Expressions Arts Festival returns to celebrate its 10th anniversary with exhibition that explores the imagined landscape.
A festival of contemporary art and music returns this July after a two year pause, promising to make a splash while celebrating ten years of ambitious exhibitions.
Imagined Landscapes, showcases artwork created by artists supported by Milestones Trust through its Expressions programme.
Expressions encourages participants living with mental health needs and learning disabilities to develop new creative skills. This progressive programme has a positive impact on mental health and well-being as well as making the arts more accessible.
The contemporary exhibition will be the culmination of the year-long programme of creative arts workshops run by artists.
The theme this year is the ‘Imagined Landscape’ and the captivating and thought-provoking exhibits on show explore the ways that landscape is understood and imagined, both individually and on a collective level. Through the work audiences are invited to consider the landscapes they experience, to explore shared and individual imaginings and to respond to these as witnesses and collaborators.
The exhibition includes work made in collaboration with international photographer Barry Cawston, sculptor Tina Brown, painter Ben Bishop, video artist Giles Webberley and portrait painter William Oxer.
Louise Copping, Expressions Artist and Curator, said:
“As an artist collective we are thrilled to be able to present exciting new work this year. We have been collaborating with other artists to develop works that considers changed and changing landscape, both internally and externally. The works this year explore nature, geology and the climate emergency as well as human connection and our inner experiences of the land and landscape through time.”
Emma Grant, long term Artist collaborator said:
“In our work we have been striving to find the uncanny in the everyday, to challenge the status quo and to imagine a new world through art making. With the group show we are advocating for collective, cross-disciplinary collaboration in pursuit of togetherness and equality as a way of life.”
Artist Ben Bishop added: “I feel excited to have my work exhibited at such and illustrious show. And more than that, I feel proud to be associated with such meaningful impacts as those made by Expressions Art studios.
Artist William Oxer said: “Producing portraits offers a connection to self, perception and image. The portraits produced in these workshops will present positive experiences aimed at reducing stigma about mental health within communities and normalising mental health through the expression of self in art.”
Sculptor Tina Brown said: “It has been a pleasure and a fulfilling experience working with the artists at Milestones, in the run up to Expressions 2022. I have been running some collaborative workshops, where the artists shared ideas and experiences, based on the last two years, and a vision of freedom for the future – expressed through abstract sculptural forms, dyed fabric, wire and wood veneer that will be displayed at the Imagined Landscapes Exhibition.”
As part of the celebration there will also be a fantastic line up of Bristol bands running day and night over the weekend, as well as spoken word and performance, creative workshops, stalls and refreshments.
The free event is produced and curated with Milestones Trust, a Bristol charity supporting adults living with mental health needs and learning disabilities. The focus for Expressions has always been to make the arts accessible, interactive and a source of wellbeing. The people supported by the charity are involved in every aspect of Expressions, from creating the art to organising the show, giving participants invaluable access to the art world and help to get their art work exhibition-ready
The exhibition is free to enter, though donations are welcome.