Arnolfini at 60

pictured left to right: Andrea gallery assistant, Rod Stoneman cinema coordinator,
Jeremy Rees Arnolfini founder, Elinor Line (nee Fairhurst), Jeremy’s PA,
Lewis Biggs, gallery coordinator, Sally, music assistant and Sharon Foster, receptionist

In March 1961 co-founders Jeremy and Annabel Rees realised their pioneering ambition to bring contemporary art to Bristol and open the first Arnolfini gallery above a small bookshop in Clifton.

Throughout its 60 year history Arnolfini’s programme has welcomed tens of thousands of artists, from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds, supporting and developing their work, investigating their influences and aspirations, to share their creations to tens of millions of people here in Bristol.

Our 2021 anniversary programme will feature artists including Keith Piper, Sutapa Biswas, and Ian Breakwell,  presented in a range of different formats, with the involvement of a range of different collaborators.

Sam Francis will present an online residency, focusing on Somerset – A Year in the Life of a Field, by Westcountry artist Lizzie Cox

Seminal performance artist Bobby Baker, whose work explores and celebrates everyday life, and promotes gender equality, will deliver an online performance.

We will also launch a new publication by Writer In Residence, Melissa Chemam, reflecting on the histories of African and African Diaspora artists at Arnolfini.

And we join our long-term partners In Between Time who also celebrate a milestone 20th anniversary in 2021.

More details to follow soon. Meantime, if you would like to explore Arnolfini’s History and Archive, please head to Arnolfini | History and Archive.

We would love to hear your memories of Arnolfini, please get in touch at

Explore our Archive Blog HERE

We hear from three generations of the Rees family to mark the 60th anniversary and International Women’s Day 2021 here.

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