Artist in Residence: Otis Blease



My name is Otis Blease and I’m a 20 year old university student, about to go into my second year studying Drawing and Print at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol.


I was invited to be an Artist in Residence here at Jamaica Street Artists Studios – an excellent opportunity to explore the working environment of multiple talented artists, as well as attempting to produce a body of work based on my experiences. This provided insight into the working lives of the artists and also the sense of community that comes with working in a creative space such as this.

I recorded visual notes and scenes that I found interesting around the studios and observed artists using a range of materials and processes. It was interesting to see studio holders working to the deadline of public demand for their stylised works of art – whether this was in the form of a dreamlike cityscape painting by Adrian Sykes, Dorcas Casey’s unsettling yet beautiful sculptures or an illustrated animation of a dark and moody scene by Tom Mead.


I found Jamaica Street Artists Studios to be a broad spectrum of creativity; a place where an Argentinian doll maker can work alongside someone drawing highly detailed objects.

The drawings I have created are work in progress sketches of any scenes I found particularly interesting. I made myself a passive observer simply recording settings in which art is, has or will soon be made.


If you came to see my work during Bristol Doors Open Day then share your experience:

Instagram: @jamaicastreetartists / @otisblease / #BristolDOD

Twitter: @jamaicastreet / @BristolDOD / #BristolDOD

Facebook: @jamaicastreetartists  


About jamaicastreetartists

Jamaica Street Artists is one of the largest artist-lead studios outside of London and has been established for over 15 years. The studio is housed in a grade ii listed former carriageworks, an iconic landmark in Bristol. Jamaica Street Artists is a unique and ambitious collective, holding an annual Open Studio and planning an exciting programme for the year ahead. In the past we have held group exhibitions at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery and St George's, Bristol, and individual artists continue to find success exhibiting across the UK and abroad. Over the past year Jamaica Street Artists has run a dynamic fundraising campaign to safeguard our future, a new lease has now been secured, but the long-term aim remains to purchase the building in partnership. Looking towards the future Jamaica Street Artists plan to build on their success, continuing to contribute to Bristol's creative and cultural reputation and promoting the work of its artists.

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