Uncertainty, caution, lockdown, restrictions, risk, open, not open… words that have been said with high frequency. The year of the unmute/mute button!

While we’ve been traversing the multiple challenges thrown at us this year, we’ve also been making some changes to our spaces – which have been crying out for love and attentionincluding a good clear out.

At Ocean Studios, we’ve been quietly beavering away; adding a new doorway (which was not quiet), creating windows (also not quiet), introducing plants (thank you Nook, we love them), and adding desks and sofas to expand our co-working we’ve moved them around once or twiceand maybe once more for good measure. We have also tested our new approach to exhibitions which has become more versatile – who knew what was possible with scaffolding and MDF? And we’ve extended our kitchen space to make it more functional – which makes our hosts very happy…at least, it does when we’re actually open to customers.

Following the recent announcement, from the 3rd December our Ocean Studios space and cafe will be open. Our amended opening hours will be: Tuesday to Friday 9am-2pm, Saturday 10am-4pm.

We will of course be following social distancing procedures and all visitors must wear a mask whilst traveling throughout the building. We also encourage visitors to make use of the NHS test and trace app upon entering the space.

At C Space, a new project, which we had grand plans of opening with a splash became more of a tiny ripple. But new members have continued to join our enterprising community, taking advantage of the desks with a sea view and colourful rooms in which to create big ideas – and for the braver of us, some, but not all have taken a dip in the sea – hot showers and a place to hang a wetsuit also available!

Things have been much quieter in Devonport..our grand Guildhall got a lick of paint and is looking fresher than ever but the doors have sadly remained closed…for now but not for long.

Starting Something new and celebrating the creative and local is where we currently focus our energy.

A flavour of what you can expect?

When you next visit Ocean you’ll be able to take a different route through the studios in Factory Cooperageour newly installed doorway leads up to studios with new windows that let light and warmth into the corridors and allow our visitors to glimpse makers and artists at work, and browse products locally madeyou will be able to see beyond the café and exhibitions which, while lovely, have been the only accessible areas for years. Look out for some of these products, lovingly made, in our gift guide for Christmas, celebrating the small and local.

We’re looking forward to some pop-up retail and take-away experiences; tasty artisan treats from new food enterprises producing in the Real Ideas kitchens and bakery at Devonport Guildhall, and a sprinkling of festive joy…

We may be cautious and ‘mute’ through December but we remain hopeful of a loud and uplifting start to 2021; where you’ll be able to immerse yourself in creativity, enjoy working in a different space every week if you wish, and look forward to new beginnings and opportunity.