NEW ART AND THE CITY OF BRISTOL
– 3 July 2005
Nathan Coley, Phil Collins, Kathleen Herbert,
Susan Hiller, Silke Otto-Knapp, João Penalva
will see an ambitious series of new artworks presented in unusual locations
around Bristol’s historic centre. The exhibition, Thinking of
the Outside, will take the visitor on an intriguing route through the
old city, encountering moving image installations, paintings, sculptures
and live events in unexpected places.
acclaimed artists were commissioned to respond to the city’s historic
landscape. Their research has taken them beyond the limits of the city’s
medieval walls, to examine present-day boundaries, architecture and
attitudes that deal with the relationship between outsider and insider.
Kathleen Herbert took a sea-voyage from Antwerp to Bristol with a crew
of 28 men and a cargo of 5000 cars, exploring the lives of contemporary
sea-farers; João Penalva, intrigued by the urban myths surrounding
the Clifton Suspension Bridge, filmed the murky depths beneath; whilst
Susan Hiller scoured cinematic footage to investigate the superstitious
tales that surround the stereotype of the outsider.
of the exhibition, Claire Doherty, aims to draw new audiences to experience
contemporary art in unexpected sites, inspiring new stories. “This
exhibition is not about Bristol in the past”, she says. “Thinking
of the Outside uses the metaphor of the city wall to question our urban
has an impressive track record of staging innovative art projects across
the city. Having been designated a European Centre of Culture, Bristol’s
dynamic mix of the historic and new provides a backdrop and inspiration
for this significant new art event.
21 May – 3 July 2005
Tuesday – Sunday 12-5pm
St John’s Churchyard, Tailor’s Court, off Broad Street,
A sculpture, using a familiar architectural style which amplifies the
surrounding cityscape, will be installed in this disused churchyard.
Normally closed off to public access, this intriguing piece of land
is currently preserved from development. Coley’s work investigates
the claims made to public space by different groups of people, and how
buildings erected in public space manifest particular values and beliefs.
"buildings are empty vessels given significance by their social
history and by the communities that populate them. I'm interested in
exploring how cultural views and ideas differ with the passage of time
and between locations."
A series of live events throughout the duration of the exhibition. Information
posters will appear on bus-stops throughout the city.
Collins belongs to a generation of artists whose engagement with people,
place and community is central to their work. Often communicating through
forms of popular and youth culture such as dance, pop music and recently,
a karaoke machine playing only The Smiths, his work combines an infectious
humour and energy that creates an immediate connection with the viewer
Huller Warehouse, Redcliffe Backs, Bristol
Kathleen has spent the past year working with the Seafarers’ Mission
at Portbury Docks in Avonmouth, a vast industrialised area some distance
from Bristol city centre. Kathleen was the only woman on a transporter
ship with male crew of 28 and a cargo of 5000 cars. Filming their voyage
from Antwerp to Bristol, she gained a fascinating insight into the isolated
way of life. Seafarers sign up for between 4 to 12 months at sea, coming
into port on one tide and
out on the next.
tells us, “A request to the mission by seafarers at Avonmouth
is to be taken to Asda at the local shopping mall – they just
want to see people doing normal every day things”.
Castle Vaults, Castle Green, Bristol
A hallucinatory moving-image installation on the superstitions that
surround ethnic and religious stereo-types. The artwork will appear
in the ruins of Bristol castle, close to the original site of the Jewish
community in 12 th and 13 th centuries, outside the inner but within
the outer wall of the city.
seems clear to me that current hostility toward immigrants and asylum
seekers throughout Europe all have deep roots in what might be called
our ‘psychic history’. Social attitudes are governed as
much by unconscious, as by conscious conditioning. In this sense an
acknowledgement of the hidden power of founding stereotypes seems an
appropriate way for an artist to begin to ‘see’ the problem”,
Custom House, Queen Square, Bristol
A series of watercolour paintings installed in the historic Custom House
in Queen Square, inspired by landscape gardener Humphrey Repton (1752
– 1818), who worked extensively in Bristol and the surrounding
Using Repton’s ideas as inspiration, the paintings will be based
on his concept of the garden as an idealised version of ‘natural
landscape’ through which one might ‘shut out the city’.
originally planned as an elegant enclave for the city’s wealthiest
residents, was the site of the Bristol riots in 1831 and in the 1930s
was traversed by a wide carriageway. It was only in 1999, that the square
was returned to its original design - an appropriate site for Otto-Knapp’s
exploration of nature and artifice.
1-3 Exchange Avenue, St. Nicholas Market, Bristol
Penalva has created a spell-binding film from his forensic-like exploration
of the river bed under Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge. A beautiful
and breath-taking piece of engineering, the bridge is an icon of Bristol’s
cityscape, and the subject of urban myth. Penalva takes the viewer on
an epic narrative, dealing with reality, memory and myth and the spaces