Founded in 2009 by artist Penny Jones, Motorcade/FlashParade was an artist-led project space in Bristol. It provided a platform for emerging artists, particularly from the South West region, and hosted an annual programme of exhibitions and events up to December 2013.

Motorcade set out to excite.. we offered a tantalising vacuum to fill, an interruption... an empty space ready for exploration, experimentation and adventure; where boundaries could be pushed, ambitions exceeded and freedom enjoyed by both artists and audience.

Our full programme of solo and group exhibitions included a competition for curators - Blueprint, and the hugely popular INCUBE8 - a series of competitions offering artists their first major solo show. We also ran an annual Summer Residency, a mini-residency and exhibition for our team of volunteers, and our annual National Open Competition. We also 
hosted a range of other important activities to support contemporary practice, foster peer learning and invite participation from a wider audience. We are happy to consider proposals for exhibitions throughout the year.

Artist Ruth Piper added her organisational skills in November 2010, joined by Gordon Bonn. Julie McCalden joined in April 2011 and thus began Motorcade's strongest period. Our busiest year was in 2012... Arts Council funding enabled a glorious expansion to our programme and we showed some sensational work. Julie was integral to this intense year and when she left at the end of December 2012, she was very much missed.

It was a difficult decision to close the space. But some things have a natural life-span and it had become a struggle to keep going against the odds. 

Throughout the four years of its existence, however, Motorcade was supported by hosts of volunteers, always willing to give of their time and energies. In particular Garry Edison Cook, who time after time produced remarkable posters for our exhibitions. He also designed our brilliant logo and, not least, provided chilled DJ-ing at most of our Private Views.  

Big thanks also go to Elizabeth Dismorr, Poppy Pitt (who established MotorMouth - regular peer critiques) and Charlie Cousins, who curated the last show, also Will Kendrick and Tom Johnson for their consistent technical support. Core volunteers included the redoubtable James Mark Whittet, Heather Wallace, Alex Hardy, Gareth Pitt, Lisa Friedberg, Joe Deighan, Charli Clark and Zara Bird-Wood, artists all. Gratitude and admiration extended also to Steve Norton, whose photographs of many of our PVs form part of his unique and invaluable archive of artist-led projects connected to the University of the West of England.

I'm pleased to say that the name Motorcade/FlashParade will live on, and not just in people's memories. It will re-emerge as a Summer Residency in Crete, its aims the same - to offer the opportunity for artists to explore, experiment and expand; to encourage ambitious, adventurous and exhilarating projects to arise and to provide space for quiet reflection and research, all within a beautiful environment, surrounded by living history. It is hoped the residency will open in Summer 2015. Exciting.



click to enlarge  


BV Studios 
37 Philip Street
Bristol BS3 4EA


Penny Jones
 +44 (0) 7787 797 339