Bristol's RWA reopens with stunning self-portraiture exhibition

Bristol's RWA reopens with stunning self-portraiture exhibition

Posted on: 09 May 2022

The brand-new exhibition spans 300 years and more than 80 extraordinary pieces of art.


Me, Myself, I: Artists’ Self-Portraits brings together a range of works from the 1720s to the 2020s and runs until 19 June.


Organised by the Royal West of England Academy and taking place at its newly refurbished Clifton headquarters, the exhibition will present a range of historic self-portraits providing context for today’s selfie culture.


Tickets for the exhibition range from free to £8.90 and can be found on the RWA website.



Opening its grand, Grade II listed doors after a £4.1 million transformation, Bristol’s first-ever art gallery (pictured below) will be home to Me, Myself, I: Artists’ Self-Portraits for the next six weeks.


Put together by contemporary art curator and writer Tessa Jackson OBE, the exhibition takes a deep dive into the last 50 years of self-portraiture and the multitude of ways artists have imagined and presented themselves within their work – from the highly personal to the highly controversial.


The event showcases a number of important artists who have challenged social norms and defied societal and artistic conventions through their output.


Many of the chosen individuals radically questioned identity, gender and representation years ahead of their time.

Me, Myself, I: Artists’ Self-Portraits is a timely look back at a fundamental area within the history of art that will put works from the 1720s up against that of the 2020s and legendary artists up against emerging talents.


Some of the big names involved in the exhibition are Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin, Sonia Boyce, Antony Gormley, Gillian Wearing, Harold Offeh, Shanti Panchal, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Angelica Kauffman, Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Lucian Freud, Patrick Heron, Tony Bevan, Madame Yevonde.


Described by Sir Nicolas Serota (Chair of Arts Council England) as “One of the most beautiful places in which to look at art in this country”, the RWA run an extensive programme of exhibitions, events, workshops, talks and lectures.


Tickets for the exhibition, which began last week (2 May) and runs until Sunday 19 June, can be found on the RWA website or purchased on the day of your visit.


Visit the RWA website to find out more about what’s coming up at the gallery.

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Article by:

Stanley Gray

Stan is a born and bred Bristolian, recently graduated from studying English Literature in Sheffield. His passions are music and literature and he spends the majority of his time in venues all over the city, immersing himself in Bristol’s alternative music scene. A lifelong Bristol City fan, Stan’s Saturdays are spent watching his team both home and away.