Monday, May 15, 2017

southbank bristol arts trail 2017 at number40

Last weekend saw the 15th SouthBank Bristol Arts Trail… and, as it was our 14th consecutive SBA Trail, I suspect that we’re now its longest serving participants. We’re perhaps fortunate that our house is located relatively close to the Southville Centre (one of the largest venues on the Trail) and therefore has acquired a fair amount of “passing trade” over the years - but actually, as an established venue, we now enjoy something of a reputation of being a ‘venue worth visiting’ and have the privilege of welcoming  returning ‘punters’ year after year and it’s always a delight to see them. But we’re also very fortunate to be able to attract plenty of new visitors too.
We didn’t count the number of people visiting this year but, by common consent (based on previous years), we certainly had some 700 plus ‘punters’ into our basement studio over the weekend (the weather was very kind to us yet again).
It’s very much a ‘family affair’ at number40 – this year (as is often the case) we had five family members exhibiting (Moira, Hannah, Ruth, Stuart and me – plus Iris and Rosa, who decided to make cakes!) together with our lovely arty friends Wendy, Georgie+Alex from Pirrip Press and Paul Ashley Brown.
Each year, it’s a bit of a challenge (something of an understatement!) to clear the basement of its usual studio clutter - and to transfer it all to the dining room! There are certainly times when we wonder if it’s all worthwhile… and yet, every year, we end up feeling grateful to have been part of it again.
I have to admit that there are times when I feel that Bristol has reached saturation point as far as Arts Trails are concerned (the SouthBank Trail is the city’s second longest-running trail, I think) – especially as it seems that some artists like to participate in perhaps four or five of the trails(!)… but, hey, these things go through various reincarnations over the years. Each year, there’s always a doubt as to whether the event will happen… will there be sufficient people prepared to help organise? I was part of the steering group for perhaps 10 years, so it’s DEFINITELY an event crying out for fresh blood every year!
There is a tremendous sense of community about the Arts Trail… over 150 artists in more than 50 venues within a HALF MILE radius!!
That’s SOME artistic community!
Fingers crossed for next year…
Photograph: various stuff from this year’s Arts Trail at number40.

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