Skip to content
Arnolfini - est 1961

Wed 11 April – Sun 27 May

Gallery 1

Brian Griffiths

The Man Who Loved Islands

Brian Griffiths’ work brings together craft, collecting and storytelling with an hobbyist’s approach to materials and techniques. Often assembling his works out of junk shop curiosities, kitschy nick-nacks, antiquated ornaments or old bits of furniture, Griffiths re-animates these worthless curios into objects both banal and grandiose. This exhibition brings together a number of recent works never before shown in the UK, alongside several new pieces produced especially for this show. Using Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe as its starting point, the exhibition creates a space filled with scavenged detritus, eccentric assemblages and obsolete cultural flotsam and jetsam.


Griffiths writes: ‘Robinson Crusoe is one important literary representation of England’s eighteenth century obsession with ideas of curiosity’. Griffiths draws an artistic parallel with the educated enthusiast of the time – the collector, the connoisseur, the ‘amateur’ – involved in various forms of scientific, engineering or anthropological investigation. In his work he enacts a similarly rudimentary, improvisatory approach to production, experiment and inquiry.