[L-R: Stu Matson, Bath Carnival; Ruby Sant, Little Lost Robot CIC; Councillor Tim Ball; Scarlett Mosnier, Little Lost Robot CIC; Councillor Kevin Guy; Vashti Mayne, resident artist, The Headonista.]
[The art featured is by local artist Pedro Ramalho. Visit saatchiart.com/pedroart or @selfabsorbability on Instagram.]
Good to have a story from the other side of town where an artist residency and exhibition space has opened on Twerton High Street. It’s part of a project to support local high streets. The space at 106 High Street offers free residency for local artists who might not otherwise be able to access studio space.
It has been designed with flexibility in mind and will be used as a venue to showcase art as well as host other activities. The facility is currently being used for a range of art including ceramics, hat making and oil painting. Artist residencies are for a set period, with studio space, business development and funding support agreed at the outset.
The opening of the new space comes after the launch in October 2022 of Creative Twerton at 107 High Street which already offers free creative sessions, free lunch and refreshments on a drop-in basis. Both spaces are part of the Bath & North East Somerset Council-led Bath Local Centres High Street Improvement Scheme, with support from the Vacant Unit Action Project.
These projects are funded by the West of England Combined Authority’s ‘Love our High Streets’ and ‘High Street Recovery’ funds. The reanimated units benefit from further funding and support from Little Lost Robot CIC, Bath Spa University and Creativity Works. Little Lost Robot CIC manage the space.
Twerton High Street has also benefitted from a new sensory garden, planters and hanging baskets as part of the high street improvement scheme. Residents have been involved throughout, from the initial idea of a sensory garden, to taking part in the planting itself. The new planters are decorated with local children’s art.
The other streets being improved under the scheme are Mount Road, Moorland Road and Weston High Street.
Councillor Paul Roper, Cabinet Member for Economic and Cultural Sustainable Development, said: “Reanimating vacant units makes our high streets more vibrant and welcoming for everyone. The opening of this second arts space is a welcome boost for Twerton High Street and it’s exciting to see the creative work that is already happening there. I look forward to seeing a broader range of activities on offer for the community as use of the space develops.”
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “I’m proud my West of England Mayoral Combined Authority has funded this space for local artists to set up and do what they do best, and which will provide lots of brilliant opportunities for all residents as well.
As Mayor, I’m committed to backing those projects to help get our high streets firing on all cylinders again, that bring pride to our area and that give talented West of England residents the opportunities they need to thrive in our great region.”
Ruby Sant, Director at Little Lost Robot, said: “We are delighted with the progress of our creative Twerton arts spaces. We have had a brilliant year here already offering a comprehensive free to access arts program, alongside creating work for Kew Gardens and Hampton Court Palace. We are looking forward to supporting our resident artists to grow their practice and setting up a textile maker space from September.”
You can find out more about artist residencies here: https://lostrobot.org/. Artist residency enquiries and selection are managed by Little Lost Robot CIC.
A programme of summer events at Creative Twerton can be found here: https://lostrobot.org/creative-twerton/ ENDS