Two leading Bristol art galleries to reopen this weekend

Two leading Bristol art galleries to reopen this weekend

Posted on: 30 Jul 2020

Arnolfini and the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) are back open this weekend. 


Two of Bristol's top galleries will reopen this weekend, following months of closure as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.


The Arnolfini is back open today (Thursday 30 July), and The Royal West of England Academy (RWA) is welcoming back visitors from Saturday (1 August). 

Both are set to host new, major exhibitions. 


At both galleries, new safety measures have been implemented to ensure the safety of visitors and staff, including one-way systems and social distancing pointers. 


Both galleries will require visitors to wear masks at all times, too. 



So what's on at Arnolfini?


Until 1 November, the Arnolfini will be showcasing the work of acclaimed Moroccan-British photographer Hassan Hajjaj. 


The exhibition, named The Path, is exploration of global culture through colour, pattern, brand logos and found objects. 


Assembled by curator, writer and broadcaster Ekow Eshun for New Art Exchange, The Path confronts Hajjaj's dual identity, and documents his personal journey from his birthplace in Larache, Morocco to London and around the world.


Split into three major photographic series, the exhibition features women posing on the streets and rooftops of Marrakech, a diverse range of British subjects including jazz artist Kamaal Williams, and a selection of reproduced images reflecting the artist's travels in Africa and the Middle East.


Exhibition slots are available to book in advance, free of charge. Find out more here.



What about the RWA? 


Meanwhile, the RWA will reopen on Saturday (1 August), hosting two major exhibitions centred around St Ives, Cornwall; Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: Inspirational Journeys and St Ives: Movements in Art and Life on show until Saturday 19 September.


Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: Inspirational Journeys explores the work of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, a prominent member of a world-renowned group of artists based in St Ives in the 20th century.


Focusing on her trips to Europe and experiences in Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Lanzarote and the Orkneys, the exhibition explores the effects that travel had on the artist's practice.


Curated by the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust, the show portrays a positive relationship with Europe and looks into the inspiration that can be found through travel and cultural exchange.


At the same time, St Ives: Movements in Art and Life showcases some of the most exciting work to have come out of West Cornwall during a time when the area became a temporary home to some of Britain's most forward-thinking abstract artists.


Featuring the likes of Terry Frost, Barbara Hepworth, Sandra Blow and many more, the exhibition explores the creative inspiration offered by the harbour town, its surrounding landscape and the impact it had on a generation of artists.


Find out more and book your place at one of two eagerly-awaited exhibitions here.



The upcoming exhibitions at both the Arnolfini and the RWA represent a gradual return to normality for two of Bristol's leading gallery spaces, with programmes expected to open up further in the coming weeks.


For the time being, visitors to both galleries will be asked to wear face masks at all times, and adhere to social distancing guidelines, to ensure safety. 


Main Image: Wilhelmina Barns-Graham at the RWA

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Article by:

Matt Robson


Editor - & LOUD Magazine

Matt is a Journalism graduate and writer, passionate about supporting Bristol music, art and independent business. Get in touch via email at