Best of the West – May 2023

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….


Friends’ Exhibition 2023

Create Centre, Smeaton Road, Bristol.

Preview: Friday 12 May 5pm-7.30pm 

Exhibition open: 13 – 25 May.
Monday to Friday 11am – 5pm. Saturday and Sunday 11am – 4pm. Free entry.

With a record number of entries, the selectors will have a very difficult job – we anticipate a fantastic show!


AT THE RWA

Mellony Taper, Renamed City, 2022. Digital Print on bed sheet

Found Cities, Lost Objects: Women in the City

20 May – 13 Aug 2023, Main galleries

Found Cities, Lost Objects: Women in the City, is a national touring exhibition curated for the Arts Council Collection by Turner Prize-winning artist and cultural activist Lubaina Himid CBE.

This exhibition of over 60 works, including some by Bristol-based artists, presents a wide array of modern and contemporary art, including painting, sculpture, photography and film from both the Arts Council Collection and artists’ studios.

 More info here.


 

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Compiled by Sue Quirk and Laurel Smart

 

1) TIME LAPSE, GROUP SHOW

5-10 MAY, CENTRESPACE, BRISTOL

An exhibition of works on paper, printmaking and drawing, as well as film. They explore human interventions on the landscape and the impact of catastrophic events that have happened, and will happen.

Three artists: Carolyn Black, Melanie Clarke and Nichola Goff create process-led works that are grounded in place and draw on time. The works imagine human relationships with the environment and habitat in the context of climate change. Investigations into time and place are underpinned by a practice that expands the boundaries of printmaking and drawing.

Website

 

2) PAMELA WOODS: LIFE LAYERS

5- 27 MAY, HOURS, BRISTOL

“…Discovering new ideas is what I love, layer upon new layer of knowledge, watching how my thinking changes and how this affects the images I make. The making of abstract paintings for me involves a process of creating interacting layers.

It’s always a relief to experience working completely intuitively, sidestepping my rational mind. This happens when I make abstract paintings. I must work fast with the paints once they are mixed, and the canvas is in front of me. Rapid decisions about colours and shapes work best before I start thinking too much – then something unexpected can emerge…”

Launch Event Friday 5 May 6-9pm, Saturday 6 May 11am-5 pm. Thereafter by arrangement.

 Website.

 

3) HOWARDENA PINDELL: A NEW LANGUAGE

UNTIL 21 MAY, SPIKE ISLAND, BRISTOL

An exhibition surveying Howardena Pindell’s six-decade-long career, from early abstract paintings to more overtly political works that tackle subjects including slavery, violence against Black and Indigenous people, and the AIDS pandemic. The show takes its title from an essay written by Pindell in the 1980s, in which she calls for ‘a new language’ for people of colour working in the arts—one which ‘empowers us and does not cause us to participate in our own disenfranchisement’.

Website.

 

4) JULIA MANNING: THE DECLINE OF SOMERSET EELS

UNTIL 27 MAY, ACEARTS, SOMERTON, SOMERSET

A series of 12 limited editioned relief prints, the artist raises awareness of the international decline of eels by telling their dramatic, unbelievable saga which unfolds annually in Somerset.

Website.

 

5) GARRY FABIAN-MILLER: ADORE

UNTIL 28 MAY, ARNOLFINI

Garry Fabian Miller, one of the most inventive and original photographers of his time, makes a very welcome return to Arnolfini, and his home city of Bristol, to present ‘ADORE’, a major exhibition celebrating a lifetime of his work.

‘ADORE’ invites you to explore Fabian Miller’s ‘camera-less’ practice that experiments with darkness and light, and weaves in work by the artists, writers and thinkers that have inspired him over the years.

Website.

 

6) VISUAL POETRY: GROUP SHOW

UNTIL 18 JUNE, VIEW ART GALLERY, BRISTOL

In this exhibition artists visualise poems, creating art from the imagery that they see and hear in the words. It may be an explicit representation, depicting scenes or symbols, or it may be a sense of the poem, expressing what they feeling.  Featuring: Terence Wilson Fletcher, Jessica Brox Chapman, Tim Burgess, Fran Williams, Mike Stuart, Joanna Swann, Clare Ferguson-Walker, Sam Wilson Fletcher.

Website.

 

7) BATH SOCIETY OF ARTISTS 118TH ANNUAL EXHIBITION

UNTIL 24 JUNE, VICTORIA ART GALLERY, BATH

This popular exhibition has been an annual highlight of the Gallery’s programme for well over a century and showcases the best of the region’s artistic talent. Any artist aged 18 or over can submit work for possible selection, meaning that paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures by a hugely diverse group of artists is always included.

Website.


 

LAST CHANCE TO SEE

  • UNTIL 5 MAY: LAURIE COLE:THE SHEDDING OF THE BIRDSUIT In this exhibition Laurie intertwines her own ideas of fear and femininity with stories of monstrous women from folklore and Greek mythology. THAT ART GALLERY, BRISTOL https://www.thatartgallery.com/


WATCH OUT FOR


 
The Friends of the RWA is an independent charity that supports the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol’s first art gallery. 
For just £35 a year Friends can make unlimited visits to RWA exhibitions and enjoy a host of other benefits, as well as making an important contribution to the arts in Bristol and the South West. Find out more and join up here.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Andrew

    Great you have posted this but the Bath Open has got the wrong dates and venue! It should say UNTIL 24 JUNE, VICTORIA ART GALLERY, BATH

    I think as it’s quite an important exhibition, it needs correcting please.

    Regards

    Sue ________________________________

    Like

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