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About us

In a fantastic waterside location at the heart of Bristol’s harbourside, Arnolfini is one of Europe’s leading centres for the contemporary arts, presenting innovative, experimental work in the visual arts, performance, dance, film, music and events, accompanied by a programme of learning and participation activities. Five exhibition spaces, a theatre/cinema auditorium, Reading Room and Light/Dark Studios are housed in the Grade II listed, fully accessible building. The converted warehouse also contains one of the country’s best arts bookshops as well as a Café Bar serving the best in local and seasonal produce.

Arnolfini is a registered charity, core funded by Arts Council England and in receipt of regular funding from Bristol City Council.

Entrance to the building and the exhibition spaces is completely free

... making Arnolfini an ideal place to spend some time whether you've just got a few minutes or a few hours to spare.

The perfect place to soak up the sun

Sitting on the quayside with a drink on a sunny evening is a quintessentially Bristol experience. Arnolfini’s Café Bar serves a menu of mediterranean inspired, locally sourced food and fairtrade tea and coffee

Arnolfini history

Arnolfini was established in 1961, moving to its current harbourside location in 1975 - a Grade II listed former tea warehouse dating from the 1830s. Read more about Arnolfini's history here.

Arnolfini and the University of the West of England (UWE) have agreed and formalised an exciting new partnership.

The collaboration will mean Arnolfini and UWE come together to share resources and facilities and collaborate on programming and education workshops, seminars and events as well as academic research. In bringing together expertise, reputations and resources, Arnolfini and UWE Bristol will establish a new hub at the Arnolfini building for creative students and culturally interested visitors as well as taking a lead in shaping Bristol’s cultural narrative. The partnership will enhance and strengthen the cultural offer on the harbourside in Bristol.

The combined creativity and resources of our two organisations will enable us to jointly offer a more dynamic programme of exhibitions, talks and other activities to students of UWE and visitors to Arnolfini, offering an exciting new future for the Centre for Contemporary Arts.

At the heart of the partnership is talent development and ideas leadership. Both partners are committed to develop the talent of emerging artists, practitioners, colleagues, learners and performance, and to provide exhibition studio and performance space in which they can develop and exhibit their work in sympathetic contexts. The mission of the partnership is to establish communities of learners, practitioners, artists, performer and researchers who can thrive and collaborate within and beyond the gallery, studios, digital and social spaces.

From September 2015 UWE will run BA Graphic Design and MA Graphic Arts BA Drawing and Print, Centre for Moving Image Research (CMIR) and provide spaces for Drama students and cultural modules to take place at Arnolfini. Joint programming, research and the sharing of other resources in the building will also shape the partnership. Approximately 300 students will be based at Arnolfini from September 2015 and will use Floors 3, 4 and 5, which are currently unoccupied. Arnolfini will retain all its current spaces, which will be improved as part of renovations made ahead of September 2015.

We have had huge support for this partnership from Bristol City Council and the Arts Council England and we all believe that by working together we can offer more to visitors to Arnolfini, students at UWE, and the city of Bristol.  

Kate Brindley, CEO, Arnolfini, July 2015

Board of Trustees

Arnolfini is managed by a Council of Management, which is made up of Trustees from a broad range of backgrounds. For information about Arnolfini's Council of Management, read more here.

Plus Tate

Arnolfini is a partner of Tate, and exchanges programmes, ideas and skills with the Plus Tate network of visual arts organisations across the UK. More info at Tate website.