Friday, January 26, 2007

Room 212

My good friend Henk has started an interesting venture in Bristol, a grass-roots community art gallery that goes under the name Room 212. He moved house a while back, and part of the purchase was a commercial property at the front of the house, a small room with a big glass window, the sort of space used by thousands of little sandwich bars and brik-a-brak shops around the UK. Without any sort of facilities, it would be hard to make use of this space as an office without major work, and due to the size, it'd been unlikely to bring much rental income.

Instead he started a community gallery. If you're an artist, craftsman or pretty much any sort of creative, you can hire Room 212 for 15 pounds a week, or 5% of your sales income whichever is the larger sum. You can display your wares and choose if you want to staff your exhibition or just use the shop front window as a display. It has proved extraordinarily successful - the place is now fully booked for a year, and has created a real buzz. Gallery space is in a real short supply unless you have the wonga to spend, and walking past Room 212 is always exiting as you never know exactly what to expect.

If you're in the Bishopston area of Bristol, it's well worth seeking out.

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