Spike Island

Spike Island
133 Cumberland Road
City of Bristol






0117 929 2266


0117 929 2066

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Spike Island's building
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Spike Island is an international centre for the development of contemporary art and design. A vibrant hub for production, presentation and debate, it invites audiences to engage directly with creative practices through participation and discussion.

The organisation’s vision is to position art as central to society. It does this in two ways: by offering a high quality, challenging programme of exhibitions and events; and by fostering a dynamic and critically engaged community of artists and designers. Spike Island collaborates with local and regional partners as well as with international institutions, museums and universities.

Open seven days a week, Spike Café serves a range of drinks, snacks and meals in a sunny, laid back spot overlooking the river. It’s an ideal place to relax and refresh whether you’re visiting the exhibitions, wandering around the Harbourside, meeting friends or working in the building.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Artist studio or collective

Opening hours

Galleries: Tues-Sun 12.00-17.00
Café: Mon-Fri 8.30-17.00, Sat-Sun 12.00-17.00

Admission charges

Free entry to gallery; some events ticketed

Additional info

Spike Island seeks to be fully accessible. There are three Blue Badge parking spaces directly outside the main entrance. The building is entirely wheelchair accessible.

We welcome guide and hearing dogs. An induction loop for events is available by advance request.

Large print texts are available upon request from reception or by contacting us by email or telephone. Baby changing facilities are available in the ground floor toilets.

Collection details

Fine Art

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
image of mims exhibition at spike island

Andy Holden: Maximum Irony! Maximum Sincerity 1999-2003

  • 3 May — 29 June 2014

Maximum Irony! Maximum Sincerity 1999-2013 (MI!MS) is the culmination of eighteen months work by the artist Andy Holden. Looking back to the time that immediately preceded his formal art training, this work uncovers and recreates an art movement devised by Holden and his friends as adolescents.

Structured as a film in eight parts, the history and works of MI!MS unfolds across a dense, large scale installation incorporating video, music, painting, drawing, sculpture and text. By means of this absurd over-investment in a moment from his youth, Holden asks how we might make things with conviction and meaning in a culture dominated by postmodernist irony and cynicism.

The work developed through a painstaking process of recapturing and reanimating the history of MI!MS by scripting conversations and events that took place with his friends John Blamey, Roger Illingworth, James MacDowell and Johnny Parry between 1999-2003. Works of art produced by the group were collected or remade and songs written and recorded.

The artist auditioned young people from Bedford, where the artist and his friends lived, to perform their roles in re-enactments of key moments from the history of MI!MS such as the signing of the manifesto, and worked with a young person’s choir to record music written by the group. The resulting collage plays with tropes of irony and sincerity, with cliché, kitsch and nostalgia, loading the work with sentiment and affect such that its reception becomes ambiguous.