Bristol is a city that is culturally alive and possesses a thriving contemporary art scene. Dotted along street corners or throughout the dockyards are various galleries and exhibition spaces hosting a myriad of established and underground artists. From massive international galleries to tiny little shop spaces, here is a selection of some of the best contemporary art spaces in Bristol.
View is one of the largest independent galleries in the South West and is split into zones over two floors, allowing it to incorporate a mixture of media including paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics and a room dedicated to video installations. The regularly changing exhibitions give returning visitors something vibrant and exciting to mull over whilst the gallery itself tries to create a relaxed and informal atmosphere that allows people to view art in their own way. Their online shop also means that the artwork is available to purchase after each exhibition.
View Art Gallery, 159-161 Hotwell Road, Bristol, United Kingdom, +44 5603 116753
See No Evil
Often referred to as the spiritual home of Banksy, Bristol is a city that is no stranger to graffiti. Practically the whole area of the Stokes Croft quarter is an open-air venue for street art, but in 2011 this idea was formalised when artist Inkie and Bristol music promoters Team Love sought support from the local council to turn the facades of 10 multi-storey buildings down non-descript Nelson Street into canvases for massive murals. This project was called See No Evil and after its success, it has now become a permanent feature and one of the world’s largest outdoor art exhibits.
See No Evil, Nelson Street, Bristol, United Kingdom, +44 75 8149 2462
Lime Tree Gallery
A haven for contemporary fine arts and glass, Lime Tree Gallery holds regular exhibitions, which are always accompanied by a fully illustrated web catalogue so that you know exactly what you’re letting yourself in for. In a glorious setting that overlooks the floating harbour, the gallery has a particular penchant for showcasing contemporary Scottish artists and always has a varied selection of their work on show. Each exhibition they hold is complemented by a selection of individual glass pieces from both Britain and the Baltic states, making it a truly international affair.
Lime Tree Bristol Gallery, 84 Hotwell Road, Bristol, United Kingdom, +44 117 929 2527
Weapon of Choice
Weapon of Choice started out as a monthly hip hop and graffiti night, where local artists were invited to perform in front of a live audience. In 2009 they opened up an art gallery to showcase the best and most sought-after graffiti, street art, and illustrations from artists in Bristol. Since then, they have established themselves as one of the best and most unique galleries in the city. With spaces such as this pushing graffiti forward, an art form that was once defined by its illegal nature is now hovering on the fringes of mainstream acceptance.
Weapon of Choice, 8B Park Street, Bristol, United Kingdom, +44 117 929 1865
It’s All 2 Much
It’s All 2 Much is an independent art organisation based in Bristol that tries to promote local artists through art residencies, themed installations, participatory events, and art fairs. The gallery, in the cultural quarter of Stokes Croft, contains paintings, sculptures, and photography that is not necessarily definable as any particular style; featured artists are often representatives of street art, underground, and other underrepresented styles. Using this remit to complement other galleries in the area, It’s All 2 Much always has something different to see compared to other galleries in Bristol.
It’s All 2 Much, 124 Cheltenham Road, Bristol, United Kingdom, +44 117 924 7522
Although it’s located in the centre of Bristol, Centrespace is tucked away, out of sight from the main thoroughfares of the city. A not-for-profit, volunteer-run gallery that champions up-and-coming artists and craftspeople in the community, Centrespace is a bit of a tricky place to find, but it is certainly worth the hunt. With exhibitions usually running for around a week, there is always something fresh and innovative to discover. With cheap workspaces to hire, it draws the most exciting artists from all around who often go on to display their work in the gallery.
Centrespace, 6 Leonard Lane, Bristol, United Kingdom, +44 117 929 1234
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