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 – until 8 January 23
The RWA’s renowned Annual Open Exhibition returns for its 169th year with a stunning variety of work from emerging and established artists. More info here.
Photo: Alice Hendy
Compiled by Sue Quirk and Laurel Smart
1) CONSEQUENCES: GROUP EXHIBITION
28 OCTOBER – 6 NOVEMBER, HURSTONE STUDIOS, WATERROW, SOMERSET
Based on the old parlour game of the same name. Each artist submitted a head, body and legs, these were separated and reassembled to create a unique ‘Consequence’.
There are 15 participating artists: Chrys Allen, Louise Baker, Bronwen Bradshaw, Lucy Cooper, Michael Cooper, Penny Elfick, Jo Fairfax, Michael Fairfax, Jenny Graham, Sophie Molins, Jazz Moore, Phil Moore, David Smith, Bunny Starkey, Jacy Wall. Hurstone Studios, Waterrow TA4 2AT – by appointment 31 October-2 November contact 07956 510886
2) LYDIA CORBETT & PABLO PICASSO: OUT OF VALLAURIS
5 – 28 NOVEMBER, DAVID SIMON CONTEMPORARY, CASTLE CARY
A rare exhibition of paintings, works on paper and ceramics by both Lydia Corbett and Pablo Picasso. Lydia Corbett, née Sylvette David, was the subject of more than sixty paintings and sculptures by Picasso, after meeting in 1953 and is the only internationally recognised artist of that period who is still active as an artist. Now in her late eighties with failing eyesight, she has found a new voice. Recalling memories of her life as a young woman, she has learned a new way of working – with her ‘inner eye’. Working very directly onto canvas and wooden panels, she creates bold and powerful compositions in oils, often with charcoal. The exhibition also includes the collaborative achievements of her and her daughter, Alice Corbett, working together in ceramics. These more recent methods enable Corbett to transfer images of memories and her imagination in a direct way by working with her hands, relying on her other sense of touch and feel as well as her remaining eyesight.
Complementing this body of work is a collection of original works on paper and ceramics by Pablo Picasso, from the 1930s – 1960s, but with a focus on the early 1950s.
3) SIMON WILLIAMS: EQUIPOISE
UNTIL 12 NOVEMBER, THAT ART GALLERY, BRISTOL
“Much of my work can be traced to a fascination with urban graffiti and comic books, visually arresting images that have burned deep into my sense of aesthetic, half remembered and subsequently fused with other stimulus from the visual soup of our time. I’m interested in making paintings filled with an energy that flows. My own uncharted dialogue between the needs of the subconscious and conscious mind, where the outcome is not fully known where painterly gestural marks combine with different materials chosen for their inherent graphic qualities until some kind of self-determined equilibrium occurs.”
4) MARTYN BREWSTER AT 70: COAST LINES
UNTIL 12 NOVEMBER, SLADERS YARD, BRIDPORT
At 70, Martyn Brewster’s paintings are as vital, various and eloquent as ever. This exhibition celebrates an artist gifted not only with technical ability for painting, drawing and printmaking, but also with a firm intellectual and emotional grasp of what he wants to say. His serious approach has been rewarded by commercial success from the start. His work is in an impressive list of national and international collections and has been exhibited widely and regularly.
The work itself is celebratory, inspired often by the beautiful Dorset coastline. Pen and ink drawings loosely describe the landscape in dazzling tonal works. His prints are ambitious and experimental. His paintings express depth and mystery in structured areas of colour. His love for paint itself is evident in the marks and the paint surfaces as well as a natural ebullience in the colours he chooses.
5) LOUISA CRISPIN: FLIGHTPATH
UNTIL 21 NOVEMBER, ACEARTS, SOMERTON, SOMERSET
Drawing, painting, stitching, collage, cutting, printing – using art to consider insect habitats and the barriers they face with climate change, food scarcity and habitat destruction. Join Louisa Crispin’s Great Big Wildlife Corridor, look closer and become part of a positive future for nature through art.
6) POLLY PENROSE, CAMILLA HANNEY, PALOMA TENDERO: BODY LANGUAGE
UNTIL 20 NOVEMBER, MESSUMS WILTSHIRE, TISBURY, WILTSHIRE
Messums Wiltshire is devoting its spaces to contemporary female artists. Each makes work centring around the body, using either their own or other bodies to reflect upon ideas around power, pleasure, and disgust. All of these women have interrogated the nature of flesh – abstracting it into sculpture, focusing on its surface or recreating it from porcelain. They ask the viewer to think about the female form and the politics of the gaze. Bodies are presented as objects or even deconstructed, far removed from the idealised nudes of previous generations. The body becomes a painful vessel or a tool – something to be used and viewed rather than admired or sexualised. These works question women’s roles – as makers, mothers, subjects, objects, lovers, to name but a few.
Polly Penrose: Polly Penrose’s series of nude self-portraits, entitled Chased by Swans, brings together images made in several locations over recent years. The title is taken from a text in which Penrose shares some of the situations she encountered while making her pictures.
Camilla Hanney: Working through ceramics, sculpture and installation Camilla Hanney’s practice explores themes of time, sexuality, cultural identity and the corporeal, often referencing the body in both humorous and challenging ways. Paloma Tendero: Paloma is a visual artist that works across photography and sculpture, exploring themes around genetic inheritance, hereditary and cycles of life. In her work, she explores periods of changes, pain, and metamorphosis that the body suffers.
7) ANDREW HARDWICK: THE LAST OF THE SILENCE
UNTIL 5 DECEMBER: ANIMA MUNDI, ST IVES, CORNWALL
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 6 NOVEMBER: TIME & LIGHT Dorset independent photographers’ group exhibition. LYME BAY ARTS, BRIDPORT https://lymebayarts.co.uk/wordpress/time-and-light/
- UNTIL 6 NOVEMBER: KEITH FRAKE: CAPUT MORTUUM – AFTER THE FIRE A solo show whose Latin title is an alchemical reference meaning both ‘Dead Head’ and ‘Worthless Remains’. ARTIZAN GALLERY, TORBAY https://www.art-hub.co.uk/ex/frake22
WATCH OUT FOR
- LUCIA SELLARS: SWAN SONGS: 4-8 NOVEMBER Solo show. CENTRESPACE, BRISTOL https://www.centrespace.org.uk/whats-on
- BLANDINE ANDERSON: THE ROAD TO THE SEA: UNTIL 26 NOVEMBER A collection of hand-built stoneware and porcelain pieces, together with supporting painted works on canvas based on a handful of coastal locations in Devon and Cornwall. MAKE SOMERSET, RIVERSIDE MILL, BOVEY TRACEY, DEVON https://www.crafts.org.uk/all-exhibitions/blandine-anderson
North Bristol Artist Trail – 26-27 NOVEMBER 11-5pm
Artists in the North Bristol area who produce art works in a variety of formats: paintings, photographs, etchings, screen prints, textiles, pottery, glass pieces, jewellery and more. Annual art trail in the St Andrews, Bishopston, Redland, Horfield and Westbury Park. areas of Bristol.. https://www.northbristolartists.org.uk/
If you would like an exhibition or artist to be listed please email firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.