Plan 9

Plan 9 was a contemporary art initiative run by artists, curators and writers between 2005 and 2010 in Bristol. Plan 9 was founded by Sophie Mellor and Julian Claxton, and was also co-directed by Toby Huddlestone and Karen Di Franco.

Taking advantage of the redevelopment of Bristol’s city centre, Plan 9’s first site was in an empty shop unit in Broadmead – the city’s shopping precinct. With the support of Bristol City Council, Broadmead Alliance and the estate agents Hartnell, Taylor and Cook, Plan 9 secured the unit for a period of one year, rent free.

Plan 9’s programme was formulated to support the careers of emerging artists and curators, with four main exhibitions in 2005 curated by Plan 9 (Industry & Idleness, Gatsobyter, Generation Games and BRSLAXVAA). An open call was also sent out nationally, which resulted in another five exhibitions/events being curated/organised by artists and curators outside of Plan 9.

In 2006 Plan 9 curated Wig Wam Bam! at The Red Lodge – an Elizabethan House run as a museum by Bristol City Council. Wig Wam Bam! formed part of the ‘fringe’ for the British Art Show 6 in Bristol.

In 2007 Plan 9 operated out of the back of Spike Island, presenting one event (All our Worst Work) and two exhibitions (Utstallruum, and, Martin Kippenburger with fries and a shake) curated by Plan 9 members.

In 2008, working with Bristol City Council, Artspace Lifespace and Urban Splash, Plan 9 took on new premises – a former police station in Bristol’s city centre, Bridewell Island – creating a gallery, project space and studios. From 2008 to 2010, Plan 9 ran a programme of exhibitions, events and international residencies initiated by Plan 9 members.

Plan 9 members have included Chris Barr, Kayle Brandon, Rachel Butcher, Rob Chavasse, Nim-Jo Chung, Julian Claxton, Rachel Connelly, Karen Di Franco, Anton Goldenstein, Mark Harris, Toby Huddlestone, Tom Johnson, Ali Jones, John Lawrence, Julie MacCalden, Natasha MacVoy, Sophie Mellor, Anouk Mercier, Sarah Tulloch, Lucie Red and Zoe Williams.

All Plan 9’s exhibitions and events are archived at