Date 02.05.14 – 05.05.14

Time Four days celebrating art across the city



Involving over 130 artists, the Weekender’s ambitious programme showcases art exhibitions of international acclaim, Bristol’s emerging artistic talent, one-off performances and site-specific installations in unexpected locations.


Taking place over the bank holiday weekend of 2-5 MAY, the inaugural BRISTOL ART WEEKENDER will showcase Bristol as one of the most vibrant and flourishing centres for art in the UK. The Weekender’s FREE programme of performance, sound, video, film, painting and sculpture, reflects the richness of the visual arts in Bristol.

JEREMY DELLER and JMW TURNER will be vying for top billing at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery wih Deller’s Venice Biennale exhibition English Magic alongside an intimate show of eight exquisite Turner watercolours. Across the city, renowned art space Spike Island builds on the ever popular OPEN STUDIOS WEEKEND, offering the chance to glimpse behind the scenes of over 70 artists’ studios and unveiling three new temporary works commissioned especially for the weekend.

Meanwhile in Spike Island’s enviable gallery, ANDY HOLDEN presents film, large-scale sculpture and performance exploring the output and legacy of the MI!MS (Maximum Irony! Maximum Sincerity) artistic movement, which Holden founded with friends before training as an artist in 2003. In addition, Holden’s band THE GRUBBY MITTS will give a rare performance in the Spike gallery to kick off the Friday night celebrations. Just a short ferry ride across the Harbour, Arnolfini present Between Hello and Goodbye: the Secret World of Sarah Records - a fascinating exhibition about the enigmatic 90s Bristol record label, including the preview of Lucy Dawkins’ documentary about the label, My Secret World and performances from selected artists.

Encouraging us to venture beyond the gallery and museum, Situations invites us to seek the unexpected with a new work specially commissioned for the Weekender: ANNIKA KAHRS’ Concert for the Birds in the Lord Mayors Chapel – a bold and stirring installation of 100 songbirds in audience to a piano recital of Franz Liszt’s Legende # 1, a solo piece of twitter-like trills.

Bristol’s hidden gem, the Royal West of England Academy (England's only regional Royal Academy of Art) will stage a major multi-disciplinary survey show of British artists' responses to the sea, from TURNER and CONSTABLE to the best of contemporary talent. Bristol’s growing number of critically significant commercial galleries contribute to the programme too: Celebrated British artist Richard Woods continues to traverse the boundaries between art, architecture and design, transforming WorksIProjects’ space, and nomadic gallery, Antlers Gallery will be programming a tightly selected group show including the work of KARIN KROMMES and GEOFF DIEGO LITHERLAND. The Weekender will also, spotlight several of Bristol’s dynamic range of artist-run initiatives, including Hand in Glove, The Parlour Showrooms, BS Deathdrive, Spike Associates and Bristol Biennial.

Contact Details:

Nate Taylor, Communications Manager, Situations. 07889 872700 / 0117 930 4282,

Notes for Editors

The Bristol Art Weekender 2014 is a four-day programme celebrating art across Bristol (2-5 May 2014). This inaugural festival brings together exhibitions, projects, public artworks and performances by outstanding contemporary artists and performers across multiple locations in the city. The Weekender also sees the launch of Bristol’s first Art Map, a quarterly listings printed and online guide to art exhibitions, events and art collections across the city.

The Weekender is produced by Situations in partnership with the city’s primary visual arts venues, artist-run initiatives and arts producers, including Antlers Gallery, Arnolfini, Bristol Festival of Ideas, Bristol Museums Galleries & Archives, Bristol Biennial, BS Deathdrive, BV Studios, Field Art Projects, Future Perfect, Hand in Glove, Royal West of England Academy, Spike Island, Spike Associates, The Parlour Showrooms and Works|Projects.

Bristol Art Map – details can be found online at or on Twitter @BrisArtMap

Funders, supporters & sponsors

We gratefully acknowledge the support of Arts Council England, Art Fund, Bristol City Council, Bristol Ferry, Bristol Festival of Ideas, Clifton Hotels, Frameworks and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Steven Claydon’s work brings together objects recalling historical artefacts, cultural ephemera and geological samples, skillfully mixing different cultures and periods of history. Merging reality with fiction, and appearing at once meaningful and useless, Claydon’s works oscillate between an idea of truth and fantasy, seeming to offer a fragmented image of a future civilisation’s past. He will talk about his practice and new commission in Bristol.