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
RWA Photo Open Exhibition
Until 1 May 2023, Main galleries
The RWA Photo Open Exhibition is a celebration of contemporary photographic practice and is open to all artists who use this medium to submit either single images or limited series. From camera obscuras dating back to ancient China, to the breakthrough in capturing images with early pinhole photography, few artistic mediums have undergone such dramatic transformation. Now in the digital age, photography has become one of the most popular and accessible forms of artistic and personal expression. More info here.
Jem Southam: A Bend In The River
Until 1 May 2023, Main galleries
The RWA presents a special exhibition by leading Bristol-born photographer Jem Southam.
Southam is known for his diligently observed landscape photography documenting subtle changes in an environment over time, often photographing his surroundings in the South West of England. More info here.
Until 23 April 2023
An exhibition of photographs by Alice Hendy showcasing the creative and brilliant work of disabled individuals who attend Bristol Community Links day centres, participating in portrait photography workshops led by Olumide Osinoiki. More info here.
Compiled by Sue Quirk and Laurel Smart
1) JO BALL: AFTER WINTER
1 – 23 APRIL, HOURS, BRISTOL
Jo Ball presents new drawings on paper, and during the first weekend a sculptural installation. The artist gathers everyday yet unexpected materials such as thread, petals and stones. From these collections intricate works evolve, and remind the viewer of connections to ourselves, each other and the earth.
Launch Event Saturday April 2-5 pm. Thereafter by arrangement
2) CACOPHONY, GROUP SHOW
UNTIL 9 APRIL, VIEW ART GALLERY, BRISTOL
Music-inspired art. Visual Jazz… dissonant tones coalesce on canvas to create vivid colour harmonies. As with many abstract artworks we may be immersed in moving contours of form and colour. Or perhaps, before our eyes, order manifests from chaos so that the paintings modulate into recognisable forms; A feeling evoked from imagined or forgotten memories.
Featuring: Thomas Dowdeswell, Mark Elliott Smith, Holly Mingo, Jessie Woodward, Louise C Eames.
3) CAPTURING LIFE: A CENTURY OF THE NEW ENGLISH ART CLUB
UNTIL 11 APRIL, VICTORIA ART GALLERY, BATH
This exhibition combines work by current New English Art Club members alongside a core of over 30 paintings by illustrious past members. There are major pieces by John Singer Sargent, Philip Wilson Steer, Gwen John, Walter Sickert, Stanley Spencer and Winifred Nicholson. The contemporary works on display by current members of the NEAC will all be for sale.
4) SOUTH WEST ACADEMY SPRING EXHIBITION
UNTIL 15 APRIL, THE BROWNSTON GALLERY, MODBURY, DEVON
Inspired by the beautiful scenery, stunning locations on land and sea, this annual exhibition is a great introduction to the wide range of differing styles of painting from the resident artists, from the gentle watercolours of David Norman to the bold brush strokes of Zoe Hyde, from the bold and zany portraits by Geoff Shillito and Carolyn King to the beautiful landscapes from Phil Creek and Alison Summerfield. And also the striking paintings of Marcelle Milo-Grey, winner of The Brownston Gallery Award.
5) TRANSFORM: MIXED EXHIBITION OF SOMERSET ARTISTS & MAKERS
15-22 APRIL, HERITAGE COURTYARD GALLERY, WELLS, SOMERSET
A collection of works presented and re-imagined in an array of media including ceramics, textiles, paintings and sculptural forms. Everything in Transform, will be created with the idea that the viewer will see the object in a totally new way. Presented and re-imagined in an array of materials including fabulous ceramics which can be used and re-used, transformed from their clay beginnings through the magical firing process
6) ARTIST’S WALL: ART FROM WELCOMBE AND THE HARTLAND PENINSULA
UNTIL 20 APRIL, PLOUGH ARTS CENTRE, GREAT TORRINGTON, DEVON
This small exhibition has been produced with the assistance of North Devon AONB and is a forerunner of a larger exhibition later in the year. The coastal region of North West Devon has attracted many different artists over the years and we will be demonstrating some of the different creative responses to its astonishingly beautiful landscape. The exhibition includes work by Merlyn Chesterman, Lydia Jane Duncan, Petra Freeman, Philip Leach, Grizel Luttman Johnson, Madeline Rolt, Jennifer Wright and Mia Stewart-Wilson.
7) THE NEW BEND: GROUP SHOW
UNTIL 8 MAY, HAUSER & WIRTH, BRUTON, SOMERSET
The exhibition brings together 12 contemporary artists working in the raced, classed and gendered traditions of quilting and textile practice.
The artists’ unique visual vernacular exists in tender dialogue with, and in homage to, the contributions of the Gee’s Bend Alabama quilters—Black American women in collective cooperation and creative economic production—and their enduring legacy as a radical meeting place, a prompt and as intergenerational inspiration. This exhibition acknowledges the work of Gee’s Bend quilters such as Sarah Benning (born 1933), Missouri Pettway (1902 – 1981), Lizzie Major (1922 – 2011), Sally Bennett Jones (1944 – 1988), Mary Lee Bendolph (born 1935) and so many more, as central to expanded histories of abstraction and modernism.
Featuring Anthony Akinbola, Dawn Williams Boyd, Myrlande Constant, Ferren Gipson, Tomashi Jackson, Basil Kincaid, Eric N. Mack, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Tuesday Smillie, Rachel Eulena Williams, Qualeasha Wood and Zadie Xa.
LAST CHANCE TO SEE
- UNTIL 1 APRIL: SOMERSET PRINTMAKERS:FLYING A showcase exhibition by thirteen experienced printmakers. ALBATROSS PRINT STUDIO, WATCHET, WEST SOMERSET https://albatrossprintstudio.com/
WATCH OUT FOR
- WILL CRUICKSHANK: THREE MOONS: UNTIL 16 APRIL A series of wall and floor-based works, that share a formal language of colour, pattern and symmetry. EXETER PHOENIX, DEVON https://exeterphoenix.org.uk/events/will-cruickshank/
- ILLUSTRATING THE WORLD: WOODCUTS IN THE AGE OF DÜRER: UNTIL 23 APRIL
- The complete set of woodcuts known as The Great Passion, produced by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528). HOLBURNE MUSEUM, BATH https://www.holburne.org/events/illustrating-the-world-woodcuts-in-the-age-of-durer/
- NORTH SOMERSET ARTS WEEK: 28 APRIL-8 MAY A variety of contemporary and traditional art and craft from over 200 local artists. https://www.northsomersetarts.org/