Fresh takes on Art from Elsewhere

Posted on by Lauren MacCarthy.

Visitors to Art from Elsewhere can borrow a free Discovery Pen to listen to moving, insightful and creative responses to art works from young people in Bristol.

Three groups came to visit the show at both venues and record their thoughts: Year 7 pupils from Whitehall Primary School; students of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) at City of Bristol College; and trainee journalists working with Ujima Radio. They each offer a whole different perspective on the show.

Young trainee reporters from ‘Project X’ – a collaboration between Bristol Culture and Ujima FM – had a tour of the exhibition from Modern and Contemporary Art curator, Julia Carver before recording their responses to the artwork.

In addition to our audio Discovery Pens, their material was used in a piece about the exhibition in their radio show called ‘Culture Vultures’ on Ujima FM.

Young People from Project XHi I’m Fernando, I am 15 years old. I like computer games. I found out about the Culture Vultures project when Claire from Bristol Culture visited Knowle West Media Centre to tell us about young peoples’ projects at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Culture Vultures reports on art and events in Bristol and we have a show on Ujima FM. I came out of curiosity!

Before having radio training I didn’t like interviewing people, I preferred to stay behind the camera. When we were given the chance to go into the empty museum in the evening I found it very strange.

Looking at the Art from Elsewhere artwork was also different – in a good way! I have never seen art like this before. In Italy I am used to seeing the classical paintings. I think the artists used their imaginations to show what they wanted to say.

The sculpture – broken bowls – when I saw it for the first time I thought it looked like mozzarella! Then Julia explained what it was made from and I was surprised and I thought it was incredible, amazing!

I like the alternative audio guides because how someone sees a piece of art can be different. We can see different things, so listening can change your mind about what you see. If I see a circle I think ‘a circle’ – but someone else could tell me it’s a bowl, or mozzarella…!

I’m Cal, I’m 24. I was interested in getting radio experience, so having moved to Bristol I saw a great opportunity and joined Culture Vultures.

I really liked having the time to wander and consume the exhibition without anyone else there. It’s nice to have a privileged moment with a piece of art. I liked exclusive access to Ai Wei Wei’s work, an internationally renowned artist. I’ve worked in galleries and seen this artwork work on display in other galleries, and it’s great to see the art in this context as they have been elevated in this exhibition. The alternative audio guides create a different, intimate atmosphere to get an individual’s point of view.

You want a human response to the art, it’s less intimidating. I was struck by the pipe band learning to play the star spangled banner – by ear. It was transformed into a bagpipe-y nasal version of it. It felt like reverse imperialism, a moment for Pakistan to appropriate something from the US. I love the contradictory reading you can have.

Bristol as a city absorbs anything with nuance and character. I think that Bristol Museum is so eclectic, there is so much knowledge and eccentricity filling the space.

Art From Elsewhere continues until 17 July at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery and Arnolfini

One comment on Fresh takes on Art from Elsewhere

  1. Philip Walker

    Really enjoyed reading the Culture Vultures and others’ take on the contemporary art exhibition at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. I am prompted to go and listen to their audio tours, which I’m sure will be interesting and give new perspectives on the Art From Elsewhere exhibition.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.