In blew the Art Weekender across the cities of Bristol and Bath over the weekend; around the clock for 3 days we were treated to a full programme of exhibitions, trails, talks, happenings, sounds, exchanges, interventions, workshops and more. From the transformation of a ruined church through a continuous day and night performance to a winding limestone path through Bristol’s Clifton Downs, from echoes of the past to surprising interventions and encounters across the cities’ museums, the Weekender brought us more than usual this October.

Over 50 Weekender Ambassadors were posted across the two cities, at venues and locations engaging visitors in dialogue around the work and the festival. We navigated Bristol and Bath, following itineraries that would lead us into the new and the unexpected, the bizarre and the brilliant.

We started each day off with a pastry and a provocation. Breakfast Talks at Spike Island, The Architecture Centre and the American Museum in Britain, set a precedent for thoughtful encounters, intriguing moments and critical dialogues around the rest of the programme.

The festival spanned the emerging and the established: we stepped from the launch of the new publication lockjaws* to an exhibition by the internationally-acclaimed artist Richard Long at Arnolfini. From individual encounters to the collective moment, there were moments of lone wandering through Tony White’s sound work Missorts and gathering together in Theaster Gates’ Sanctum. Marcus Jefferies & Colin Higginson’s The Kiosk Project prompted a discussion around exchange, offering new ways to see the places we pass by.

Interesting exhibition at the architecture centre, Bristol. ‘How can we make more of the resources we have?’ Through inventiveness  – Nia Griffiths

Onomato presented Amalgams, a new body of of sound and film work borne out of collaborations from artists and film curators; the evening was enchanting and disarming. From Bristol we crossed over to Bath, and on the way we joined seven hundred others who enjoyed 13 minutes of Life Drawing on Trains. Tucked into corners of Great Western Railway carriages, taking a line for a journey, travellers barely noticed the time pass by.

Bath hosted three new commissions of work that activated heritage settings: Tom Pope’s Information Point accumulated over three days at The National Trusts’ Prior Park, Alexander Stevenson’s Quilt Cowboy loomed at the American Museum in Britain and Holly Davey’s reflective sound installation Here Is Where We Meet resonated across Cleveland Pools.

Feeling so proud of our vibrant cities as we come to the end    so much to build on…thank you” – @Lindsey
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