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Image © M Shed via Facebook

Bristol’s Top Exhibitions this Spring and Summer

9 May 2019 | Maisy Farren

Bristol is well known for its art, with regular walking tours of the city showing off the wonderful street art that lines its walls, after all it is the hometown of Banksy. However, it also boasts a wealth of galleries and museums displaying artwork in expertly curated exhibitions. We’ve created a round-up of our favourite Bristol based gallery showings and exhibitions for the next few months, so you can see something new and soak up the creative feel of the city. 

 
Image credit:  Bristol Museum & Art Gallery via Facebook 
Banksy’s Devolved Parliament
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery 
 
Long term Bristolians may remember Banksy’s 2009 takeover of the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, where over 100 works by the anonymous graffiti artist where displayed amongst the classics, and modifications being made to (fake versions) of famous paintings. People queued around the block to catch a glimpse of the top-secret commandeering of the historic museum and turned out to be an amusing and cheeky success, attracting over 300,000 visitors. This year a piece from the exhibition returns to the main foyer of the museum to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. A piece that feels even more timely ten years on, Banksy’s Devolved Parliament is a canvas painting of the House of Commons completely occupied by confusing and bored looking monkeys. On loan from its’ owner for a short few months, this is a great chance to view an original Banksy piece (after you’ve seen all the ones on the streets, that is). 
 
This is free to see and is on 28 March – 1 September 2019.

A Crime of Passion by John D’oh 
Cass Art 
 
Carrying on with the theme of street art, known Bristol graffiti artist John D’oh is showing a small selection of his work in the artists go-to store, Cass Art. Only available to view during regular shop hours, this is a chance to see an exhibition of D’oh’s images and sculptures, whilst getting an insight into the materials he works with. John D’oh is a known controversial protest artist, who sprinkles political and social comment with his unique humour. Last year he had a book published, titled Street Art and Graffiti: A Dissertation, the book is an in-depth exploration of practices, concepts and developments of street art to the viewer. With years of experience behind him, his book is a personal and humorous account of life as a Bristolian street artist. Head to Cass Art on 15 May to pick up your copy and have it signed by the man himself, or head down to view his exhibition between May and June. 
 
This show is free and is on 13 May – 2 June 2019. 


Image credit: Bristol Museum & Art Gallery via Facebook 
Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed
M Shed 
 
Tattoos are an everyday art with a long and interesting history. Around one in five people in the UK have tattoos, and yet they’re still loaded with a variety of connotations and assumptions. This exhibition is a comprehensive history of British tattooing, looking at the etched skin of people throughout the ages, sailors, punks and everyone else. Displaying over 400 original artworks, photographs and historic artefacts from a variety of private collections of tattoo material in Britain, learn about the true history of the UK’s tattooing past. Installed in the harbourside location of the M Shed and utilising the hashtag #NotJustForSailors, we’re sure that this display will give you a comprehensive idea of the history of British ink. 
 
This show costs £6 and is on 16 March – 16 June 2019. 

A View from the Hill 
Somerset Rural Life Museum 
 
If you fancy a day out to the nearby town of Glastonbury, be sure to stop at the Somerset Rural Life Museum for a look at Matilda Temperley’s photo exhibition. The popular fashion and documentary photojournalist has spent the past year documenting her home county of Somerset and the people and places she calls home. Moved by social issues, her work documents issues facing the surrounding community. As her family works producing cider, you can be sure that she has a thorough knowledge of the county’s troubles, and photographs these in her usual provocative style. Somerset natives and tourists alike will adore this wonderful display of the county’s beauty. 
 
This exhibition is free with admission to the museum and is on 22 December 2018 – 1 June 2019. 


Image credit: Aardman Animations via Facebook 
On Set with Aardman: Making Early Man
M Shed 
 
An award-winning Bristol export, animation company Aardman have been creating award winning films for over 45 years and have yet to slow down. The stop-motion animators have produced big pictures like Chicken Run and Flushed Away and are the creators of the much-loved clay characters Wallace and Gromit! Last told a prehistoric story with Early Man, featuring the all-star voice talents of Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston and Maisie Williams. Head to the M Shed this summer to get an insight into the development of the mammoth movie, including original drawings, tiny clay models and all the latest VR technology used to create the family hit. 
 
Ticket information is not yet available, but the show is on 6 July – 3 November 2019. 
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