One of the beautiful and exciting things about our adopted city Bristol; is it’s art scene. In all its glorious forms, Art is alive and deliciously vibrant here and offers itself up to the world not only in the form of exhibitions, performance and studio open houses all year around but also the marvellous and organic wonder that are, art trails.
Trails are the stuff of legend in Bristol, with dozens happening every year. Artists travel far and wide to take part in these almost religious annual events and communities around the city have come to fully embrace and expect this genteel way to consume their art.
The trails do exactly what is says on the tin. Artists open up their studios, shared spaces and houses and welcome in complete strangers, into the homestead to view, engage and hopefully buy their artwork. A brilliantly simple concept that allows artists and art lovers to get up close with art in a relaxed environment and bypass the formality of the museum art exhibition scene. And there is something poetic about viewing a person’s artwork and craft juxtaposed to their personal belongings and holiday snaps on the mantelpiece.
Taking place all over the city each year usually between May and November, Trails are spread over two days during their respective weekends, making them a lovely fun and immersive way to spend a lazy weekend hunting for gifts for friends and family and of course seeing some great art. Upcoming trails like; The Art on the Hill in Windmill Hill and Victoria Park on the 1-2nd October. The Front Room Art Trail 19 – 20th Nov in the Totterdown area. The North Bristol Artists Trail on the 26-27th Nov.
Living south of the river, we are spoiled with the number of trails within walking distance of our house. It’s one of the first community things we did when we moved into our new home five years ago to get to know the neighbourhood. Over the years we have pounded the pavement, map in hand with thousands of other art lovers. We have been inspired by and bought some amazing art and craft; made lifelong friends (I’m looking squarely at you Emily and Matt) and even taken part in trials as exhibitors.
This year, our local trail, The Art on the Hill in Windmill Hill and Victoria Park will be celebrating its tenth year. Over 100 artists spread out over 50 venues will be showcasing everything from painting, illustration, ceramics, sculpture, crafts, textiles and interactive installations. There are performances from local bands, singers, dancers and poets and workshops galore.