Skip to content
Arnolfini - est 1961

A major solo exhibition of artist Daphne Wright, curated by Jo Lanyon.

Please check our Christmas opening times before visiting.

Emotional Archaeology presents a number of key works spanning Daphne Wright’s career, and is the most comprehensive presentation of the artist’s work in the UK to date. Wright has been based in Bristol for nearly two decades, dividing her time between the city and Ireland. Often working from her studio at home, her practice draws on the suburban and the domestic realm to explore complex social issues and our understanding of society. The exhibition includes major sculptural works alongside films, prints, drawings and newly produced works, all of which invite the viewer to consider them on an emotional level.

Over twenty-five years, Wright’s work has been driven by a relentless curiosity in the ways in which materials can express unspoken human preoccupations. The artist often turns to traditional craft and figurative techniques in order to explore intimate and domestic issues such as parenting, ageing, care and our relationship with animals. Simultaneously both exquisite and shocking, in Wright’s work the personal is always political and what seems benign and non-threatening is shadowed by something darker and more troubling.

Emotional Archaeology is curated by Josephine Lanyon  and presented alongside an exhibition of the same name at National Trust Tyntesfield (10 September – 20 November), where two installations by Daphne Wright respond to the history of the Victorian Gothic house and estate. The chapel will house filmic portraits of individuals in intensely private moments of prayer and meditation. In contrast, cast and photographic works in the main house examine a history of breeding and lineage.  How to get to Tyntesfield

A publication has been produced alongside the exhibition and is available from Arnolfini for a special exhibition price of £14.99), including two interviews with Daphne Wright as well as new essays by Penelope Curtis, Xa Sturgis, and Josephine Lanyon.

Please be aware that gallery one contains sculptures made from the casts of upsetting animals which some children may find upsetting. 

Download an exhibition guide.



In Conversation

In December, Daphne Wright will be in conversation with acclaimed artist Phyllida Barlow, who will represent Britain at the 2017 Venice Bienniale.

About the Artist

Wright (born 1963, Ireland) is represented by Frith Street Gallery, London, and was elected as a member of the Aosdana, Irish Association of Artists in 2011. The artist has presented solo exhibitions at many venues including, Where Do Broken Hearts Go?, Douglas Hyde Gallery, 2002; Nonsense with Death, Sligo Art Gallery, 2001; and Daphne Wright, Limerick City Art Gallery, 2006, Cornerhouse, Manchester, 1994, The New Art Centre Sculpture Park and Gallery and The Lowry, 2001. She has also participated in group exhibitions the Hamburger Kunsthalle, 2008; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 2000; P.S.1 in New York, 1999; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 1997; and Tate Liverpool 1995.

Audio Descriptions

Please click on the gallery below to download a spoken description. 

Gallery One 

Gallery Two – Kitchen Table

Gallery Three – Where do broken hearts go

Gallery Four – Domestic Shrubbery

Emotional Archaeology has been curated by Josephine Lanyon and will be presented at Arnolfini and National Trust Tyntesfield.

Daphne Wright: Emotional Archaeology will also be presented at the Royal Hibernian Association, Dublin, 17 January – 26 February 2017.