Bristol University to host exhibition celebrating 50 years of St. Paul's Carnival


From 26th to 30th June 2018, Bristol University will put a new exhibition on display celebrating the history and legacy of the city's iconic St Paul's Carnival.

The exhibition, Artival 2018, will combine a range of projects by Bristol-based artist Michele Curtis, and will be hosted at Beacon House. It will include Michele's ‘The Seven Saints of St Pauls’, ‘Bristol Beats and Bass’, and ‘The St Paul's Carnival Collective’

Michele is said to be particularly excited to debut ‘The St. Paul's Carnival Collective’, which includes portraits of members of the local community who have selflessly contributed to carnival over the past 50 years.

She said: 'This exhibition encapsulates the inspiring stories and missions of Bristol’s unsung heroes who have contributed toward the achievements of the African Caribbean Diaspora and Bristol’s cultural identity. It is an education and insight into how the Caribbean-style carnival has impacted Britain by exploring the cross-cultural effects of community, identity and what it means to be British.

'It bridges traditional British and African Caribbean culture to inform what we view as contemporary British culture today. Carnival has promoted unity of international relationships and has provided a platform for the celebration of diversity.'

His Excellency Seth George Ramocan, High Commissioner for Jamaica, has given his official backing to the exhibition and Michele’s work. He said: 'It is with great pleasure that I endorse Michele’s work which encapsulates the spirit, vision and values of Jamaica. Her work is a valuable contribution to the documentation of the positive role played by Jamaicans to the development of British Society.

'By mapping the achievements of the African Caribbean community in Bristol, Michele is also raising the profile of Jamaicans in the United Kingdom. Her work shares inspirational narratives of how African Caribbean people have continued to fight against indifference, oppression and discrimination, whilst striving to promote unity, integration and equality.

'It is encouraging to see Michele educating young people, inspiring them to be the next generation of role models, whilst being an inspiration in her own right. Michele celebrates and promotes the recognition of empowering stories and achievements that encourage a sense of national pride that will continue to strengthen ties with Jamaica for generations to come.'

Rebecca Scott, Chair of the University of Bristol’s Black and Ethnic Staff Advisory Group, said: 'The University is delighted and very proud to host and partner this exhibition. Positive contributions from our black communities are often not given a platform, to share, as they deserve. This is a great way to share a few of our achievements over the years.'

Artival 2018 is open Tuesday, June 26 to Friday, June 29 from 12noon-7pm. On Saturday, June 30, it is open from 10am to 1pm and will resume opening at 5pm for the film screening. Please attain a free ticket at for admission.

Feature Image: Twitter / @365Bristol

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Ed Southgate

former co-Editor in Chief 2018-2019 | former Editor of Epigram Comment 2017-2018 | UoB English student 2016-19 | Twitter: @ed_southgate