pictured Annabel and Jeremy Rees at Arnolfini
Between Arnolfini’s 60th Anniversary and International Women’s Day in March 2021, we hear from three generations of the Rees family:
Annabel Rees, co-founder of Arnolfini with her husband, Jeremy Rees. Annabel and Jeremy’s daughters, Justine and Natasha. Sophia, granddaughter of Annabel and Jeremy and artist in her own right.
Annabel Rees at the opening of Still I Rise , Arnolfini, September 2019
“It is now 60 years, in the early days Jeremy built up a variety of activities which were new and challenging which continues to this day.
These statements represent three generations of women and we are delighted to take up the offer.
The Arnolfini opened in March 1961 with £300 to the Triangle, Bristol.
Moved to Narrow Quay in 1975 when John Pontin offered us a warehouse. Jeremy would have been proud and happy!”
Annabel Rees, March 2021
“We are extremely happy and proud of our father who had this idea and vision 60 years ago.
He was passionate about making art accessible and free to everyone.
Jeremy put so much thought, hardwork, dedication and love into creating the Arnolfini.
Arnolfini wasn’t afraid of taking risks, giving opportunities and exhibiting many diverse artists over the years, bringing pleasure, inspiration and sometimes bewilderment, to many people.
Our father left a legacy which goes on for future generations.
He would be thrilled at this milestone.
In his words “enjoy” Arnolfini.”
Justine and Natasha Rees, March 2021
Photo caption from Natasha:
This is a great photo taken by dad , Annabel and I with Caroline one of his sisters in the background she worked there for a while. My first visit to the Arnolfini ! 1966 ….. Keith Armitage.
Thinking of the Arnolfini has always made me feel proud and emotional. Jeremy was a wonderful grandfather who always encouraged creativity and self expression I am thankful to him for inspiring me to try new things.
It brings me great joy knowing that the Arnolfini is still going strong and giving Artists a space to express themselves. Happy 60th year I hope there are many more to come.
Sophia Rees, March 2021
Photo from Sophia’s personal collection of her grandparents, Annabel and Jeremy Rees
To explore more of Arnolfini’s History and Archive please visit arnolfini.org.uk/about-historyandarchive