The Bristol Magazine rounds up the summer’s finest art exhibitions, from sculpture and painting to photography and drawing
Greg Harris, Averys Wine Merchants, until 4 July
Greg Harris spent his childhood growing up in Essex, Suffolk and West Sussex before going to Leicester to complete a BA in Fine Art degree at De Montfort University in 2009. After taking a break from art and travelling to the Far East, Greg threw himself back into painting by joining a Leicester-based artist studio in 2012 and since then, he’s never looked back. He recently moved his studio to Bristol, concentrating on his creative practice and private commissions, while also teaching workshops and exhibiting and his work. In his paintings, Greg asks the viewer to reconnect with the familiar by bringing together both a literal and non-literal interpretation of people and their environment with carefully considered colour combinations and a painterly style.
Air: Visualising the Invisible in British Art, RWA, 16 June – 3 September
A suitably summery exhibition celebrating the rich tradition in British art of finding inspiration in the skies above us and the air that we breathe. Covering four centuries in British art, the show brings some of the nation’s masterpieces to Bristol, including Joseph Wright of Derby’s An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, on loan from the National Gallery and believed to be visiting Bristol the first time. Other well-loved works include John Everett Millais’ Bubbles – previously known as A Child’s World before featuring in the famous advertising campaign for Pears soap – and J.M.W Turner’s The Thames Above Waterloo Bridge, alongside paintings by artists such as Constable, Lowry and Lanyon. ‘Air’ features explorations of flight, including depictions of the earliest hot air balloon flights and celebrating the 18th-century’s ‘balloonmania’, in addition to the sinister shadows and trails left by warplanes and the ominous shape of bulbous barrage balloons in works by Eric Ravilious, Frank Dobson and Christopher Nevinson – including the epic painting The Battlefields of Britain.
We love this industrial landscape by L.S. Lowry
Carnival, Paintworks, 24 – 27 June
An exhibition showcasing the creative talents of people with mental health needs is coming to Paintworks at the end of this month. The annual show is hosted by Milestones Trust – a charity that also supports people with learning disabilities and dementia – which uses its ‘Expressions’ arts programme to help people learn new skills, make new friends and build confidence, which in turn helps with their wellbeing. ‘Carnival’ will showcase the culmination of months of hard work from a number of projects, including film, textiles, painting and pottery. It has been curated by art consultant Louise Copping – renowned for her love of bright colours and extravagance – so expect a show that channels creativity and fun. Highlights include carnival-inspired paintings and ceramics, the work of poet Tim Burroughs and actress Marion Brazier, sculpture making and poetry performance, various workshops, live local music, delicious food, and a film entitled Electric Parade – a collaboration between participants in Weston-Super-Mare and Bristol.
Topography by Four, Bristol Guild Gallery, 17 June – 8 July
Four photographers; three shows; one venue. See the work of Luis Bustamante, John Brooks, Iris Bolster and Martin Edwards at the Guild this month and prepare to be impressed. ‘Primal Landscapes’ (from Luis Bustamante and Martin Edwards) features two volcanic landscapes that are poles apart, while Chile’s Atacama Desert and Iceland coalesce in colours, textures and beauty. ‘Transitions’ (by John Brooks) offers the viewer a fresh perspective of the everyday but abstracted and in complex photomontage, as ‘850’ (Iris Bolster and Martin Edwards) uses infrared light to create both dramatic and subtle, vast and intimate, landscapes.