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Arnolfini - est 1961



On 23rd September over thirty Caribbean elders attended a special day at the Arnolfini,  to view the exhibition by the renowned abstract artist, Sir Frank Bowling. Local community-based arts organisations Creative Connex, No Bindings and local artist Christelle Pellecuer worked in partnership with the Arnolfini Team and UWE Bristol to organise the day out for the community elders.


Sir Frank Bowling has been hailed as one of Britain’s greatest living abstract painters and a ‘modern master.’  His work pays tribute to his homeland of Guyana and the Caribbean. Since arriving in London in the 1950s his innovations in technique, use of paint and surface texture, have changed the practice of painting. Now aged 87 he plans to continue working in his studio, exploring the ‘possibilities of paint’ with his experimental ethos that places material, colour and light at the heart of his practice. You can find out more about the exhibition including audio relating to the exhibition here.


Community members from Malcolm X Elders Forum, Golden Agers and Evergreen groups supported by Dhek Bhal toured the galleries with curators. Many elders said it was the first time they had visited the Arnolfini despite living in the city for several years. They were hosted by Arnolfini Executive Director Gary Topp as part of the Arnolfini’s 60-year anniversary celebrations. They were treated to a delicious lunch from local caterer Jean Bowen based at Rose Green Cricket Club. Several local artists and community leaders joined them including Cleo Lake, Lawrence Hoo and Michael Jenkins. The elders were taken home but not before expressing their enjoyment of the day and another chance to celebrate the contribution of the Windrush Generation from ‘one of their own!’


IN the Arnolfini Theatre, a dark room with spotlit tables and chairs, A group of people from various caribbean elders community groups sit listening to Gary Topp, Director of Arnolfini share the work that they do.