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Artspace Lifespace: Ashton Court Mansion becomes Arts Mansion

While options are being considered for the future of Ashton Court Mansion, Artspace Lifespace (ASLS) has stepped in to take on the running of the mansion house from May 2018.

Artspace Lifespace is known for helping to find solutions for problem properties and transforming them into thriving creative resources. Kathryn Chiswell Jones, Company Manager said: “We are delighted to have been offered the opportunity to invigorate Ashton Court Mansion with arts activity over the next two years. This iconic estate is a hugely popular destination but many people have not been able to see inside the mansion. We look forward to opening up the mansion for a range of activities for everyone to enjoy”. Rachel Buchanan, ASLS Trustee said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for us to reimagine Ashton Court Mansion as a space for all. We hope that everyone will come and join in with the activities, and contribute to the discussions about the long term future of the estate for Bristol.”

Deputy Mayor Councillor Asher Craig said: “We are delighted to be working with Artspace Lifespace to open up the mansion house to the public while decisions are made on its long term future.

“We know how important the mansion house is to the people of Bristol, and it will be fantastic to see it full of life again.”

Artspace Lifespace will be hosting a range of free family friendly exhibitions and activities from Saturday May 19th from 11-4pm. Exhibiting artists in the Great Hall, Panelled Lounges and Music Room include Les Matthews, Suzy Davis and Anthea K. Matthews; James Starr and Sophie Long; Tim Munson, Doug Francisco and Alana Ashley; and Island tenants Brook Tate, Jennie Cave and Toby Ross.

On May 19th Artspace Lifespace will be hosting The Arts Mansion Alternative Royal Wedding. You can view the royal nuptials on a big screen in the music room from 12pm and afterwards participate in an alternative wedding ceremony. Dress code: ‘wedding fabulous’ hats, flower in lapels, bridesmaid or wedding dresses, with a prize for the best dressed. The bar and Stables cafe will be open and you’re welcome to bring a picnic into the music room. On May 20th we will be hosting the first of our Games Sunday sessions from 11am to 4pm. We’re planning lots of other activities over the summer so keep an eye open for further announcements and feel free to get in touch with your own suggestions. Ashton Court Mansion Regular Opening Hours from 19 May will be Wednesday-Sunday: 11am-4pm.

Many thanks to Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council and Womble Bond Dickinson for helping to arrange Artspace Lifespace’s tenure in the mansion.

The Great Hall is available to hire as a Gallery space, and the stunning music room and panelled lounges which overlook the south lawn are available to hire for rehearsals, workshops, classes and events.

To enquire about hiring the mansion from June 2018 then please contact:

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What's on


Red Herring

Tue, 12/06/2018 - Sat, 16/06/2018

Red Herring is an exhibition that focuses on the truths behind all everyday practices, behaviours, attitudes and beliefs. Whether a smoke screen has been intentionally placed before us or inadvertently created, we can be distracted from real issues or even
discouraged from thinking outside of the hegemonic actions that make up our cultures and societies.
The exhibition showcases work by Stephen Nulty and Raen Barnsley, who, using the approach of painting and drawing, use a layering aesthetic that enables truths to battle their way to the forefront of the image and be seen by its audience.
Nulty’s work addresses the theme of Red Herring by considering the West’s desensitisation of conflicts as a distraction from the suffering and brutalities of war, particularly in the Middle East. Nulty uses our consumption of glamourised scenes of warfare in films, games
and phones to reveal how calm and impassive we have become to military practices, which succeed in falsifying our perceptions. Nulty believes that media representations of conflict equate to simulation, resulting in a disconnect from the reality of war.
Barnsley’s practice investigates the truth behind our everyday, accepted and ritualistic behaviours and beliefs. Believing that these aspects of our everyday lives are constructs that we have collectively created in an attempt to distract ourselves from an existential reality, Barnsley portrays these constructs as physical structures. Inside the structures are our ‘truths’, with the physical walls of the structure being the distraction from the real truths
which exist on the other side of the wall.
The Island Gallery Space, entrance on Bridewell Street, Bristol, BS1 2LE
OPEN 12-5PM 12th – 16th June
Tuesday 12th June open until 9pm

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