I introduce to you the new 123space, the latest exhibition and gallery space for the Bristol art scene.
The 123space encapsulates the aura of Stokes Croft in it’s vast open room with high ceilings, exposed bulbs and stripped down walls. The window is cloudy and looks like an incomplete window cleaning job but the circles of complete transparency leave passing by onlookers peering in at the wonderful art pieces beautifully decorating the walls. When we dropped by, the stunning Beyond the Sea exhibition was on, an incredible group exhibition consisting of sculpture, painting, drawing and prints and a testimony of how vibrant the Bristol art scene is at the moment.
The 123space backs onto the bakery on the corner at the bottom of Ninetree Hill (opposite Runcible Spoon and across from Cafe Kino), looking into this unit makes you wonder why it hasn’t been used sooner but the efforts of LoveBristol have helped switch on the lights to what would have been wasted space previously. Love Bristol are a non-profit organisation whose three main mantras are to create creativity, community and care within the vast streets, side roads and spaces within Bristol – and I think they’re doing a fantastic job.
The exhibition was curated in a really fluid and continuous way, the sculpture beautifully compliments the drawings and paintings on the walls either side of it. There is a third room which consists of several paintings and drawings, there is also an opportunity to pick from a variety of wonderful illustrations and paintings as prints.
[title above=”” h1=”false” center=”true”]Stag bike and spoon crocodiles[/title]
Barry Lewis is a former carpenter and jointer and now a full time sculptor working with metal-ware. Barry’s sculptures are playful and challenging at the same time, upon first glance an elephant sculpture turns out to have ears made out of spoons and a trunk made out of old crockery. Barry’s artwork has gone viral worldwide, not only has he exhibited at Shamballa, Boomtown, other major festivals and large scale events but patrons of Barry work even includes the spoon-bending patron Uri Geller.
The crocodile in the white gallery where you first enter is ferocious: it’s scales are generated with the backs of spoons folding and curving into each other, the cap of the croc’s skull is made out of an old dessert tray. It’s metal skin is warped by the expected curves and slight dents from re-used metal. I’ve never encountered metal artwork that has really made me appreciate the medium so much before, Barry is such a talented craftsman that he uses the material and all of it’s colour, shine, curve and texture to benefit the visual of the animal.
The stag bike is an incredible sculpture on a bike which actually works – so if you were in Bedminster on Saturday 29th you may have even seen this happening! Everything about this bike is decorative and wonderful but also pretty functional – the bike has a champagne holder at the neck of the front of the bike for all your bubbly needs and the tail at the back of the bike has a tap for when you need some water after a long ride. For me this bike symbolises Bristol in one single art piece; the bicycle, a popular and preferred method of transport within the city decorated with materials re-used and recycled. The stag bike is the result of imagination which has been transported from the idea and nailed into place with material and skill.
[title above=”” h1=”false” center=”true”]More pictures from the exhibition[/title]
Metal heart and white fluffy heart cloud
My favourite pieces from the whole exhibition
[title above=”” h1=”false” center=”true”]Metal romance[/title]
The heavy industrial feel from the metal and iron works around the gallery were balanced out perfectly with the constant weaving of romantic symbols, the giant rose wall mural for instance was an amazing backdrop to the metal bat which was suspended from the ceiling. There was an amazing duality of natural expression and emotion from the exposed backdrop of the exhibition space and the location in Stokes Croft along with man made construction using angular shapes and mechanical know-how.
[title above=”” h1=”false” center=”true”]More information[/title]
123 Cheltenham Road, Stokes Croft, Bristol
The exhibition is running every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until Christmas so you have loads of time to buy your Christmas presents!
123space can be found here:
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