Detroit Bristol 2013-14


Detroit was a research led residency and critical programme founded in Spring 2013 by Hannah Still and Bryony Gillard. Detroit’s activities included a programme of events in a physical space in central Bristol between November 2013 – January 2014, alongside a much longer period of research and dialogue with artists.


Placing practice first, Detroit considered artist residencies in an expanded sense – encompassing events, exhibitions and writing. The project was concerned with how and why a work is made – the time and timeliness of art work. What precedes, supports and follows a work?

Detroit operated an outward-facing model, making transparent the workings of the organisation and publicly presenting research material.


Detroit, Bristol was named after Detroit, Michigan as a way of opening up the potential of an imagined space between the two, a place made by practice, and to make clear our concern with ideas of work and what a work can be by making reference to the birthplace of Fordist capitalism. An overarching model for our activity was the architectural courtyard with its dual conditions of public/private and open/closed space. Detroit intended to provide an active space for critical discourse, opening artists’ processes to a wider audience.


The residency artists were Beth Collar, Rory Pilgrim and Vanessa Billy. The Library of Independent Exchange was project partner and Detroit's visual identity was designed by Jono Lewarne.


The project was supported by Spike Island, Watershed and Arts Council England and was Bristol Temple Quarter Commission.


Photographs by Hannah Still