Mission Statement

a space: growing creative communities strives to provide opportunities for emerging artists to make new work, develop their careers and for audiences in Southampton and the surrounding regions to engage with high quality artistic experiences.

We achieve this through a growing infrastructure of project platforms, currently consisting of ArtVaults, the Arches Studios, Tower House, and the Sorting Office.  Our studio projects offer a diversity of spaces to support creative careers, catering for the visual arts, screen based practices and designer makers.

Our latest project Talent Development offers bursaries that enable Early and Mid Career artists to create, propose and run a bespoke professional development project.

At ‘a space’ we believe that art can be many things, including painting, drawing and sculpture but also installation, intervention, photography, performance and the moving image. It can take up whole spaces or tiny corners, be imposing and impressive or discreet and beautiful. It might sometimes be controversial, and may not always be everyone’s taste – but should always be stimulating, new and certainly never dull!

The History of ‘a space’ arts

In July 2000 the organisation’s founding members, frustrated with the limited opportunities for emerging artists in Southampton set about laying the foundations to an organisation that could bring about a lasting change.

Our first step was to initiate a gallery space; the Northam Road gallery launched the arts organisation and opened its doors to the public on the 22nd of October 2002. Through this initial space we were able to test ideas, develop our identity and grow the remit of our work. Over a two and a half years period in Northam Road, we staged 35 exhibitions and laid the foundations upon which our organisation has been built.

In 2006 we moved our main gallery and HQ from Northam Rd to the Bargate, a scheduled ancient monument, located in the centre of Southampton. The monument features as the Southampton City Council logo and is significantly prestigious building within the city.

Through our time at the Bargate Monument Gallery we were able to grow our project portfolio that now consists of studios, galleries and professional development opportunities; all of which are featured on this site.

Whilst ‘a space’ remains a young arts organisation we have added a new dimension to the cities cultural offer.  Our work has stimulated interest and inclusion at a grass roots level through creating opportunities for artists and the public to engage with cultural activities.

Our enthusiasm and determination continues to this day; we have achieved a lot and have a lot more still to offer.

More About Our Projects…

The Sorting Office