Laura Oldfield Ford

Laura Oldfield Ford, Poster 1. 2011. © Laura Oldfield Ford. Courtesy of the artist and Hales Gallery.


Laura Oldfield Ford's work takes the form of a psychogeographic investigation, a process of subjectively mapping the city in its intensive state of movement and flux. Central to her practice are her walks around cities. Through these drifts, and the documentation of them, she seeks the point of transition from aesthetic practice to a radical critique of the city.


Her drawings combine seemingly disparate elements in a process akin to montage; they sprawl like urban conurbations and become a landscape of the imagination, documenting rapid obsessions, curiosities and desires. Ford regards her work as diaristic, suggesting the city can be read as a palimpsest, of layers of erasure and overwriting.

After a period of research exploring Bristol, Oldfield Ford was commissioned by Arnolfini to produce a set of posters, looking at a number of sites of social and architectural interest from the past and present. The resulting works were displayed across a number of adshell poster sites in the city centre normally used for commercial advertising. The posters were also exhibited at Arnolfini's Reading Room.

A ‘zine, acting as a guide to the sites was aslo produced by Oldfield Ford and was available free, from:

Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay                                                                              
Bloom & Curll second hand bookshop, 74 Colston Street
Excelsior! comic shop, 48 Bond Street
Here Gallery, 108 Stokes Croft 
No. 1 Harbourside, 1 Canons Road
Spike Island, 133 Cumberland Roa
Start the Bus, Start Gallery, 7-9 Baldwin Street
The Canteen, 80 Stokes Croft
The Cube, 4 Princess Row 
The Lanes, 22 Nelson Street 
Tourist Information Centre, E Shed, 1 Canons Road

To accompany the projects a launch/walk with Laura Oldfield Ford was held on 1 Feb and a walking tour of the poster sites with urban archaeologist James Dixon.

Laura Oldfield Ford

Oldfield Ford, originally from Halifax, West Yorkshire, completed a fine art Painting MA at The Royal College of Art in 2007 and has since become well known for her politically active and poetic engagement with London as a site of social antagonism.

Laura Oldfield Ford lives and works in London. She studied at the Slade School of Art and completed her MA Painting at the Royal College of Art. Selected Group exhibitions include: 2008 Freedom Centre, Hales Gallery, London; Valerie Beston Award, Marlborough Fine Art, London; The Golden Record, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, UK. 2007 Fusion Now curated by JJ Charlesworth, Rokeby Gallery, London; Publish and be Damned, Rochelle school, London, UK. 2006 Spent, Group show RCA painters, Three Colts, London; AAABAM Indexed, curated by Liam Gillick, ICA, London.


Arnolfini is one of Europe’s leading independent, contemporary arts organizations, and is the flagship art centre for the South West of England with over 350,000 visitors annually. 2011 is the year of Arnolfini’s 50th anniversary. Since its foundation in 1961, Arnolfini has built an international reputation for commissioning and presenting innovative, experimental work in the visual arts, always with a strong emphasis upon audience engagement. Many thousands of artists and performers have been involved with Arnolfini during this time, often gaining their first opportunity before going on to long-term success, and this wealth of creativity has been appreciated and enjoyed by consistently large audiences. Much of this groundbreaking work would not have been made or shown in Bristol and the South West region without the Arnolfini. Previous major solo exhibitions at Arnolfini have included: Marcel Broodthaers, Bridget Riley, Richard Long and Liam Gillick, as well as more recently Cosima von Bonin in 2011.

  • Commissioner


  • Produced by


  • Partners

    Arnolfini, The Gane Family Trust, Bristol City Council and Hales Gallery.

  • Supported by

    The Gane Family Trust, Bristol City Council and Hales Gallery.