Hudi Charin scopes out the Gallimaufry as it hosts this month’s ‘Brothers, Sisters’ fundraiser exhibition, displaying works of ten Bristol artists.
Posters read ‘Equality Not Division, Hope Not Hate, Positivity Not Fear’. The exhibition is clearly inspired by recent political events in the States, and is a creative way to express social discontent in art as well as providing a practical, financial cause.
A quick google search informs me that ‘gallimaufry’ means a confused jumble or medley of things, and this is a great way to describe the bar. One part Modern European restaurant, one part homely bar, one part arty space, one part music venue, The Gallimaufry somehow manages to cover all of this without looking like it’s trying too hard.
a unique atmosphere for viewing art
However, it would be an overstatement to call the cosy mezzanine area a ‘gallery space’ as the exhibition really amounts to ten A2 prints stuck up on a few wooden walls. Do not go in to The Gallimaufry expecting to spend time wandering around a traditional exhibition. Instead, order yourself a drink and some of their locally sourced food and enjoy the art in a more chilled way.
With a rustic vibe, low lighting and wooden chairs, this provides a unique atmosphere for viewing art. You may have to lean over some other diners to actually be able to see all of it—as I awkwardly attempted to—but this really adds to the friendly, lively environment. Especially in the run up to exams, it is great to know about this little place to take you away from the bustling roads outside.
Like most of the area around Stokes Croft, this is a part of Bristol which thrives on political artistic expression. Half of the proceeds go to the artist and half to the ACLU, showing how passionate the Gallimaufry is about fostering local artists who have something to say.
this is an exhibition which celebrates strength during social adversity
Unlike some of the graffiti in the area, most of these prints are quietly political rather than aggressively so. Just take Tabitha Panter’s illustration of the backs of different sofas. If you look carefully you can see loads of varied types of people cuddling together on the cushions. It’s a subtle way of showing diversity, and something we all have in common- loving the feel of squishing up on a sofa to eat a meal or watch some TV.
sitting in a darkish mezzanine, sipping a pint and taking a moment to think a bit about the world around you
From a piece inspired by Maya Angelou’s Life Doesn’t Frighten Me to an image of a family hugging an outsider, this is an exhibition which celebrates strength during social adversity. Yes, there is one illustration which overtly shows Trump, but most of these paintings let you reach your own conclusions.
If anything, you will want more of an explanation. Underneath each piece is simply the artist’s name, not even the title of the work. This is oddly frustrating when confronted with such ambiguous narratives. Perhaps this is intended to nurture more curiosity and discussion.
This is an exhibition about being proud of […] our differences
As exasperating as the uncertainty may be, it is an interesting way of bringing you into each piece. You cannot just be a bystander who reads the plaque underneath and walks away, you have to try to understand what the artist is expressing.
This is an exhibition about being proud of living in Bristol, proud of our differences and proud of our creativity. It is about sitting in a darkish mezzanine, sipping a pint and taking a moment to think a little about the world around you.
The work is up for the rest of the month at The Gallimaufry on Gloucester Road.
What were your thoughts on the exhibition? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter