Art Exhibitions Bristol January 2017: The Bristol Magazine rounds up the finest art exhibitions of the month, from sculpture and painting to photography
New Designers 2017, Diana Porter, 13 January – 31 March (pictured)
Diana Porter’s New Year exhibition features a hand-picked selection of favourite new graduate designers. Each year the team scour the degree exhibitions to find the most exciting emerging talent around, and this year they have discovered six designers whose collections deliver a range of conceptual, wearable art pieces. Featuring an aesthetic response to an exploration of their individual societies, cultures and environments, the exhibition showcases holistic pieces to stir the senses through kinetic movement and fragrance. An exciting, thought-provoking and intriguing exhibition to kick off 2017, showcasing the work of: Aelita Galevska, Amber Cooper-Green, Chloe Lewis, Sinéad Cooke, Sophia Florence and Zoë Fitzpatrick Rogers
Still Lives, Grant Bradley Gallery, until 7 January
This is a series of oil paintings by Victoria Laird, inspired by found animal skulls and fairy lights. Through this work, Victoria has discovered a beauty in the macabre and how the fragility of life makes it all the more precious. Meanwhile, Bill Moore offers a painting style unique in its simplicity. He is inspired by humanity, the built environment, the strange, often humorous and absurd aspects of the everyday and commonplace, and the subsequent changes that time brings. See also Bristol-born artist John Garland’s work, focused on capturing landscapes and cityscapes in Expressionist style.
For The Love Of It, Guild Gallery, 28 January – 18 February
See works by three artists united by a passion for creativity. Deborah Mann investigates colour, line and form in sculpture (pictured), painting and drawing; and Susie Nott-Bower conveys the essential nature of being human through portraiture, life drawing and writing; while Julia Shaw explores the qualities of clay.
Lubaina Himid: Navigation Charts, Spike Island, 20 January – 26 March
Lubaina Himid was a pioneer of the Black Arts Movement in Britain in the 1980s, which offered a forum for black artists exploring the social and political issues surrounding black history and identity. This exhibition – a collaboration with Modern Art Oxford and Nottingham Contemporary – focuses on migration, labour and creativity. Anchored by Naming the Money (2004), an installation of 100 life-size, painted figures that has been shown only once before in its entirety, the presentation brings into dialogue major works from the past 20 years.
Strange Worlds: The Vision of Angela Carter, RWA, until 19 March
Chagall, Rego and Pacheco evoke the haunting magic of Angela Carter in a new exhibition from Bristol’s first art gallery, 25 years after her death. Celebrating the life, work and influences of one of the most distinctive literary voices of the last 100 years, it will invite a dialogue between art, literature and the imagination by exploring the artists who influenced Carter and those who were inspired by her. Delving into the latent meanings of childhood fairytales and the twisted imagery of gothic mysticism, the show pays homage to the dark, compelling drama of Carter’s visual imagination – brutal, surrealist and savage. It will reveal the profound impact of her work on 21st century culture, and include painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, printmaking and film from the 19th century to the present day. Echoing her recurring themes of feminism, mysticism, sexuality and fantasy, it will include historically significant works by Marc Chagall, William Holman Hunt, Dame Paula Rego, Dame Laura Knight, Leonora Carrington and John Bellany.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year, M Shed, until 5 March
See 100 breathtaking images from the world-renowned wildlife photography competition from the Natural History Museum. From balletic whales to lizard-chasing parakeets, urban visitors to fantastical landscapes, this year’s selection is strong on both visual drama and narrative. Launched in 1965 – when it attracted 361 entries – Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, and has provided a global platform that showcases the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights, for over 50 years. Today the competition receives over 42,000 entries from 96 countries, highlighting its enduring appeal, and resulting in an incredible calibre of imagery.
Image © Charlie Hamilton-James
A Sense of Space, Lime Tree Gallery, 21 January – 21 February
A sense of space has always been, by definition, an integral part of still-life painting. Stillness is an unchanging relationship between an object or objects and the space in which it sits. Over the years, painters have sought to exploit this relationship in many ways. Maybe the often beautiful combination of traditional realist painting set against a vague or even abstract background. Or perhaps representing the objects so that they appear weightless and floating in lightly suggested two-dimensional space. Traditional realism has every detail of the background carefully considered and faithfully reproduced. This show brings together a wide range of artists, who cover a broad spectrum of still-life painting, including James Blanc NEAC, John Button, Mhairi McGregor RSW, Lucy McKie ROI, Robert Walker and Mats Rydstern. A strong, colourful and varied exhibition offering something for all.