Ports, Piers, and Promenades

29 May 2014 – 18 Jun 2014

Event times

During normal opening hours

Cost of entry

Free to View

Royal West of England Academy

Bristol, United Kingdom


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Ports, Piers and Promenades


This spring, the RWA are working with students on the University of Bristol's MA course in Art History to curate an exhibition in response to The Power of the Sea. The important historical and contemporary works presented in The Power of the Sea reflect the current tensions of movement and change, tides and travel, erosion and weathering, culture, heritage and economy, encompassing a number of historical traditions and movements. Students taking part in the course will be responding to these themes and selecting work from the RWA's own significant collection, which includes over sixty works that feature the sea, including beach scenes, coastal landscapes and man-made harbours. Ports, Piers and Promenades captures the sea and the English coastline as a place of both work and leisure. The artworks showcased in this exhibition have been drawn from the Royal West of England Academy's permanent collection providing an exciting opportunity to delve amongst the treasures of this rich resource. The exhibition includes work by a number of RWA Academicians including Danny Markey, Dawn Sidoli and Rodney Joseph Burn. It portrays the English coastline, and in particular the South West, taking in local scenes such as Lord Methuen's Severn Beach in the 1930s, as well as artworks from further afield including David Inshaw's work Timetable (24b). The students have captured the shore is an in-between place, marking the transition from land to sea. The sea is framed as a cultural, social and commercial body, with selected artworks tracing the many ways in which man has interacted with the sea, from busy working ports to depictions of idyllic beach holidays. Ports, piers and promenades reveals how man has made his mark on the coastline, building a life around the sea incorporating both work and leisure pursuits. In many of the paintings displayed the themes of work and leisure appear simultaneously. For example the seaside resort, as depicted in Peter Folke's RWA Wet Day at Swanage provides both jobs and a holiday destination, whilst coastal artists' colonies such as St Ives provide artists with both a retreat from busy city life and an intensive work environment. The exhibition is located on the lower ground floor and is free for everyone to enjoy, donations are appreciated. All donations will go to the RNLI. For more information about the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org


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