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Arnolfini - est 1961
Self Portrait age 14 by Stephen Gill. © Stephen Gill


Coming up for Air: Stephen Gill and Gary Topp in Conversation

Accompanying his current retrospective at the Arnolfini, Stephen Gill joins us for an intimate, revealing and entertaining journey through his extraordinary 35 year long career and the making of Coming up for Air with the show’s curator and Director of Arnolfini, Gary Topp.

Sharing the experience of bringing this major exhibition to life, the conversation will be aminated by images from Gill’s extensive portfolio  – many of which appear in the retrospective or its 624 page accompanying catalogue – and an opportunity for audiences to utilise their own curiosity in asking questions of Gill.

Guests will have the opportunity to visit the exhibition in advance of the talk with the galleries remaining open until 7pm.

Covid Guidance:
Our team will continue to wear face coverings and we ask you do so too, particularly to consider those who have disabilities or are clinically vulnerable.

All of our galleries and event spaces are ventilated to introduce fresh air which helps remove air that contains virus particles and prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Hand sanitising stations can be found throughout the building. Please use sanitiser provided on entry to the building.

If you or anyone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms, please stay at home.


Stephen Gill (born 1971 in Bristol, UK), became interested in photography in early childhood, thanks to his father, with an interest in insects and an initial obsession with collecting bits of pond life to inspect under his microscope. As a child he enrolled on his first photography course at Bristol’s Watershed, photographing the streets and cityscapes around him.

Stephen’s photographs are held in various private and public collections and have also been exhibited at many international galleries and museums including London’s National Portrait Gallery, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Museum of London, Agnes B, Victoria Miro Gallery, Christophe Guye Gallery, Sprengel Museum, Tate, Centre National de l’audiovisual, Galerie Zur Stockeregg, Archive of Modern Conflict, Gun Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery, Palais des Beaux Arts, Leighton House Museum, Haus Der Kunst and has had solo shows in festivals including – Recontres d’Arles, The Toronto photography festival, Festival Images – Vevey and PHotoEspaña.

Coming up for Air: Stephen Gill – A Retrospective  fulfils the artist’s ambition to exhibit at Arnolfini from when he first visited in his teens during the 1980s.

Gill has self-published numerous award-winning photo books such as Invisible, Hackney WickWarming DownA Series of DisappointmentsArchaeology in ReverseHackney Flowers, Buried, Off Ground, Coming up for Air, B-Sides, Trinidad 44 Photographs, A Book of Birds, Outside In, CoexistenceHackney Kisses, PigeonsBest Before EndTalking to Ants, and most recently The Pillar, which won the Les Rencontres de la Photographie author book award. All publications are available at www.nobodybooks.comA book to accompany the exhibition of the same title, Coming up for Air: Stephen Gill – A Retrospective, is also available at Arnolfini Bookshop.

The Art of the Maker series is a collaboration between Arnolfini and The School of Art & Design and Centre for Fine Print Research at UWE Bristol.