Friday, 6 November 2009

Christmas Show 2009

Our Christmas Show starts on November 19th and we have 5 fabulous artists on view. Their work delivers the usual variety and quality, each with a dedicated zone in the gallery. We have yet another new media in the form of 'light painting', which compliments oil paintings, sculpture and video.

The artists on show are:
  • Jimmy Galvin
  • Amber Merrick-Potter
  • Beth Carter
  • Harriet White
  • Alec Jackson
During this show we also celebrate our one year anniversary. It doesn't seem like a year since our open evening and we've enjoyed a wonderful time building relationships with artists and art lovers. We have a few events planned during the show and of course the first one is the private view. If you are registered with us then you'll automatically receive an email invitation. If not then sign-up now.

December is always a manic time so we'll be opening the occasional late night and having goodies on offer to make the shopping process more enjoyable. Even if you're not buying and just fancy a bit of tranquility in the company of amazing art, music and a mince pie, then you are very welcome.

Full details of the art and artists profiles will soon be on the website, but for now, here's a sneak preview of some of the artwork to wet your appetite.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Dancing with Amber

I first encountered Amber Merrick-Potter at her MA show in Bath. My initial engagement with her work was very physical. I found myself moving in and out of her paintings and then from side to side, slowly at first and then with some urgency as I discovered more exciting textures, tones and shapes. This exploratory dancing with her work is not an unusual reaction for Amber to enjoy watching.

I looked over my shoulder and realised she was heavily engaged with an audience. Her performance, as she was discussing her work, was not unlike the animation I was experiencing as I viewed her paintings. Her physical and verbal expression when describing her work is full of the same freedom that can be seen in her composition and application of paint.

It didn't take me long to decide to approach Amber to exhibit at View. After seeing more of her work at another show the following week, and a visit to the gallery, we agreed to allocate our largest space to her new paintings. To this point I was enjoying Amber's work on an aesthetic level and through my own imagination to interpret the multi-layered images. Then we sat down and talked about Amber.

As with many artists, it is often easier for them to talk about their work rather than themselves, and Amber is no exception. She described the importance of the process of painting being more important than the subject matter. Amber has a strong connection with nature and her subject starts with a landscape theme. The palette and materials are loosely planned and the composition evolves as she applies the paint from her imagination. She explores the imagery through the process and is often in a semi-conscious state. This trance-like approach allows her to watch the the movement of colour, texture and shape in a fluid motion. Amber becomes so engaged with the process that she is often surprised by the output and enjoys a symbiotic relationship as creator and viewer. She describes painting as an obsession and a drug, with none of the downsides.

The physical environment Amber works in reflects the abandonment she experiences in the painting process. Her studio is a mess, she is covered head to toe in paint, and there is no start and end to a day. Amber speaks about her work with great passion and enthusiasm. She displays a child-like excitement and also an innocent vulnerability, particularly when describing her early years of engaging with nature.

As a child, Amber could be found foraging for unusual plant life, exploring their dangerous or healing properties. She would pick pants based on their perfume, colour and texture; the more unusual her findings, the more excited she would be. Even now she enjoys describing the effects of plants that appear in her work, especially the fatal ones.

It is this combination of nature inspired source with abandoned painting process that creates a unique object of desire that encourages exploration... and dancing!

Visit our website to see a selection of Amber's paintings.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Normandy Soto - for 3 days only

We are really excited to present Normandy Barcelo Soto at View. This fun-loving artist is very popular among the celebrity world, with his stunning, nature-inspired paintings. In true celebrity style he is making a big appearance in only 3 days: Friday 13th - Sunday 15th November 2009.

With a background in landscape design, Normandy's affinity with nature is captured by his use of earthy tones and natural colours. The visual aspect of the formation of rust and verdigris inspires his powerful, abstract work. Normandy uses a specialist paint that is mixed with iron and copper filings, more commonly found on Hollywood film sets where its purpose is to create a metallic appearance. The result of this innovative use of paint is a unique piece of art with an authentic effect.

In his own words:

"My work is created in the subconscious part of my imagination. I don't plan any picture or image beforehand. I always paint 'in the mood' and enjoy using natural pigment, although occasionally splash out on vibrant colours. I don't title my work, I let the work take on the names that other people have given them, so I don't influence what they see in them. My work is meant to be fun, moved, touched and explored"

We love Normandy's work and hope many people can share this short but very sweet experience. Here are some images of his paintings.

Monday, 12 October 2009

I Love Art Trails

There is so much to enjoy about an art trail. I liken it to a kind of art treasure hunt, but with an easy map and no clues to solve, other than the challenge of how to visit as many venues as possible in the time you have available. Whether you only have an hour or the luxury of an entire weekend, there will be a way of experiencing the magic of the trail.

Some people love to look at art from emerging local artists and some people love to meet new people or simply nose at their houses! The open-house nature of an art trail tells you much about the community spirit and the generosity of people sharing their homes for a weekend. Of course, they are also exhibiting their art and hoping for a few sales, but for many that doesn't seem to be the main appeal; an art trail is a big social event for like-minded people with a common interest.

Bristol has a fantastic art trail presence, with a very active calendar covering many areas. On the 17/18 October there is the West Bristol Arts Trail (View Art Gallery is one of the venues), followed by two more this year; Totterdown and North Bristol art trails are both in November. Earlier trails this year included Easton, Southbank, Bristol Art Fringe, St. Werburghs, and new ones continue to be announced.

The West Bristol Arts Trail is in its second year and includes the work of 120 artists in 50 venues. The variety of styles, medium and pricing will be vast, as will the different types of venue, which include homes, galleries, cafes, pubs, and churches. In the unlikely event you don't enjoy the art, you are bound to enjoy the walk, the company, and the exploration of parts of Bristol you haven't seen before. To download the map or see last years video, have a look at the website.

I hope you enjoy the West Bristol Art Trail next weekend and find the time to pop in and see us at View. Who knows, you may be inspired to open your house next year and show off your creativity.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Visiting Al Greenall

My favourite part of the art gallery life is visiting artists' studios. It is a great privilege to to be invited into a personal space where someone reveals the results of work that has demanded so much time, thought, and emotion. I am often met with an artist's sense of pride, expectation and sometimes vulnerability.

A recent visit to Al Greenall's Bristol studio was a particular highlight. Having previously visited Al's Bath based studio, I was delighted to offer him a show in October. For the past few months Al has been working on creating his 'Patron' collection of paintings especially for the show and I paid a visit to get a preview of the work soon after it was finished.

As I entered the studio, I was immediately struck by the colour and shape that attacked my senses. I didn't speak for a moment while I dealt with the overload and then tried to justify my startled reaction to Al. I likened the sensation to filling your mouth with the explosive space sweets that make your taste buds dance. We then started to look at, and discuss, the paintings one by one.

The inspirational sources of Al's paintings are many; he absorbs the architecture and landscape of his environment over time and when he is 'full up' he releases his creativity at an astonishing pace. The colours are vibrant and the palette extensive. The shapes are strong and assertive and applied with a sense of abandonment. The style can appear abstract but offers an endless source of imagery in its depth. The complexity of construction provides multiple 'blank canvases' to create your own pictures.

Al's work often stimulates a musical analogy in me when I describe it. My first response is to hear a loud noise which demands attention. I then listen to the overall sound. It's not a catchy pop song but a more complex orchestral piece with layers of instruments working in harmony, with an edge of jazzy improvisation. The collection offers an album of tracks that grow with you the more attention you invest.

Impossible to ignore, and maybe just as difficult to love, but once you build a relationship with this work, you will want more!

Al Greenall's Patron collection can be seen at View Art Gallery from October 1st to November 15th, as part of the Morphogenesis exhibition.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Morphogenesis Press Release


1st October - 15th November 2009

View's Morphogenesis exhibition explores the creation of shape.

Fred Swist, Al Greenall, Julian Abrams, and Julian Cox ARBS, study this common theme from very different inspirational origins.

Swist’s digital imagery engages the relationship between art and science, resulting in both aesthetic and technical appeal. Greenall extracts physical and emotional pictures from geographical locations and their experience is shared through multi media paintings. Abram investigates and captures patterns of light through photography and creates the impression of gyroscopic movement in his images. Cox interprets the lines and curves of the female form in his minimalist, elegant ink painting and sculpture.

Rose Popay brings an additional dimension to this eclectic mix of styles and media in her video installations, using her ability to morph into a collection of stimulating characters.

We shall also be dedicating part of the show to an exciting range of prints by local artists, who range from established to first time exhibitors.

About View

View is a contemporary art gallery, situated in Bristol’s Harbourside. We’re here to champion new art and artists, and bring a refreshingly informal approach to viewing and buying art.

The space offers 5 zones over 2 floors, with room for innovative conceptual art alongside traditional styles and media. An active events programme and frequently changing exhibitions keeps the art fresh for new and regular visitors.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Show us your prints!

As part of our next show in October we will be dedicating a large space to prints. This is partly to provide another price dimension for our customers, to compliment the show's original art, and also for when we take part in the West Bristol Art Trail.

So, artists, if you would like to be considered for this space in our October show please do the following:

1. Register as an artist on our website.
2. Send us images of 2 prints, with dimensions and the price you would like to receive (we'll add the commission), by email to

If your work is selected it will either be exhibited on the gallery wall (if framed), or in a print rack. We will start looking at the submissions this week and give you feedback within a few days.

We look forward to seeing some new and different prints.

Sunday, 2 August 2009


The second of our Summer shows is almost ready to go and promises to be an original and innovative collection of work. The show involves 11 artists who have been brought together by artist and curator Jesse Leroy Smith (who is exhibiting in both of our Summer shows). SuperNature is being shown at View as its first venue before being taken on an international tour next year. Have a look at images of some of work.

The common theme is the landscape, but the interpretations are extreme, as are the media used. Exploring new techniques with traditional media and introducing new media is a passion of ours at View and so we are delighted to show a group of artists with such diversity. Photography techniques include pinhole, Polaroid and digital, colour is presented with oils, ink and biro, and installations involve a wide mix of media.

Inviting a variety of emotional responses is something we are also enthused about at View. With SuperNature we aim to create a range of reactions from calm and serenity to wonder and intrigue and maybe admiration of technical excellence. As ever, we hope there is something for everyone.

The artists connection is through Jesse and his Revolver movement - a collection of artists who have a Cornish influence, either by birth, residency, or a love of the physical and social environment. The full list of artists is available here. You can meet the artists at our Private View on August 13th, so if you're not yet on our mailing list, register now to receive an invitation.

The show runs from August 12th to September 27th. We look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Urban Art Success

Just finalised the numbers from the Urban Art Show in conjunction with UPFEST09. The great news is that we managed to contribute thousands of pounds to the NACOA charity, through the Private View, the Show, and the Auction.

Another very positive aspect of the show is that we received a whole new set of visitors to the gallery. We are passionate about creating a friendly and welcoming environment for all types of visitors who can see and buy a broad range of contemporary art in a comfortable environment. The feedback from the show is that we are achieving this and it makes us very happy that we are delivering on one of our key aims. Art sold for between £85 and £4,000, satisfying both the casual buyer and the serious collector.

As I regularly pass the Bristol City Museum it's great to see the queues getting even longer to see the Banksy show. So many new people are being introduced to art and Bristol, which can only be good for all art venues in the city.

As far as Urban Art is concerned, it remains a very lively movement and popular medium. I look forward to adding urban artists to the range of contemporary styles at View, as well as taking part in next year's UPFEST. 

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Summer Show 2 - Preview

We have selected the artists and are now finalising the work for our second Summer Show, which starts mid August. The theme is going to be related to landscapes, all with a Cornish influence - either through the artist or the work.

But it would be very misleading to imply these are some picture postcard style paintings of the cornish coast. Take a look at a selection of images from some of the artists, to get a taste of what's to come.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

New Summer Show

Our new Summer Show starts next week and we have an exciting blend of new and established artists. The work being exhibited will be a mix of media and styles that is sure to capture the imagination of new and regular viewers. The list of artists are:

Jesse Leroy Smith - Paintings
Richard Southall - Sculpture and installation
Catherine Knight - Paintings
Simon Ledson - Paintings
Nici Ruggiero - Ceramics
Jessica Slater - Paintings

A selection of photos can be seen here. More images of the work on show and a profile of the artists will be on our website next week.

If you would like to receive an invitation to the private view next Friday (3rd July) then ensure you are signed up to our database and an email invitation will be sent soon.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Auction Artists

We now have the full list of artists whose work will be included in the auction on Friday 26th June (6.30pm):

Banksy, Grafter, BAM, Stick Man, Avian Security, FarkFk, Snik, Ben Slow, SPQR, Agent Provocateur, Data, Lee Ellis, Martin Whatson, LET, Boon, Oliver Winconeck, Jess Hartridge, Phil Blake, and K74 will all have work in the auction.

Photos of a selection of the 20+ urban paintings to be included in the auction can be seen here. We may also add a few more on the night if it's going well.

The reserve price for some of this work will be well below market price (from only £50) and so there may be some real bargains to be had. We also expect some lively bidding for some of the higher value work (you now who), and we already have some registered telephone bids. 

Remember, all the profit goes to the charity NACOA, so there's two reasons to feel good about your purchase.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Banksy Show Review

Having spent a couple of hours in the Bristol City Museum today, I think the answer to the question Banksy asks us (above) is 'not many'. As I listened to and observed people's reaction, the most frequent response to his new show was definitely laughter. There was a hint of anarchy and a frequent reference to the social comment we've been used to on the street, but the overwhelming feeling I got was that Banksy was having fun. Maybe having fun at the expense of the art world, the council, and maybe at himself. I applaud the museum for hosting the show, and even more so for the freedom Banksy clearly had with the curation. They have definitely opened their doors to a whole new set of art lovers.

The show is split into 4 main areas. In the first hall there are a number of large classical sculptures with very modern and amusing poses, all surrounding a burnt out ice cream van. The angel holding a cigarette and a lipstick-smeared can of beer made me smile, as did the stone lion who had eaten his tamer. A very safe introduction to the show.

In the second room was the more traditional Banksy work, with graffiti style painting and a stronger more challenging commentary to some of the content. There was enough work in his replica studio alone to spend an afternoon looking at, but time didn't permit. Some of the work was familiar in style and subject, with the inclusion of some interaction - many kids and Japanese tourists enjoyed poking their heads through the cut-outs of a seaside style take on a classical painting. I had to revisit this room once I'd satisfied my curiosity and excitement with a quick tour.

The third room was the biggest diversion from urban art and introduced animatronics in a zoo format with caged animals. Each cage or glass cabinet had a twist inside, some very obvious (like swimming fish fingers in a bowl) and some quite subtle and very life like - I found the monkey artist quite addictive to watch.

The remainder of the show was incorporated into the existing rooms and among the resident art work. This 'find the Banksy' was an event in itself and was causing great surprise and amusement among adults and children. Someone had to point out the penis in the stalagmite case to me! I won't tell you any more because half the fun is the discovery. For those with less time, or no sense of fun, there is a quick way to see them all (but I'll let you find that for yourself). And for those who can't get to see the show (although it's free and definitely worth the trip from almost anywhere), here are a selection of photos.

I'm sure there will be many reviews commenting on the importance of this exhibition, the cross over of urban and fine art, the outrage of bastardising classical art or the hypocrisy of an artist who is now a part of the world he once ridiculed. I prefer to see it as a gift to Bristol from where it all began, and most importantly... to not take it too seriously. 

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Urban Art Auction

Bristol seems to be going Urban Art crazy in June. First we had the UPFEST weekend of live painting around the city, including our Urban Art Show, then Banksy's surprise exhibition at the Bristol City museum, and now we have an Urban Art auction at the gallery.

On Friday June 26th at 6.30pm we will be auctioning paintings made at the UPFEST weekend and also work from our current show. All profits are going to the festival charity NACOA. News of the artists and images of the work to be auctioned will be here on our news blog soon. Keep looking on the site, or follow us on Twitter to get the news as soon as it happens.

To receive an invitation to the auction, please join our database, and you will be kept informed of, and invited to, future gallery events.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

UPFEST 2009 winds down

UPFEST 09 is winding down and we've had an amazing festival weekend. It started Friday afternoon with Snik and Ben Slow painting two pieces on the gallery outer walls and one on the entrance floor (photo above). Take a look at photos of them making of these great paintings.

Then on Friday night we held the launch party and private view, where collectors and admirers were first to see the Urban Art show at View. Lots of happy people went away with anything from a small print at under £100 to a Banksy for thousands. 

On Saturday we had a continuous stream of people visiting, from 9am (before we open!) through to the evening. It was wonderful to see so many people in the gallery and also to receive such positive feedback - our comments book is overflowing, thank you.

With the festival closing today we continue with our show for 3 weeks, ending with an auction on the last day. We've sold out of one artist and others are going fast. We hope to replenish stock with work made at the other festival venues. We'll let you know here.

There are many tired and yet happy people who organised and took part in a very successful festival. And lets not forget it was supporting a very worthy charity, NACOA.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Bex Wade degree show

Two things are important to us at View - showcasing new talent and making best use of our gallery space. We combined both of these on Thursday night with an exhibition by Bex Wade called Perform. Bex is a film and drama student and the work for her degree show is based on observing people in night clubs.

The gallery was transformed for the evening, with performing art, installations and photography. Bex clearly has a lot of friends and support for her art, as there was an excellent attendance which helped create the right atmosphere for the show. We hope her tutors were as impressed as we were.

Good luck to Bex and we hope to be working with you again in the future.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Urban Paint Show flyer

Here's the flyer for the Urban Paint Show. Click to expand.

Monday, 25 May 2009

BANKSY showing at View


Great news, we've got the biggest name in urban painting coming to View. Work by Banksy joins the line up for the Urban Art Show starting June 6th.

Banksy is considered by many to have been the artist who brought street art to the masses. We are extremely proud to be showing work at our gallery, in his home town of Bristol where it all began. We are expecting some original work (details to be confirmed) to compliment prints for sale during the exhibition, and we will be auctioning one piece at the end of the show in support of the UPFEST charity NACOA.

We've also got another great late entry in Logan Hicks who is sending us work from his June show in Los Angeles.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Artists confirmed for Urban Art Show

The artists for our Urban Art Show (June 6th - 28th) in conjunction with UPFEST09 have been confirmed. They are:

Andy Council, Dale Grimshaw, Ben Slow, Fake, FarkFk, Snick, and SPQR.

These urban painters are world reknowned and will be taking part in the festival on the 6th and then showing new work at View for 3 weeks. The show will have canvases and limited edition prints, with prices ranging from £100 - £3000, so there should be something for everyone. Whether you're a follower of urban art or seeing it for the first time, you are likely to find something in the humour, social comment, technical skill, or aesthetics of this absorbing art medium.

There will be live painting at, and around, View on Saturday the 6th and something special for Friday the 5th - we are planning a few surprises. Keep looking at the blog or follow the 'viewartgallery' twitter to be among the first to know. You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

View takes part in Upfest 2009

We are really excited to be taking part in the UK's largest urban painting festival - UPFEST 2009. 

Before we talk about the art, lets talk about the cause. UPFEST supports the National Association of Children of Alcoholics. Have a look at the website and support this worthy cause if you can.

UPFEST is a Bristol based festival and attracts artists from all over the world. We will be taking part by having live art performances on the main day (June 6th), a private view on the evening of the 5th, and a 3 week exhibition of the most exciting urban painters around today. More news on the artists soon.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

New News at View

Following requests for more information about what is going on in the gallery, we have decided to use our blog to publish news rather than its previous use as a discussion forum on topics of interest. This will also be complimented by Twitter feeds for those of that persuasion! I hope you enjoy the change and as ever, your feedback is welcome by adding comments to the news items or emailing us.