Best of the West – Art exhibitions and events in December 2019

The best art exhibitions in Bristol and the Westcountry this month – selected by the Friends of the RWA…

Here’s our pick of the best art exhibitions and events happening in and around Bristol and the south west in December – including ‘Last chance to see’ shows and a look ahead to upcoming features….

Compiled by Sue Quirk and Laurel Smart

 


AT THE RWA

Refuge and Renewal: Migration and British Art / Africa State of Mind 14 December 19 to 1 March 2020

Two major exhibitions for the winter, one exploring the impact of artist refugees on art in Britain over the last 150 years, and the other showcasing the work of emergent African photographers. 

 

Small Things Bright and Beautiful  – 3 December 19 to 5 January 2020, Academicians’ Gallery

A free exhibition featuring small artworks by RWA Academicians, all for sale and priced under £350. Free preview and festive celebration on Wednesday 4 December 6-8pm. More info here. 

 


 

DECEMBER EXHIBITIONS

 

1) FIGURING IT OUT

2-24 DECEMBER

Drawn from a diverse selection of work by West Country painters, sculptors, ceramicists, printmakers and jewellers, it will be possible to view emotionally charged, satirical pieces, compelling portraits, interior scenes and work infused with psychological tension.

Heritage Courtyard Gallery, Wells. Website.

 

2) REWILD – DONNA LAWLEY HOPTON AND KEVIN LAWLEY FRSA

10-15 DECEMBER

Donna Lawley Hopton shows a collection of paintings in oil and graphite produced in homage to the beauty of the animal kingdom. Paintings are largely worked out on the board, not in a sketchbook, and retain the marks that have been made along the way, suggesting movement and time. Small areas, usually the face, are finished off in oil in fine detail, paying homage to the exquisite beauty we stand to lose.

Kevin Lawley shows chairs that he’s rescued from the streets and rejuvenated with creative carving and painting. By carving into the frames, whilst allowing some of the original design to remain, he hopes to celebrate the incredible natural resource that is wood, and the myriad of ways it can be worked.

Harbour House, Kingsbridge Website

 

3) HIT REPEAT: PRINTS FROM THE SWINDON COLLECTION OF MODERN BRITISH ART

10 DECEMBER – 4 JANUARY 2020

This exhibition brings together a selection of prints from Swindon’s Collection, so visitors can explore this vital and engaging art form for themselves. The exhibition includes work by Allen Jones, Basil Beattie, Christopher Nevinson and Katherine Jones.

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. Website.

 

 

4) STILL I RISE: FEMINISMS, GENDER, RESISTANCE – ACT 3

UNTIL 15 DECEMBER

A large-scale exhibition of international artists, highlighting the experiences of women and celebrating their triumphs – and showing how the struggle for liberation is ongoing and hard-won.

Arnolfini, Bristol. Website.

 

5) CORINNA SARGOOD ‘PICTURES & DIORAMAS’

UNTIL 21 DECEMBER

A collection of multilayered, painted wood dioramas, dense and brilliant embroideries, prints and artist’s books. Corinna’s work explores her life in Mexico, Peru, and the dark world of fairy tale. The show premiers a set of brand new embroideries based on tales from the Old Testament and a totally embroidered puppet theatre that tells the history of the conquest of Mexico.

Black Swan Arts, Frome. Website.

 

6) WASTED – SOUTH WEST TEXTILE GROUP

UNTIL 24 NOVEMBER

This exhibition presents explorations of wastage in the earth’s natural resources and how that waste can be put to good use.

ACEarts, Somerton. Website.

 

7) ANN-MARIE JAMES – ALCHEMY: ARTEFACTS REIMAGINED

UNTIL 4 JANUARY 2020

A compelling new exhibition inspired by objects from four museums. The artworks, all in gold or white, were created by Ann-Marie James with techniques including painting, gilding and printmaking. The Archer series was inspired by The Salisbury Museum’s Amesbury Archer, and the Chieftain series by Wiltshire Museum’s Bush Barrow lozenge. The artworks are for sale and a share of the proceeds will go to Wessex Museums.

The Salisbury Museum. Website.


 

LAST CHANCE TO SEE…

UNTIL 6 DECEMBER: SARAH FEINMAN: OVERLOOKED Deteriorating surfaces, aspects of urban dereliction. ROPER GALLERY, BATH http://bathartistsstudios.co.uk/event/sarah-feinmann-overlooked/

UNTIL 7 DECEMBER: STUART LOW BREATHING SPACE An exhibition of new paintings and stained glass. FLUX, BRISTOL http://fluxbristol.co.uk/events

UNTIL 7 DECEMBER: ANDREW HARDWICK Paintings, diptychs and triptychs. ATKINSON GALLERY, STREET www.atkinsongallery.co.uk

UNTIL 8 DECEMBER IMRAN PERRETTA THE DESTRUCTORS The film explores personal and collective experiences of marginalisation and oppression. SPIKE ISLAND, BRISTOL https://www.spikeisland.org.uk/programme/exhibitions/imran-perretta/


 

WATCH OUT FOR…

PERGUADEO II (REJOICE) UNTIL 10 DECEMBER Bringing together seven local contemporary artists of different disciplines and styles to celebrate their creativity.
Shaftesbury Arts Centre, SHAFTESBURY http://www.shaftesburyartscentre.org.uk/

PLAYING THE PICTURESQUE UNTIL 14 DECEMBER Five Nash-inspired scenes extend into interactive virtual environments through digital projections. Andrew Brownsword Gallery, The Edge, BATH https://www.edgearts.org/whats-on/events/playing-the-picturesque/ 

THE LOST WORDS UNTIL 12 JANUARY Collaborative project between writer Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris. RAMM, EXETER https://www.rammuseum.org.uk/

STEVE CLARKSON: PUSHING BOUNDARIES IN PRINT UNTIL 12 JANUARY New exhibition. Brook Gallery, BUDLEIGH SALTERTON https://www.brookgallery.co.uk/

STRANGE & WONDERFUL BEINGS: THE WORK OF CLIFFORD & ROSEMARY ELLIS UNTIL 18 JANUARY From tube posters to wartime sketches, exhibition of the artistic output of this design duo and their legacy. Chippenham Museum, CHIPPENHAM http://www.chippenham.gov.uk/chippenham-museum/exhibitions

 

If you would like an exhibition or artist to be listed please email laurel.smart@blueyonder.co.uk and we will consider it for inclusion.

 


 

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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