Our November Art Bar speaker is Angie Parker  an award-winning textile artist, who designs and weaves rugs and wall-hangings for lovers of colour. 

Angie trained as a rug weaver at art college in the early 1990’s, after initially getting side-tracked by a career in costume for theatre and television. The arrival of her children brought about the opportunity for her to revisit her passion for weave and colour, and she has spent the last 5 years (or 25 years if you go back to the start), establishing a niche brand working on commissions and exhibiting her textiles in contemporary craft galleries.  

Her distinctive and intricate floor art and fabric creations are hand-woven using long established patterns, such as Krokbragd, which she combines with her instinctive approach to colour. It is the creative process of importing a contemporary element to the time honoured techniques of rug weaving and the responses from the viewer which most excite her. A year spent living in India and more recently the dynamic graffiti in her neighbourhood in Bristol have influenced the fabulously gaudy palette which is intrinsic to her weaving. Her colour spectrum primarily ranges from intensely hued to eye-popping flamboyance and sourcing new shades is a key part of her planning.

Angie will be looking at the pivotal moments in her journey, and sharing her experiences of running a growing contemporary textile craft practice. The highs and lows will be illustrated with a backdrop of eye-poppingly colourful examples of her work and the influences behind her creations. 

Talks start at 7.30pm, but we recommend arriving at 7pm to grab a drink, pizza and a place to sit. Art Bar Bristol is FREE to attend.

Find out more about Angie’s practice here.

Images © Angie Parker.


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Our October Art Bar speaker is Stephen Snoddy, artist and Director of New Art Gallery Walsall. Stephen will be joining us to discuss his dual career as artist and curator, looking at curatorial highlights across his career as well as his artistic practice.

Stephen was born in Belfast and trained at Belfast College of Art where he graduated in 1983 with an M.A. in Fine Art. He began his curatorial career with his first job running a small community arts centre in Lisburn, later graduating with a Postgraduate Diploma in Art Gallery & Museum Studies from Manchester University. In 1987 he moved to Bristol to become Exhibitions Organiser at Arnolfini Gallery, where he worked from 1987-91 on an exhibitions programme that included shows from Richard Long, Giuseppe Penone, Rachel Whiteread, Jack B. Yeats and Juan Munoz.

In 1991 he became Exhibitions Director of Cornerhouse, Manchester, where he was responsible for bringing The British Art Show 4 to the city, as well as exhibitions including a John Baldessari Retrospective and a Bruce McLean film. In 1996 he became Director of Southampton City Art Gallery, where he organised Chris Ofili’s solo exhibition which won him the 1998 Turner Prize, and an exchange of collections with the Museum of Fine Art, Bilbao, to coincide with the opening of the new Bilbao Guggenheim. In the spring of 1998 he moved to Milton Keynes to direct the construction of a brand new gallery – MK opened on 8 October 1999 with ‘The Rudimentary Pictures’, an exhibition by Gilbert & George. In 2003 he was appointed Director, BALTIC Gateshead, making organisational and structural changes, refreshing the programme and engaging with artists in the region. In 2005 he began to work on freelance projects, lectured at MMU and continued to be on the VAGA Executive Board as well as serving as Director of the inaugural Contemporary Art Norwich (CAN05). In May 2005 he was appointed as Director of The NAG, Walsall.

After a break, he began painting again in 2013 and is a member of Contemporary British Painting an artist led organisation which explores and promotes current trends in British painting through group exhibitions, talks, publications and the donation of paintings to art museums.

Talks start at 7.30pm, but we recommend arriving at 7pm to grab a drink, pizza and place to sit. Art Bar Bristol is FREE to attend.

Image credit: ‘The Rudimentary Pictures’, exhibition by Gilbert and George at MKG, 1999 © Stephen Snoddy.



Our first Art Bar speaker after the summer break is Anna Farthing, an award winning producer and consultant. She is currently Arts Programme Director for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. Creating work across cultural forms, she has been a creative producer, director, writer and curator for a wide range of projects and organisations including Hull U.K. City of Culture, the National Theatre, Chatsworth, and BBC Animation. Locally she has been instrumental in the launches of Tobacco Factory Theatre, M Shed, Bristol European Green Capital, Bristol Shakespeare Festival, Cary Grant Festival, Bristol Festivals and numerous independent projects. She began as a dancer and is still inspired by making work on, for and around the human body.

Join us to hear more about Anna’s work, looking back across her career and body of work including a variety of different projects such as her most recent role launching a new arts strategy for University Hospitals Bristol.

Chatsworth Renewed 2018 © Anna Farthing.



Under the Rug

For June Art Bar (our last before we break for summer) we are joined by artist Mona Osman.

Mona Osman has painted and drawn since childhood, using her art to investigate human perceptions and tensions that are often linked to a state of anxiety. Drawing on experiences rooted in her personal history, the artist constructs crowded scenes and narratives that explore universal questions about existence and relational dynamics between individuals. Her paintings swarm with people, patterns, and elements, allowing the viewer’s eye to jump from detail-to-detail, probing the surface of the work through its varied rhythms, unexpected associations and sudden revelations. Her work combines elements of her parents’ heritage, combining Hungarian Judaism and Sudanese Islam, and her own childhood spent in Budapest and Nice. She now lives and works in Bristol.

Osman has a BA in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths University and an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art. Her work has been exhibited at: Saatchi Gallery, London (2018); Royal College of Art, London (2017); Art Busan, Busan, Korea (2017); C & amp; Gallery, London (2016, 2015, 2014, 2012); St. David Coffee House, London (2015); GX Gallery, London (2014); May Clerckwell Gallery, London (2013); The Crypt Gallery, London (2012); Cubitt Gallery, London (2011); Lewisham College, London (2011); Yom Hatzmaut, Tel Aviv (2009); Cékl’art, Budapest (2009, 2008). She is currently working on her next solo show opening October 2019 at the Collezione Maramotti in Italy.

To see more about Mona Osman visit http://www.monashack.com

Image credit: Under the Rug © the artist.



For May we are joined by Professor Anita Taylor, Executive Dean of Bath School of Art and Design.

Professor Anita Taylor is a practicing artist, curator, educator, writer, and Executive Dean, Bath School of Art and Design at Bath Spa University. She is the founding Director of Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize [since 1994]and Drawing Projects UK [since 2009]. She has extensive teaching, research and review experience, and her academic leadership roles have included; Director & CEO, National Art School in Sydney, Australia; Dean of Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London [UAL]; Director, The Research Centre for Drawing at UAL; and Vice Principal, Wimbledon School of Art. She is the current Chair of the UK Council for Higher Education in Art and Design (CHEAD), a Trustee of Stroud Valley Arts, and President of Wells Art Contemporary.

Solo exhibitions of her work include: Witness, Young Gallery, Salisbury [2018]; DRAWN, The Customs House, South Shields [2017]; Drawing Projects UK [2016-17]; William Wright Artists Projects [Sydney 2014]; The Drawing Room, Sydney [2011]; Peter Pinson Gallery, Sydney [2009]; The Drawing Gallery [2009; 2004]. Her drawings have been recently been included in exhibitions at Jerwood Gallery [2016, 2014]; The Global Centre for Drawing, Langford120, Melbourne [2018, 2013, 2011]; Victoria & Albert Museum [2009]; Tate Britain [2006]. She has curated exhibitions of drawing, including Drawing Breath [London & international tour 2006-08] and Drawn Together for Jerwood Gallery [2013] in association with the Drawing Prize project; and organised solo presentations/exhibitions by Barbara Walker [Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, 2018-19], Lyndal Jones [Bath, 2014], Sheela Gowda [Sydney, 2010]; Wendy Sharpe, Gerry Davies and Elisa Alaluusua at Drawing Projects UK since 2016. Co-author of Drawing [Cassell Illustrated, first published 2003], she has written for The Guardian/Observer, Craft Arts International, Guardian Culture Professionals Network, and Garageland, with interviews with her featured in After Nyne [2018], Interalia [2016]; Studio International [2014]; Times Higher Education [2013]; the Artist’s Lives, Oral History Collection,National Life Storiesin the British Library Sound Archive. She was artist-in- residence at Durham Cathedral [1987-88], Cheltenham Fellow in Painting [1988-89], and awarded the Malvern Award for Drawing [1993]; Drawing Award, Hunting Art Prizes 1999;First Prize, Hunting Art Prizes 2000. Her work is held in public collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Jerwood Foundation.

Image credit: Drawn, solo exhibition by Anita Taylor, Customs House Gallery, South Shields, 2017, © Anita Taylor.

Art Bar Easter Break

Art Bar Bristol is taking an Easter break, but we will be back in May on the last Wednesday of the month as usual. We will be announcing our next speaker very shortly so check back soon and thank you for supporting Art Bar,  we look forward to seeing you next month!

Next up is painter Ben Risk on Wednesday 27 March, 7pm, Renatos


For our March Art Bar we are joined by Bristol-based painter Ben Risk who has recently shown in the group show Telescope at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings.

Born in Glasgow Ben studied Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has since shown at various galleries in the UK and abroad including Jerwood, ING Discerning Art Prize, New Now Frankfurt, London Art Fair, Saatchi Gallery and Open Eye Gallery.

The following text was written by curator Nigel Cooke in response to Ben’s work for Telescope:

Leonardo da Vinci famously advised aspiring young painters to look at stains on a wall; Ben Risk’s magical, confounding paintings depend on this principle, weaving images between marks and stains that appear, in the early stages of painting, on the material he uses – linen, cotton bedsheets and paper. Absorbency is the operative word – images delicately hang between recognisability and collapse, between a presence and the stain of a presence. They also absorb light – surfaces are soft, colours soak in, the eye dives into the fabric of the cloth. And above all maybe, the meditative sense of the images and Risk’s attachment to them suggest a slower kind of thinking, an absorption again – one of patience with the evolution of the image, a hospitality towards a form of strangeness that grows steadily as a conversation with the marks and stains. Real life connects with this more or less – we see people, plants, animals and landscapes – but they do not govern the scene. Instead they are warped by it, floating nebulously between shape, space and description. Ben’s painting is thoughtful in character, inviting warmth and contemplation through delicacy and care. They resist the speed of information exchange in the world around us, trading on a different plane of thought – one reflective and bizarre at times, like half-remembered dreams or stories. The theoretician and art historian Richard Wollheim called da Vinci’s faith in stained walls the act of ‘seeing in’ – the process of looking at an image and a surface as a twofold but single experience, like seeing forms in clouds. Ben capitalises on this foundation stone of representation in highly personal and lyrical ways, calling to mind artists like Craigie Aitchison, R.B Kitaj and Victor Willing – and of course Henry Tonks, the Slade professor who gave his name to the process of absorbing away Oil paint with paper to create soft and diffuse areas of colour. Sensitive and at the same time very powerful works.”

See more at Ben’s website or on instagram.

Image credit: Fieldwork (Cornflower), oil on panel, 2016 © Ben Risk



RWAAlbertIrvinPreview (11 of 389).jpgArtist Stewart Geddes joins us to talk about his practice as a painter and the exhibition Albert Irvin and Abstract Expressionism which he has recently curated at the RWA (on until 3 March 2019).

An abstract painter himself, Stewart has recently curated a major exhibition close to his heart, celebrating the work of Albert Irvin – an artist who has been a huge influence on his own work – and the abstract expressionists which inspired Irvin’s work to change course in the 1960s.

Stewart has brought together work from the Albert Irvin Estate, alongside key works from artists featured in the 1959 exhibition at Tate The New American Painting (curated by MOMA New York) that was so pivotal to Irvin’s career. Inspired by artists such as Willem de Kooning, Barnet Newman and Jackson Pollack, the Tate show changed Irvin from a ‘Kitchen Sink’ artist wedded to a gritty sense of English realism to an abstract painter working with the same scale and energy as his New York contemporaries.

Stewart will share his experiences of curating this international exhibition which includes key loans from Tate – including work by Barnett Newman featured in the original 1959 show – and New York, as well as exploring the influence of Irvin on his own practice and career.

Stewart is President of the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, an Honorary Academician of the Royal Academy in London and the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh. He studied at Bristol Polytechnic under painter Alfred Stockham before moving on to the Royal College of Art. He lectures in fine art as an Associate Lecturer at Bournemouth Arts University and at the University of Gloucestershire, having previously taught at Wimbledon College of Art and Cardiff School of Art and Design. His work can be found in public collections  including the Royal Collection and the Royal College of Art.

You can find out more about Stewart Geddes here and the work of Albert Irvin here.

Image copyright RWA.


george boltonGeorgina is a freelance Public Art Producer who places people and place at the very heart of her practice.

With 10 years’ experience working in the contemporary visual arts, Georgina has spent the last eight specialising in devising and delivering public realm projects, working collaboratively with artists, organisations, city councils, developers, architects and fabricators to create unique encounters that engage new audiences, re-awaken places and inspire change. Whether in fields, forests, beaches, heritage sites or urban city centres, she is passionate about the civic role that arts can play in creating new ways to access and experience the world around us, bringing temporary and permanent public artworks to life in unusual and ambitious locations.

The magic of many public realm projects is that no one opportunity, place, partner or funding collaboration is ever quite the same. Georgina will be joining Art Bar Bristol to talk about her experience of the Producer’s role as an “initiator, mediator, translator and firefighter” – the person that often dreams, connects and problem solves to make things happen.

With insights into her Producing role at internationally renowned arts organisation Situations, alongside her Public Art Policy writing for Cities, Producing for Trust New Art and current freelance roles at UWE, The Architecture Centre and Terrestrial, Georgina will share the challenges and highlights of her professional journey, touching upon future plans and explainingwhy she feels that now, more than ever, there needs to be a collaborative push for understanding the long term positive value and impact that public art can have on our cities, landscapes and lives.

Tweet @george_bolton
Instagram @gbolton

George’s has kindly shared some great links from her talk which can be downloaded Resources from Georgina Bolton Art Bar Bristol talk 30 January 2019.

Image Credit: Crossings, Natasha Rosling and Vilma Luostarinen, 2018, Exeter. Photo Benjamin J Borley Courtesy National Trust.