Shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2016
Woven into the fabric of Bristol since 1961, Arnolfini is a pioneer of the interdisciplinary contemporary arts, presenting an ambitious programme of visual art, performance, dance, film and music. Sited dramatically in a repurposed warehouse on the city’s harbourside, Arnolfini welcomes half a million visitors each year, to experience important works of art by local, national and international artists.
Arnolfini took 2015 as their year of rediscovery, marking 40 years of its presence in helping regenerate Bristol’s harbourside. They embarked on an extensive programme of transformation, while delivering a respected high-quality contemporary arts programme. Arnolfini worked on and offsite to engage and inspire a record number of people, embedding inclusive learning initiatives into their programme. They led, secured and produced outstanding solo shows by artists Richard Long and John Akomfrah, to widespread critical acclaim. Most significantly, 2015 saw Arnolfini enter a new strategic partnership with the University of the West of England’s Arts, Creative Industries and Education faculty. Securing Arnolfini’s continuing occupation of a prominent building and providing financial safeguarding, this partnership also sees Arnolfini share space with degree students, studios, academics and the Centre for Moving Image Research. Arnolfini and UWE are working together to create a unique city campus: a new kind of learning environment and enriched opportunities for the public to engage with contemporary art. Throughout 2015, Arnolfini began to develop an audience focused approach to programming, encouraging the public to directly participate in the development of the cultural narrative of their city.