Art: New exhibition reveals the world of urban learning

Steve Wright, August 4, 2017

A new exhibition celebrating the people and projects which make up Bristol’s rich tapestry of learning is coming to Hamilton House.

Learning City: A Self-Portrait (August 25-September 5) explores the different ways in which people learn – and how spaces, people and objects support that learning.

An interactive display brings together photographs, film, drawing, personal stories, craft objects and cultural artefacts to capture the ethnographic work of researchers at the University of Bristol, supported by community researchers.

The focus is on how people learn outside of the structured education system, whether it’s through community centres, theatre groups, protests or charities.

Researcher Dr Magda Buchczyk, from the School of Education at the University of Bristol, said: “The exhibition will reveal the fascinating world of urban learning that is often overlooked in educational research. We hope the public will come along and take a closer look at something that surrounds us but is often taken for granted.”

A day of talks from researchers and community groups will take place on Saturday, September 2, exploring how we learn in the city through everyday practices, formal education, and social and community engagement.

This pic and above: scenes from a workshop with Dhek Bhal

Learning City: A Self-Portrait forms an integral part of the Reinventing Learning Cities project, which has at its heart a desire to study and interpret the many different aspects of learning which take place in Bristol. It has been jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Connected Communities programme and the University’s Brigstow Institute.

It will celebrate Bristol becoming England’s first UNESCO Learning City – part of a world-wide network that champions learning as a way to transform lives, communities, organisations and cities.

The exhibition brings together contributions from a number of initiatives and community groups, including Barton Hill Settlement, Countering Colston, Dhek Bhal, Easton Community Centre, the Bristol Bike ProjectCoexist Community Kitchen,  Refugee Women of Bristol, St Mungo’s, the Workers’ Educational Association and Wild Walks for Wellbeing.

Learning City: A Self-Portrait Aug 25-Sept 5, Hamilton House Gallery, Mon-Fri 9am-8.30pm/Sat-Sun 9am-4.30pm. Entry is free.
Opening event Aug 25, 6pm. Free tickets available from www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exhibition-opening-learning-city-a-self-portrait-tickets-36711265383
Closing event Sept 5, 5.30pm, includes community poetry readings and presentations. Free tickets available from www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/closing-event-learning-city-a-self-portrait-exhibition-talk-and-poetry-evening-tickets-36711186146

Read more: Encouraging creativity from communities

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