Survey by Qualaroo

Looking back, looking forward

2015 was a busy and transformative year at Arnolfini: from fog on the water to lines in the landscape, invented languages to new breakdances, film festivals to book fairs.

Here are some of our highlights…

Partnership with UWE Bristol

In January 2015, a historic partnership agreement between Arnolfini and University of the West of England was signed. From September, UWE arts students and staff were re-located in the Arnolfini building, occupying the top three floors as part of a new City Campus for the Arts Faculty. The partnership is the first of its kind and we’re looking forward to collaborating on workshops, seminars and research in the future!


This major solo exhibition celebrated Bristol-based artist Richard Long and included several new works. Launched by Sir Nicholas Serota on 30 July, TIME & SPACE was visited by 62,800 people: our highest ever number of visitors to a single exhibition! Visitor comments include:

"Best exhibition I’ve seen at Arnolfini in 30 years."

"Excellent Richard Long exhibition @ArnolfiniArts, well worth a special visit to Bristol!"

“Richard Long’s work makes you stop and think. To see the world around you in the kind of detail he sees, particularly the design in natural things, and to value your own surroundings.”

Fog Bridge

For 10 days, a magical fog filled the harbourside. To celebrate Bristol’s status as European Green Capital, artist Fujiko Nakaya was commissioned by In Between Time to transform Pero’s Bridge. As part of the sold-out IBT15 festival, created in partnership with Arnolfini, Fog Bridge explored issues of climate instability and uncertainty.

"So glad I didn't miss the wonderful . My 17 day old baby enjoyed it!"

"Fog Bridge does nothing for the hair, but quite a lot for the soul."

"Surprised and happy to experience the  in the centre today! An inspiring way to reconsider spatial perceptions."

Young Arnolfini 

Young Arnolfini exhibited their first major onsite exhibition in July 2015. 'And then we pulled the words apart' featured drawing, photography and installation, and was the culmination of a 4 month collaboration with young people from Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea.

"We loved the show from #YoungArnolfini - exciting new work from emerging #bristol artists."

Christine Sun Kim

In 2015, visual artist and Ted Fellow Christine Sun Kim was awarded a residency at Arnolfini in partnership with DASH, and exhibited a new collection of drawings. Deaf from birth, Kim's work deals with sound as a medium that can be experienced viscerally. In Bristol, the artist created a new film installation - the first time she has made work of this size in a residency setting.

Watch a video of Kim discussing the music of sign language


Primary Capital Programme

Arnolfini and Foreground have been working with Bristol City Council and LEP, to curate and manage Primary Capital Programme, a series of exciting public art commissions for local primary schools. In 2015, we completed 4 school commissions over the summer and secured Turner Prize winners Assemble to collaborate on two further works. Keep an eye out for these in 2016!

Read an article about Assemble

Bristol Radical Film Festival

The extraordinary programme of the 1975 event The First Festival of British Independent Cinema inspired the 2015 edition of Bristol Radical Film Festival. This year, we hosted a programme of screenings, discussions and events, featuring the legendary Laura Mulvey in-conversation and short films of Derek Jarman.

"Archives, rare footage, stimulating conversations."

"#BRFF2015 has been amazing and so moving."


The Arnolfini Story

This year we launched The Arnolfini Story  - a project celebrating our heritage and inviting the public to share their memories. In 2015, events and shows included Edge and Shore: Acts of DoingWildbunch and From the Archive, an exhibition of material documenting the 1975 rebuild of Bush House. More to come in 2016!


AIM : Somewhere in the City

In November, Art in Motion (AIM) presented Somewhere in the City, an exhibition of work that explored an over-looked, historic area of Bristol. Five artists (Betty Sargent, Chris Rose, Jeff Johns, Jonathan Barr Lindsey and Dave Pearce) explored the city with unique approaches to the city in which they live.



International Performance Association (IPA) travels across Europe each year and takes place in chosen cities. In 2015, IPA Bristol arrived at Arnolfini with a symposium and two evenings of live performance throughout the building, featuring artists VestAndPage, Ria Hartley, Zierle & Carter and many more.

“Tonight, IPA is bringing Arnolfini's foyer and inbetween spaces to life!"



Bristol Artist Book Event (BABE) was back and bigger than ever in 2015. Spread across 3 floors, more than 80 artist bookmakers, dealers and small presses from Bristol and beyond, gathered at Arnolfini to show their work, sell their creations and talk to book-lovers.

“A collection of inspiring and joyful exchanges throughout the day at BABE at Arnolfini.”


Seeds of Change: A Floating Ballast Seed Garden

As part of the year-long celebrations for Bristol 2015: European Green Capital, the Seeds of Change: A Floating Ballast Seed Garden programme was our busiest yet this year, with boat trips, talks, screenings and events running from June to October.

Read more about the project


Thank you to all of our audiences, friends, colleagues and supporters who helped make 2015 incredible. Of course, we haven't space for everything that happened: Emma Smith's interactive exhibition 5Hz, Katie Paterson's collection of 10,000 tree samples, Art Weekender Bristol & Bath and much more. What have we missed? Tweet us your favourite bits!

We look forward to sharing our 2016 programme with you. It starts with the UK premiere exhibition of John Akomfrah's extraordinary Vertigo Sea, opening on Friday 15 January. Let us know you're coming...

Filed under:
Events and Exhibitions
Wednesday 26 October 2016

Galleries 11am-6pm

Shop 11am-6pm

Cafe 10am-8pm

Reading Room 11am-6pm

Offsite - Blaise Castle Museum: Holiday Family Fun Offsite - Blaise Castle Museum: Holiday Family Fun
Wednesday 26 October 2016, 11:00 to 15:00