Bristol has carved out its niche in the UK as an ‘arty city’. Thanks to a thriving street art scene and some amazing art galleries, there are always awesome art exhibitions in Bristol to see.
Not only are you likely to catch both local and international talent, but everything from traditional Japanese porcelain to the world’s best wildlife photographs. You can definitely get your dose of culture during 2023 with these art exhibitions in Bristol. Will you see ’em at the museum?
1. The art of Japanese porcelain, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
This display at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery explores the story and artistry of Japanese porcelain. After captive Korean potters discovered porcelain clay in the hills above the small town of Arita in 1616, a flourishing porcelain industry was born in Japan. Between 1640 and 1680, the country became the world’s leading maker of porcelain.
This display showcases examples of the luxury wares designed by Japanese potters to suit the tastes of European and North American markets. You’ll learn how they differ from wares made for the people in Japan, as well as about Japanese dining culture and Japanese aesthetics. Much of the porcelain featured in this exhibition comes from the Irene Finch Collection, a large collection of Japanese ceramics.
Until July 30. More info here.
2. Garry Fabian Miller: ADORE, Arnolfini
The celebrated and original photographer, Garry Fabian Miller, returns to his home city of Bristol at Arnolfini this spring. ADORE is a major exhibition celebrating a lifetime of his work. This art exhibition in Bristol explores his “‘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.” This is Garry Fabian Miller’s third major exhibition at Arnolfini, with earlier shows in 1979 and 1997, and sees the artist revisiting some of the inspirations for his earlier works.
Until May 28. More info here.
3. Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022, M Shed
Celebrating its 58th year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year is back with some outstanding images of animals great and small and it’s being exhibited at Bristol’s M Shed. Gaze through the lens of some of the world’s best wildlife photographers and marvel at the beauty of our planet. Witness 100 powerful photographs telling the story of a planet under pressure, giving us a deeper understanding of the issues facing nature and the actions we need to take to protect it.
Until May 29. More info here.
4. A year in the life of Chew Stoke village, Martin Parr Foundation
In 1992 Martin Parr spent a year documenting village life in Chew Stoke, on the outskirt of Bristol. While originally a commission for The Telegraph Magazine, the rural Somerset village of Chew Stoke and Parr’s social documentary photography has never been seen like this before however. Over 250 images from the project, alongside large exhibition prints, are on display at this art exhibition in Bristol. It’s a true slice of village life, warts and all.
Until April 9 More info here.
5. RWA Photo Open Exhibition 2023, Royal West of England Academy
Every year, the RWA Photo Open celebrates contemporary photographic practices of all kinds. These art exhibitions in Bristol invite submissions from artists of all levels to create photographic work. This year, however, the focus is on the nature of photography. The Photo Open aims to showcase the quality and range of photographic work produced across the UK and abroad. It is also part of a wider season of Photography at the RWA, which you can learn about here.
Until May 1. More info here.
6. Howardena Pindell: A New Language, Spike Island
A look back across Howardena Pindell’s six-decade-long career. From early abstract paintings to overtly political works tackling subjects such as slavery and the AIDS pandemic. More recent work includes Pindell’s response to racism and white supremacy against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. A New Language is an empowering yet deeply devastating solo exhibition.
Until May 21. More info here.