Space Invaders Bristol: Popup gallery exhibition at number 13, The Arcade, Broadmead

In November 2019 I exhibited with Beki Wills and Mark Hollis as Space Invaders Bristol, in a popup gallery at The Arcade, Broadmead in Bristol. The Arcade is a beautiful piece of architecture, built in 1824 to emulate the Regency style of Burlington Arcade in London, the building felt steeped in history, with some rather spooky vibes when it was empty (don’t go into the top room)…

It was great to meet so many artists and creatives, since there was a constant flow of artists from all disciplines. We hosted an afro-futurism themed writing workshop run by Chicago poet Mojdeh Stoakley with a poetry performance by Mojdeh and Edson Burton, plus a night of Halloween-themed animated films by local filmmakers and puppet makers from Puppet Place.

Being situated right in the middle of Bristol’s shopping district was a wonderful opportunity. We had a continual influx of random shoppers, tourists who discovered us by accident, and artists who just happened to be passing and came in out of curiosity. I’ve always been wary of elitism and exclusivity in art, so it felt good to be able to reach people who wouldn’t normally have felt that a gallery was somewhere they were allowed to visit. 

After hiding away for 4 years, and after some pushing by Beki, it was great to exhibit again. I was given free rein to use the basement and chose to fill it with as many framed drawings as possible. I named the basement show Descent, which reflected the precarious steps leading down into the cellar space and my own precarious mental journey. None of the work was created with the public in mind, so it was quite a daunting experience to turn my innermost thoughts inside out. I felt very exposed… but I was relieved to find such positive and encouraging feedback. 

I was also able to use the shop window opposite and showed some large prints taken from illustrations I had created for the illustrated online horror novel Welcome to Black Mountain