Focus on: HOURS Gallery, Bristol

A look at the fantastic art gallery and event space, HOURS, run by artists Sophie Howard and Nigel Shipley…

by Laurel Smart

Nigel and Sophie

HOURS is a very special place, nestling in the mini industrial corner of BS1, based in Colston Yard behind the shops on Colston Street. It has a raised position with fabulous views over Bristol. You have to know it is there, or you’ll miss it. So we are keen to broadcast its delights.

HOURS is both gallery and multipurpose event space. It is light, bright and spacious. Artists Sophie Howard and Nigel Shipley are owner occupiers of this very special work-life space.

Exhibiting artists are offered a first class space at very reasonable rates because Sophie and Nigel are creative with their use of this space. Dance, yoga, creative writing, music, poetry and many other regular and one off users share HOURS with original art, and everybody wins.

Visual artists are supported to curate their own shows which usually last a month. They host a private view and open weekend with further viewings by arrangement. It is a fabulous space on a human scale to showcase new work. The space can be hired by the artist for additional events during the show.

The building has an interesting history, originally one of several garages at the back of the shops. Sophie and Nigel have completely rebuilt it creating a three story timber frame and brick building on the original platform that levels the steep drop down to Lewins Mead. It has the look of a renovated industrial building.

HOURS Gallery, 10 Colston Yard BS1 5BD.

Visit the HOURS website here and contact via email at


The Friends of the RWA is an independent charity that supports the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol’s first art gallery. 
For just £35 a year Friends can make unlimited visits to RWA exhibitions and enjoy a host of other benefits, as well as making an important contribution to the arts in Bristol and the South West. Find out more and join up here.

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