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Arnolfini - est 1961

New Zealand born artist Kate Newby embraces the unnoticed, inviting us to look again at our surroundings.

Newby’s works are subtle and poetic, but also slightly provocative — interacting with the social and material fabric of her chosen site. The artist creates ephemeral gestures and transformations that can look radically slight and can easily be overlooked but on closer investigation shift the experience of space and the city and people’s place in it. She explores the role that architecture and the urban environment play in shaping thought and perception, and our sense of self in the body and in community.

“Her work is almost radical in its interest in the small, slight and fleeting – emotions and the throwaway – things most often ignored, whether they’re pebbles or potholes or patches in a sidewalk.” Jennifer Kabat, 2014

The interventions include a scarlet rope interlaced around the top floor of One Redcliffe building, a series of rocks and pebbles made from clay, glass and porcelain and installed in the Control Room, a mural painted at Brunel Way underpass and a sculptural hill encasing a tree at Redcliffe Way.

The works are presented in derelict spaces in which they seem almost natural, such a concrete pedestal for a tree, but on closer inspection add an unexpected, poetic moment.

Location of installations:

 Mr + Mrs Hands, 2014 

  •  Brunel Way underpass, BS3 2JY 
  •  Car park at corner of Redcliffe Way bridge and Welsh Back.  
  •  North Cabin, The Control Room, Redcliffe Bridge (until 28 September) 
  • No. 1 Redcliff Street, Bristol BS1 6NP 

Map of all offsite projects.


Kate Newby’s work is part of The Promise. The Promise focuses on the relationship between a city’s design and the hopes and ambitions of its residents. Exhibitions and events will take place in the Arnolfini galleries and across the city of Bristol throughout the summer.