Our new Weekend Edition Newsletter is landing in subscriber inboxes across the city. If you haven't signed up (yet) then you can read it here:

RWA presents Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and the Artists of St Ives

Bristol’s oldest art gallery removes the covers from works by some of the world’s most famous artists for the public to view once again.

Royal West of England Academy are delighted to re-open with three exhibitions exploring the work of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and her peers, until 19 September 2020. The first Inspirational Journeys exhibition, explores the work of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham.

The theme of the exhibition, which is the only scheduled showing in the South West, is particularly timely and foregrounds a positive relationship with Europe and the inspiration found through travel and cultural exchange.

Scottish born, Barns-Graham was a prominent member of the St Ives group from 1940 when she moved to Cornwall. A sublime painter, printmaker and a brilliant colourist, she divided her time between St Ives and St Andrews following a consistent artistic vision throughout her 65 year career until her death in 2004.

The exhibition outlines the importance of the artist’s trips to Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Orkney and Lanzarote, revealing how these places provided a significant impact on her wider practice and led to new perspectives, themes and stylistic changes in her work over a period of 45 years.

Alongside Inspirational Journeys, RWA presents St Ives: Movements in Art and Life, putting Barns-Graham in her more familiar Cornish context.

From 1939, St Ives became a temporary home to some of Britain’s most forward-thinking abstract artists fleeing the dangers of the Second World War, many of whom settled in the harbour town, and in turn attracted international talent to venture to the far South West. This exhibition explores the creative inspiration offered by West Cornwall, its surrounding landscape and its people, to a generation of artists whose lives and careers were impacted by mid-twentieth-century conflict.

Throughout the St Ives: Movements in Art and Life exhibition, visitors can expect to explore the works of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Sandra Blow, Terry Frost, Barbara Hepworth, Patrick, Heron, Peter Lanyon, Janet Leach, Ben Nicholson, Victor Pasmore, John Wells, Karl Weschke and more.

Opening hours:

In the first instance, the gallery will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only from 11am-3pm in two slots.

Normal hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5.30pm, Sunday 11am – 5pm Closed Mondays

Entry £6.50. Bookable in advance via shop.rwa.org.uk). Friends, Art Pass Holders, Patrons, Students and under 18s go FREE.

Book in advance on rwa.org.uk to save £1 on your admission.

For those who are not able to come to the gallery to see Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and the Artists of St Ives you can also…

  • Browse the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Prints exhibition online – these artworks are for sale – shop.rwa.org.uk
  • Browse the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: Inspirational Journeys exhibition online.
  • View exhibition videos scripted and narrated by Nathalie Levi, which provide a fascinating insight and background to the exhibited artists and their worksshop.rwa.org.uk