The best art exhibitions coming up in Bristol and the Westcountry – 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 the month ahead – including a look ahead to upcoming features….
AT THE RWA
Earth: Digging Deep in British Art 1781 – 2022 – until 11 Sept 22
Earth: Digging Deep in British Art 1781-2022 is a major exhibition spanning four centuries of artwork, coming to the RWA this summer
The final instalment of the RWA’s elements series, Earth: Digging Deep in British Art 1781-2022 tackles the most expansive and urgent of subject matters, bringing together important modern, historical and contemporary artworks, co-curated by artist Emma Stibbon RA RWA, art historian Professor Emerita Christiana Payne (Oxford Brookes University) and Nathalie Levi (Head of Programme – Curator of Exhibitions, RWA). It follows The Power of the Sea: Making Waves in British Art 1790-2014 (2014), Air: Visualising the Invisible in British Art 1768-2017 (2017) and Fire: Flashes to Ashes in British Art 1692-2019 (2019).
Earth examines how attitudes towards the landscape have evolved over the centuries and how artists’ approaches have changed over time; from the pastoral idylls of the 18th century, through representations of the Romantic Sublime, to present-day confrontations of the climate emergency. Encompassing depictions of the natural world from geological, spiritual, industrial, cultural and scientific perspectives.
This exhibition goes deep beneath the earth, exposes the core materiality of its elements, explores the substance of the surface, climbs dizzying heights and perches perilously on its edges. It bears witness to the earth’s mistreatment and its magnificence, its fullness and its fragility. Earth surveys the representation of our environment across four centuries, inviting us to consider our planet in all its abundance, precarity and preciousness.
Anthony Whishaw at 92: A Force of Nature – 9 July to 11 Sept 22
Also showing in the Kenny Gallery is an exhibition exploring Anthony Whishaw RA RWA’s studies of nature, the forces of nature and climate over the past six decades. More info here.
Compiled by Sue Quirk and Laurel Smart
1) GEORGINA TOWLER: STOP
6-20 AUGUST, ACEARTS, SOMERTON
“STOP and bathe with me in the golden light. Life is fast and looking is slow: STOP, LOOK, SEE, FEEL.
These paintings are evaluations of light: light falling, light landing, light forming. Enveloping afternoon glistening light; the flickers of hope in the depths of winter, the illuminating greens in the infancy of spring, the warming hum of summer.
Sparkling yellows, burning whites, cool blues and warming shadows.
Blue then green, light then dark, soft then sharp, dynamic then constant.”
2) MEMORY AND EMOTION, EXPLORING THE ABSTRACT: GROUP EXHIBITION
6-27 AUGUST, ARTIZAN GALLERY, TORBAY
A group of artists working in abstraction, with works that reflect their individual responses to the world around them. Works of Mark Jessett, Lisa Parkyn, Jenny Smy, ashar, Ian Watson and Sam Boughton.
3) DRAWN TO PRINT: VARIOUS ARTISTS FROM THE TAMAR VALLEY
UNTIL 7 AUGUST, OCEAN STUDIOS, PLYMOUTH
The Printers of Drawn to the Valley are a diverse and talented group and there will be many forms of printing in this exhibition. There will be an affordable art section called ‘Off the peg’.
4) DAVID HAMLING: ENKELT
9-21 AUGUST, HARBOUR HOUSE, KINGSBRIDGE, DEVON
Well known for his rugged and elemental landscape projects, David Hamling’s most
recent works focus on specific facets of the landscape near and far. Rock structures are
explored with reference to weight and dynamics, equilibrium and imbalance. In
simplifying forms David finds that scale becomes of “enormous importance”.
David uses visual understatement with increased scale in recent plant and shell paintings,
and notes an Oriental influence as he concentrates on “what I choose to call the beautiful understatement”. Enkelt: beauty through simplicity.
5) DEREK NICE: A CELEBRATION
19-27 AUGUST, HERITAGE COURTYARD GALLERY/STUDIO, WELLS
PRIVATE VIEW 19TH AUGUST 6-8PM. ALL PROCEEDS TO THE UKRAINE RELIEF FUND, UK
Derek Nice, who sadly died last year, was a sculptor, painter, constructor, photographer and raconteur. His work alludes to and celebrates the transitions and processes brought by the sea – land erosion, exposure of the structure of vessels, the stripping down of layers of paint to expose grain and texture. His paintings respond to and conduct a dialogue with his constructions.
A rich heritage of maritime history, from ancient graffiti on church and harbour walls to images in prisons engraved by seafarers and galley slaves, marking a tally of their incarceration, feeds into his work. His angels are constructed from boat fragments, a metaphor for the traumatic experience of refugees seeking safe haven.
6) MARGARET LOVELL: LEAVES OF BRONZE
UNTIL 31 AUGUST: DAVID SIMON CONTEMPORARY, CASTLE CARY
A retrospective exhibition of sculpture in bronze relating to the theme of leaf and blade forms, for which this artist is internationally renowned. Also including a body of works on paper from her studies at the Slade and the Florence Academy of Fine Art, from the 1950s and ’60s.
Margaret Lovell, born in 1939 in Bristol, studied at West of England College of Art 1956-60, with Ernest Pascoe, then at Slade School of Art 1960-2 under A.H.Gerrard, where she won First Prizes for sculpture and figure studies. In 1962 she worked at the Morris Singer Foundry where she learned about bronze casting techniques. Morris Singer is the oldest Foundry in the world and it was here that she was introduced to Barbara Hepworth, with whom she built a good friendship. She was elected to the Royal West of England Academy in 1972 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1973.
7) HENRY MOORE: SHARING FORM
UNTIL 4 SEPTEMBER, HAUSER & WIRTH, BRUTON, SOMERSET
Hauser & Wirth Somerset presents a major exhibition of works by Henry Moore, curated by Hannah Higham of the Henry Moore Foundation in collaboration with the artist’s daughter Mary Moore. The exhibition takes as its starting point the artist’s early fascination with the Neolithic site of Stonehenge and continued exploration of the upright abstract form. Moore first encountered the prehistoric monuments under the moonlight as a young man in 1921; fifty-two years later he embarked on a series of lithographs on the subject.
Moore was fascinated by the relationship between the towering masses of ancient stone, their size and siting in the landscape, and the mysterious ‘depths and distances’ evoked on his returning visits. For Moore, the power and intensity of such large forms set against land and sky precipitated career-long investigations into scale, material and volume and the juxtaposition of art and nature, which is presented throughout the exhibition.
LAST CHANCE TO SEE
- UNTIL 31 JULY: CREATING SPACES Cotswold Sculptors Association exhibition with sculptures in the garden. MISERDEN GARDEN, MISERDEN, NR STROUD, GLOS
WATCH OUT FOR…
- DOT WOOD: LANDSCAPES, SEASCAPES, HEDGEROWS: 15 AUGUST – 4 SEPTEMBER Acrylic paint and pastel works from an artist confined to hospital for several months with a serious illness. SOU’-SOU’-WEST ARTS GALLERY, BRIDPORT https://sousouwest.co.uk/
- SOPHIE FRASER AND ALICE ELLIS-BRAY: SUNDANCE: UNTIL 22 AUGUST This show marks the debut exhibition of Young Penwith Artists exhibitions with two local artists. PENWITH GALLERY, ST IVES https://penwithgallery.com/exhibition/studio-gallery-sophie-fraser-alice-ellis-bray-2022/
- GRAYSON’S ART CLUB: UNTIL 4 SEPTEMBER Art works chosen by Grayson Perry and guest celebrities during the hit Channel 4 series. BRISTOL MUSEUM & ART GALLERY https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/grayson-perry-art-club/
If you would like an exhibition or artist to be listed please email email@example.com for consideration.