bristol: a cluster of streets and lanes behind the Hippodrome and extending up to Red Lodge. The artists participating in the project have worked with AIM to explore this area of the city, and have through research and investigation, created works of art from their responses to the site. Following site-visits, work has been developed at Studio 45 at Spike Island. All the artists involved in the project have been supported to evolve their own practice and contribute their unique approach and vision to the city in which they live.

The project is part of an EU funded international exchange programme, Expanding Realities, a collaboration between four organisations who are supporting artists with disabilities to develop their practice. The organisations involved are AIM, CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, GASP, Cork Ireland and Debajo del Sombrero, Madrid, Spain.

AIM is a newly emerging, not for profit participatory arts organisation, Somewhere in the City involved  Colin Higginson, Helen Grant, Amy Spencer and Kamina Walton. 

Somewhere in the City was support by:


Print      english_compact_black eramus logo


art cafe logo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A successful workshop at the Phoenix cafe,  All Saints’ St, Bristol, United Kingdom lead by Michael Phillips and Louise Morgan and supported by AIM.

AIM: Somewhere in the City -Arnolfini 
Tuesday 24th – Sunday 29th November 11.00 to 18.00
Art in Motion (AIM) presents: Somewhere in the CityAn exhibition of artwork by five Bristol based artists:

Jonathan Barr Lindsey, Jeff Johns, Dave Pearse,Chris Rose and Betty Sargent.

The artists involved in the exhibition all have some form of disability and the project has given them the opportunity to develop and evolve their own practice while contributing their unique approach and vision to the city in which they live.

Jeff drawing

Talk and Opening

Wednesday 25 November, 4pm – 8pm, free
Walk and Talk event
Friday 27 November, free but ticketed
We Are Family
Saturday 28 November, 1pm – 5pm, free

Private View: Wednesday 25 November, 4pm – 8pm, free

AIM - front image for flyer

Visit the Arnolfini website:

Print   english_compact_black  eramus logo

Perceptions 2016 Launch, Cork Ireland

On the 12th of October AIM was in Cork for the launch of the Perceptions 2016 Exhibition programme. The event aimed to inform artists, cultural institutions and the public about the exhibition and how they can get involved. Colin Higginson was there representing AIM, Bristol to give some insight to the benefits of participating in the strategic partnership, along with GASP from Cork, representatives from CIT Crawford college of Art and Design, Cork, Crawford Gallery and Cork City Arts.

Visit the perceptions website for more information:

 Art Cafe Project

art cafe logo

Louise visited the Phoenix cafe, Bristol to think about planning an art workshop.

Louise’s character drawings and a workshop planning sheet below.

The Red Lodge Bristol – Somewhere in the City – Research visit.

The group was given a tour of the museum by Karin Walton museum curator.

Expanding Realities – Madrid Workshop

As part of Expanding Realities the artist from AIM were in Madrid for a five day workshop.The workshop was lead by Debajo Del Sombrero and we were joined by Artists from Gasp artist studio programme in Cork, Ireland and members of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork Ireland. Debajo Del Sombrero provided an amazing workshop, an opportunity for participants to engage in group work, develop individual artwork and share skills.

New work at Spike Open Studios 1st –4th May 2015 as part of the

Somewhere in the City project and Expanding Realities European Erasmus+ exchange

DSC_0008a DSC_0009a

AIM at Spike Open Studios –1st –4th May 2015


Somewhere in the City

Spike Island Open –1st –4th May 2015

Art in Motion (AIM) presents Somewhere in the City  a project that invites artists with a disability to explore new areas of the city and create new works of art from their experiences.

Somewhere in the City is a participatory heritage and arts project which will work with the artists in their home town of Bristol to explore an over-looked, historic area: the cluster of streets and lanes behind the Hippodrome and extending up to Red Lodge.

Participants will have the opportunity to work with other artists, creative writers, researchers and animators to produce animated short films and artworks based on their explorations of the area and its heritage. They will also make links with other organisations in the city, such as the Arnolfini, Art and Power, The Red Lodge and Spike Island.

The project is part a larger initiative that includes an EU funded international exchange element Expanding Realities a collaboration between AIM, CIT Crawford College of Art and Design and GASP, Cork Ireland and Debajo del Sombrero, Madrid, Spain.

Participants will celebrate their achievements and share their experiences in a final showcase of events and exhibition. They will also have the opportunity to submit their films to local and national awards, film festivals and present their work through talks and presentations to local groups. AIM hopes that this will challenge perceptions on the value of artistic work created by artists with a disability.

Art in Motion (AIM) is a newly emerging, not for profit participatory arts organisation, established and led by Bristol-based artist Colin Higginson since 2013. AIM provides opportunities for artists and non-artists to engage with multidisciplinary arts and to explore ideas and concepts around heritage and the built environment.

AIM has received funding from:

Print eramus logoenglish_compact_black


art cafe logo


Microsoft Word - New cafe Poster.docx

INFUSION is an Erasmus + programme between AIM Bristol, UK and Gasp Cork, Ireland

eramus logo

Somewhere in the City          February  2015

‘Somewhere in the City’ is a participatory heritage and arts project which will be working with a group of adults with learning difficulties in Bristol to explore an area of the city steeped in history; a cluster of streets and lanes behind the Hippodrome and extending up to Red Lodge.

Participants will be working with artists, creative writers, researchers and animators to produce short animated films based on their explorations of the heritage of the area. The project will offer participants the opportunity to learn new arts based skills, explore the history of an area of the city, and learn approaches to research, to showcase their finished artwork and films through exhibition and events.

Creative Minds Conference

Jonathan Barr Lindsay and Robin Meader present there work at the conference.

_MG_6587 _MG_6588

_MG_6593 _MG_6596

Robin & Jonathan 1 Robin & Jonathan 2

Drawings by Joff Winterhart

AIM at Creative Minds South West  Tuesday 14th October 2014

Colin Higginson from AIM, along with artist Robin Meader and Jonathan Barr Lindsay, will discuss arts practice with adults with learning disabilities in relation to heritage and a sense of place.  The presentation will include examples of Robin’s and Jonathan,s artwork followed by discussion.

Creative Minds

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s