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
169 Annual Open Exhibition – 8 October 22 to 8 Jan 23
The RWA’s renowned Annual Open Exhibition will be returning for its 169th year with a stunning variety of work from emerging and established artists. More info here.
Photo above of RWA 168 Open by Alice Hendy
Compiled by Sue Quirk and Laurel Smart
1) LISA TRAXLER: TIME TRAVELLER
UNTIL 8 OCTOBER, SOUTHAMPTON CITY ART GALLERY
In 2020 Lisa Traxler was awarded first place in Southampton City Art Gallery’s Open Exhibition with her sculpture, ‘Time Traveller – Voyager’ which was inspired by a painting from Southampton’s Maritime and Local History Collection ‘Approach to the New World (Olympic)’ by artist Norman Wilkinson. Taking her winning entry as a reference point, history and architecture collide in this exhibition to create an immersive landscape within the gallery setting. Alongside dazzle artworks the artist has created a new series of sculptures transforming and dissecting previous works.
2) BRANCASTER CHRONICLES: MIXED EXHIBITION
15 OCTOBER – 13 NOVEMBER, MUSEUM IN THE PARK, STROUD
The Brancaster Chronicles, which began in 2013, are recorded or filmed discussions of individual abstract artists’ work in their studios. The idea was to open up and extend personal creativity and debate around the work and take it into the public realm via online forums.
This exhibition of vibrant and colourful abstract art by members of the Chronicles is curated by Stroud artist Noela James Bewry. Featuring John Bunker, Robin Greenwood, Sarah Greenwood, Alexandra Harley, Harry Hay, Noela James Bewry, Patrick Jones, Nick Moore, John Pollard, Fred Pollock, Hilde Skilton, Anne Smart, Steven Walker, Richard Ward, Emyr Williams.
3) DUKE MITCHELL: LAVISH VANDALISM
UNTIL 16 OCTOBER, VIEW ART GALLERY, BRISTOL
Debut solo exhibition. Storytelling is at the heart of Mitchell’s eclectic work. He is an observational sponge who reimagines what he sees to create a new narrative. Sources of inspiration include historical characters, personal relationships, the physical environment and his garden. The physical output is as equally diverse as the input. This collection includes a 5 metre wide pentaptych painting, cinematic-style photography and mixed media work re-appropriated from numerous found materials. The exhibition takes us on an aesthetic, intellectual and emotional journey, allowing the work to be appreciated on many levels. It is possible to marvel at the clever use of art historical references or laugh at the satirical take on socio-political issues. Or we can take pure aesthetic pleasure in the colourful imagery and admire the re-imagined use of discarded objects. Lavish Vandalism is an exhibition formed over many years and through multiple lenses.
4) CATH BLOOMFIELD: A VOCABULARY OF MAKING REVEALED
UNTIL 23 OCTOBER, BLACK SWAN ARTS, FROME, SOMERSET
A new show at Black Swan Arts by artist Cath Bloomfield features collagraph and collaged prints inspired by the human form and landscape.
Cath explores colour, texture and narrative using the medium of collagraph and collage. Utilising textured and contrasting materials, she layers and constructs collagraph boards and stencils for printing. She believes that ‘Deep in the making something hidden is released through the process of construction.’ Working intuitively, and responding in the moment, she overlays or collages several plates to create relief. As a result, the original collagraph plate becomes a textural object, layered with the memory of use.
5) INGRID POLLARD: THREE DROPS OF BLOOD
UNTIL 29 OCTOBER, THELMA HULBERT GALLERY, HONITON, DEVON
Curated by talking on corners this is an exhibition of new work by Ingrid Pollard, 2022 Turner Prize nominee. It marks the first collaboration between talking on corners and THG, presenting renowned artist Ingrid Pollard to East Devon for the first time. Ingrid Pollard is recognised as one of the most influential British artists, breaking new ground and forging pathways for younger generations, shaping Britain’s understanding and histories of art, society and culture.
The exhibition includes photography, print, mixed media, text, found objects and an extensive project archive. It is the culmination of a two-year research project which has seen Pollard travel across Devon. Drawing on her interests in classification, systems of knowledge, leisure, trade and money, Pollard has homed in on botanical gardens, ferns and the unique historical collections of books at the Devon and Exeter Institution.
6) ABSTRACT 7, NOW WE ARE THREE: MIXED EXHIBITION
UNTIL 29 OCTOBER, PENWITH ART GALLERY, ST IVES, CORNWALL
After many successful collaborations with visiting artists. The core group: Sue Davis, Sean Hewitt and Richard Holliday, who have been with the group since 2015, are now exhibiting on their own.
The values of “Abstract 7” are still very prominent: emotions, feelings, sensations released by the freedom of abstraction. Which would probably be lost if based on reality. The imaginative use of materials employed and the quest for a clarity pares down to an essential pleasing essence.
Sue works with mixed media mainly in two dimensions. The work embraces the open-ended exploration of plastic expression used by the American Expressionists and is flavoured with the playfulness of Kandinsky’s spiritual awareness. For this exhibition she is exploring borders by breaking out from the conventional rectangle.
Richard is a sculptor working in stone. In this exhibition he is playing with ideas of constraint and freedom. The use of the large stone frames that can be looked through, offers a three-dimensional view of that which might normally be two dimensional. One can choose to use the borders as a useful, or claustrophobic constraint, or a frontier that should be breached as part of the struggle for liberty.
Sean’s paintings, abstract acrylics on canvas, exude zest and vivacity. Bright colours mesh, merge and move, as if in a dance or somehow represent the sounds of music. Immediately compelling, the antidote to the greyest day.
7) JANE SHEPPARD & ROBERT WOOLNER: BREATHE
UNTIL 30 OCTOBER: VANNER GALLERY, SALISBURY
BREATHE brings together ceramicist Jane Sheppard and painter Robert Woolner, two artists who connect deeply to material and texture. They invite us to pause and take time to contemplate. It is beautiful, immersive work which offers a rare moment of peace and calm in a frenetic world.
Jane Sheppard: “It’s deeply moving to work with inner ancestral voices that quietly say, “Listen to the earth. Watch it. Protect it. It is precious because it is you and you are it.” Spotlighting that which is beautiful, precious and meaningful feels most important.”
Robert Woolner: “I spend all my days staring at these images and trying to order them to achieve a kind of rightness and stability and calm. If at some stage a person looks at them and stops and feels the same thing, I’ve succeeded. In the end all I really want to do is stop time and visual experience to that moment of quiet contemplation.”
LAST CHANCE TO SEE
- UNTIL 2 OCTOBER: SARAH HARCUS & SUSAN LUKER: RETURNING TO THE FUTURE Exhibition of watercolour painting and raku ceramics. HARBOUR HOUSE, KINGSBRIDGE, DEVON https://www.harbourhouse.org.uk/g22-sh.shtml
- UNTIL 5 OCTOBER: KEVIN O’KEEFE: TEN TERRIFYING TALES FROM TOPSY TURVY LAND A solo show by Artist and Printmaker. CENTRESPACE, BRISTOL http://www.centrespacegallery.com/?post_type=exhibitions&p=2299
WATCH OUT FOR
- SOMERSET ART WEEKS: UNTIL 9 OCTOBER Events and activities as part of this year’s Somerset Open Studios with workshops, demonstrations and films. Don’t miss Heritage Courtyard Gallery and Studios which is Venue No 52. https://somersetartworks.org.uk/what-we-do/art-weeks/openstudios/
- JENNI DUTTON: ABSURD SEWN SELFIES: UNTIL 15 OCTOBER A collection of mixed media explorations into identity, ageing, disguise and power. ACEARTS, SOMERTON https://www.acearts.co.uk/2022-2/
- PATRICK HERON: SHAPING COLOUR PRINTS 1956-1999: UNTIL 31 OCTOBER Explore the full evolution of his printmaking oeuvre, bringing together almost fifty years of graphic works. BURTON AT BIDEFORD, DEVON https://www.burtonartgallery.co.uk/whats-on-at-the-burton/exhibitions-activities/#Exhibitions
West Bristol Artist Trail – 15-16 OCTOBER 11-5pm
Venues in Clifton, Cliftonwood, Redland & Hotwells. https://westbristolarts.com/
If you would like an exhibition or artist to be listed please email firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.