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 February – 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 – until 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.
Ros Ford VPRWA: A decade of drawing and print – until 9 February 2020, Academicians’ Gallery
Laurel Smart – Journeys into Abstraction at Tetbury Goods Shed
Until 23 February 2020.
Laurel Smart is a key member of the FRWA Committee, and she has been busy helping to organise the RWA Friends Exhibition at Tetbury Goods Shed Arts Centre. As a result she is fortunate to be the first Friend to be offered a solo show at this superb venue.
Laurel’s large, energetic abstract canvasses celebrate the expressive quality of paint. See more of her work and read a Q&A about her art here.
1) NOT EVERYTHING IS BLACK AND WHITE, TRISHA HAYMAN
UNTIL 12 FEBRUARY
Inspired by the natural world, Trisha Hayman’s traditional artwork shows the beautiful but raw edges of nature, and it is the unconsidered and expendable specimens of the natural world that fascinate her. This exhibition highlights her more contemporary approach to still life: simple clean lines in graphite that complement the richly detailed subject matter. Alongside Trisha’s work will be pieces by Mark Swan, creator of delicate Japanese Shoji screens and furniture.
Lyme Bay Arts. Website.
2) IMPRESSIONS ON PAPERS
UNTIL 3 MARCH
David Simon Contemporary’s annual exhibition devoted to works of art on paper through watercolour, drawing, ching and linocut prints. The show incorporates paintings created with pure paint from raw pigment and gum Arabic by David Brayne RWS, who has completed a series continuing themes of figures in land and water-scapes as well as interiors; paintings by Peter Ceredig-Evans inspired by his extensive travels in Australia; linocut prints by Olivia Clifton-Bligh; watercolour with pen and ink by Lydia Corbett; linocut prints by Steven Hubbard focusing on nostalgic household objects; acrylics and works in oil on paper by Bridget Moore RBA.
David Simon Contemporary, Castle Cary Website
3) URTHWORKS BY BEN RIVERS
UNTIL 9 FEBRUARY
Urth, in Norse mythology is the goddess of fate, a giantess who personified the past. Earthworks is a novel by Brian Aldiss that imagines a future after devastating ecological breakdown. Ben Rivers makes films that explore ‘other worldliness’ in the actual world around us. Places are severed from the conventions of time past, present or future, where the line between real and imagined becomes uncertain.
Urthworks is the culmination of a long term collaboration between Ben Rivers and science fiction writer Mark von Schlegell. At the heart of the show is a trilogy of films that explore our planets geological evolution and the deep history of our cultural traditions.
Hestercombe Gardens, Taunton. Website.
4) GLYNN UZZELL, 1930-2014: A RETROSPECTIVE
UNTIL 7 MARCH
This retrospective exhibition brings together a selection of Uzzell’s vibrant and lyrical paintings and prints showcasing his talent and range as an artist. Uzzell spent many years living and working abroad, but this exhibition will help Swindon rediscover one of its most significant modern artists. This exhibition has been made possible due to the support of the artist’s family.
Swindon Museum & Art Gallery. Website.
5) ANGELA CHILUFYA: part of me
UNTIL 28 MARCH
An exhibition that centres around intimacy, relationships & connections. Identity related themes are the sole focus of the artists practice. The exhibition proposes an investigation in the relationships formed by the artists which have formed her identity. The choice to paint in blue is inspired by a quote from Moonlight, ‘In moonlight, Black boys look blue’ about a young black man embarking on a journey to manhood who is guided by the kindness, support and love of the community that helps raise him. The artist is inspired to create portraits that are drowning or surrounded by darkness which represents black culture dying or being washed away due to the way people of colour are expected to conduct themselves in western society.
HOURS, Bristol. Website.
6) PACITA ABAD: LIFE IN THE MARGINS
UNTIL 5 APRIL
This is the first exhibition in the UK by Filipino American artist Pacita Abad (1946–2004). It includes twenty large-scale ‘trapunto’ paintings and works on fabric made between 1983 and 2002. Canvasses are padded and stitched before being painted and layered with a range of printed textiles and objects, they are characterised by their vibrant colour and intricate construction.
Spike Island, Bristol. Website.
7) GRAYSON PERRY: THE PRE-THERAPY YEARS
UNTIL 25 MAY
The first exhibition to survey Grayson Perry’s earliest forays into the art world re-introduces the explosive and creative works he made between 1982 and 1994. These ground-breaking ‘lost’ pots are reunited for the first time to focus on the formative years of one of Britain’s most recognisable artists.
Holburne Museum, Bath. Website.
LAST CHANCE TO SEE…
UNTIL 8 FEBRUARY: SOUTH WEST ACADEMY EXHIBITION Winter Exhibition. THELMA HULBERT GALLERY, HONITON
UNTIL 9 FEBRUARY: INSTAGRAM OR BE DAMNED Mark Clarke’s assemblage sculptures explore the notion of contemporary celebrity culture, his portraits of pop icons are constructed from found objects, drawing on high and low culture. THE HOLBURNE MUSEUM, BATH
WATCH OUT FOR…
Until end March: Ann Baber poured acrylic at Polodango Gallery, Clevedon. Ann is a friend of the RWA and has four pieces in this show. More info.
If you would like an exhibition or artist to be listed please email firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.