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Arnolfini - est 1961

We are delighted to share Laura Phillips’ film created in response to histories of feminism in and around Arnolfini. It was first screened in December 2019, as part of the Still I Rise Expanded Programme.

Arnolfini was host to a number of exhibitions and events in the early 1980s which critiqued the position of women in the art world. Organised by a collective of artists which included Joyce Agee, Catherine Elwes, Jacqueline Morreau and Pat Whiteread, Women’s Images of Men (1980), About Time (1980), and Pandora’s Box (1984), were all open-submission group exhibitions of work which reflected ‘artists awareness of a women’s particular experience within the patriarchy’; while the festival Women Live (1982) was billed as a ‘celebration of the particular contributions made by women to the world of the arts’. A host of key UK artists were presented, including Bobby Baker, Susan Hiller, and Rose Garrard.

We commissioned local artist Laura Phillips to develop an experimental documentary reflecting on Arnolfini’s history of presenting feminist art. Combining archival material, interviews with women working with Arnolfini at the time, and the use of contemporary film stock, this is a personal take on a series of events at Arnolfini and their significance within cultural movements both globally and locally.

Laura Phillips b. 1986 Bristol, is an artist whose work investigates the complexity of resonance and incongruence between sound/image. Her work is often made working with a mixture of photochemical processes, found sounds and digital imagery.

She often collaborates with Viridian Ensemble:  an ethereal blend of image and noise, which re-imagines folkloric forms and tropes of femininity. Improvisation of both sound and image (digital & analogue) produce a dialogic blend of textural depths. Dissociative states, keening, and the supernatural inspirits the ensemble. Each performance evokes utterances, nonsensical languages, and trans-species forms of communication through collective rhythm, tone, and resonance.

Previously her work has been purchased by Arts Council Collection and recent performances include Supernormal Festival 2019 Oxfordshire, NAWR at BBC Studios Swansea, Cafe OTO, London. Discover more of Laura’s work at and

This commission was made possible thanks to generous support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

main image by Nicky Ebbage