Art / News

Former Gardiner Haskins to host major new exhibition

By bristol247, Friday Aug 21, 2020

A major new exhibition later this year will be a major show of support for the city’s contemporary art community as the arts industry struggles to survive.

Soapworks in Old Market will become home to more than 60 Bristol artists in a month-long programme of visual arts, performance, talks and events.

Centre of Gravity is a collaboration between the Centre of Gravity arts collective and First Base, owner of the Soapworks site in the former home of Gardiner Haskins.

The exhibition from October 2 to November 1 will bring together major and established contemporary artists in Bristol, including Jo Lathwood, BEEF, Andrew Mania and Annabel Other, as well as emerging artists from Caraboo Projects and Rising Arts Agency, whose work recently featured on poster sites across the city.

The Centre of Gravity team is made up of curator Paula Orrell, artists Tim Knowles and Mariele Neudecker and producers and art workers John O’Connor and Rosie Bowery.

Etablished in 2018 by a group of passionate arts practitioners, they hope to showcase Bristol’s thriving visual arts community and work, and explore new opportunities for the arts industry by pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in a post-Covid world.

In a statement, they said: “We’ve worked incredibly hard to bring such a fantastic group of artists together who, as a collective, will address some of the challenges posed by Bristol’s economic and social inequalities and the lack of diversity in many of our cultural organisations.”

The former Gardiner Haskins site will be brought back to life with the £175 million Soapworks scheme, with plans including a mix of high-quality workspace, new homes, and green and social spaces – photo: First Base

Lucinda Mitchell, project director at First Base, added: “Bristol has a thriving contemporary arts scene but sadly, there are fewer and fewer places for artists to display their work in the city.

“This has been compounded by the recent postponement of many national and international exhibitions due to take place this year.

“That is why we are pleased to support Centre of Gravity’s work at Soapworks, providing space prior to and after the redevelopment and ensuring that we showcase Bristol’s thriving and diverse creative community.”

Main photo: First Base

Read more: Soapworks developers help support Bristol charities

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