Preview: Wildlife Photographer of the Year

17 02 2011

The world’s most prestigious wildlife photography competition, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, arrives in Bristol at the City Museum and Art Gallery this weekend. Hungarian photographer Bence Mate won this year’s wildlife photographer of the year title with his photograph of leaf-cutter ants in the Costa Rican rainforest (below).

Of his winning shot, he said: “I love the contrast between the simplicity of the shot itself and the complexity of the behaviour.” Lying on the ground to take the shot, he also discovered the behaviour of skin-digesting mite larvae, which covered him in bites.

The Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery from February 19 to June 5. Throughout, there will be free tours, events, workshops and family activities.

Click here for more information.

Photo exhibition at Grounded Redfield

4 01 2011

Grounded in Redfield was last month named our cafe of the year 2010. This month, a photographer from St George will be displaying her photographs of St George’s Park, just over the road from the cafe. Fiona Clare’s prints will be on display and for sale throughout January.

Fiona (right) said: “My framed prints feature scenes of our stunning local park and other landscapes.

“They’re often taken at dusk when natural changes in light transform the normal and everyday into something beautiful.

“I’m hoping visitors to the cafe will love to see this celebration of our local green space as they relax over a coffee.”

Fiona is a mum and nurse, and says she finds photography and art a way to relax.

“When we had the big snowfall earlier in the month you could find me out in the morning in my wellies – rambling in the snow and mist with my tripod as the sun came up,” she said.

“Whenever I take my daughter to St George’s Park, I’m often subconsciously framing what I’m seeing, looking for that angle that will create a stunning picture.”

A snowy Park Place

8 12 2010

This is Park Place yesterday morning. Park Place is within spitting distance of the Clifton Triangle, but feels like a different part of Bristol entirely. There is the small area of grass, the former Catholic Cathedral, a laundrette, a superb old-fashioned barbers and one of the best and smallest pubs in Bristol, Quinton House, that can just be seen to the left of this wintry scene.

The Galleries car park

15 11 2010

A photograph of a Bristol car park has won the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment’s competition to find areas of outstanding urban beauty. The photograph by Chris Hoare, entitled The Galleries car park, shows the temporary Ferris wheel in Castle Park and a glimpse of St Peter’s Church from the top of the car park for what is now known as The Mall Bristol.

CABE judges praised the powerful atmosphere of Chris’ picture. They said: “You have that wonderful blast of colour from the ethereal Ferris wheel, contrasted with the cheap metal of the door panel and the surprise of the church tower. Just like urban beauty itself, this is about strong juxtapositions, and you can read it on many levels.”

More than 750 people entered the competition, inspired by England’s towns and cities. Entries were judged on the strength of the image and the accompanying caption.

The CABE is the Government’s advisor on architecture, urban design and public space. For more information and to see the runners-up photographs in all their glory, visit

Bridge Valley Road scaffolding

16 06 2010

We’re not usually ones for arty photography, but this scaffolding caught our eye as we cycled down Bridge Valley Road this week, closed to cars for a few months now but open to pedestrians and cyclists. The Portway end is covered in scaffolding, erected to secure the cliff face that the road clings to.

Capture Bristol photography competition

27 05 2010

Lonely Planet is offering the people of Bristol the chance to show the world what makes our city great by giving one person the chance to have their photograph included in the 2nd edition of the Devon, Cornwall and South West England guidebook. The Capture Bristol competition, to find the best picture of the city, launches this week and will run until July 6.

Capture Bristol sees Lonely Planet team up with Stanfords travel bookshop in Corn Street to search for an image that really captures the heart of the city. Entrants can submit up to five photographs by visiting One image will be chosen to appear in the guide which will be on sale in September. The winner will also receive a copy of Lonely Planet’s best-selling coffee table publication The Travel Book 2.

Lonely Planet’s travel editor Tom Hall said: “This is a great opportunity to show Bristol off to the world. We’re really excited to see the aspects of life Bristolians feel best sum up their city. We’re hoping for an image that is inspirational, engaging and gives a real insight into the unique culture, people, activities and environment.”

The winner will be announced on August 31. Runners up will win copies of the Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Photography.

Bristol Festival of Photography

20 05 2010

Today sees the start of the Bristol Festival of Photography, which over the next three weeks will see almost 100 events and exhibitions taking place across the city.

There is far too much going on to mention everything here, so for the full line-up of events, visit the festival website:

What follows are three events which anyone can join in with:

12 Shoots in 12 Hours with Pete Cranston. On Saturday, May 22 at 9am, join Pete at Mivart Street Studios in Easton. For the next 12 hours, take part in 12 different shoots. Every hour on the hour the themes will change.

Magical Mystery Photo Excursion Meet at Canteen, Stokes Croft, on Sunday, May 30 at 11am. “Expect the unexpected! Spontaneous reportage, alternative landscapes, exploring the urban environment with an eye for controversy – not for the faint-hearted this one – dare you become the photographer you really want to be? Because we’ll be moving around, we’re hoping to update our location on Twitter so almost anyone can join in! £10 per person for as long as you want to stay with us! For further information contact Stone on 07817 205529 or email

Portraiture Photography & Philiosphy, with Lou O’Bedlam. Sunday, May 23, 10am – 2pm, St Paul’s Family & Learning Centre, 94 Grosvenor Road. “This hands on workshop with acclaimed LA based portrait photographer will look at breaking down style, studio and natural lighting, the dynamics of interaction with subjects and ‘give participants an exploded view of how I do the voodoo I do so well’. Bring your favourite camera. £28 for non-members, £25 for Second Look members. To book, email Find Lou on the web: and

Here are some of the locations where exhibitions are taking place:

  • Bristol Youth Hostel, Narrow Quay
  • Rubicon Cafe, Chandos Road, Redland
  • Kuvuka, Stokes Croft
  • Windows 204, Gloucester Road, Bishopston
  • Fire Works Gallery, Upper Maudlin Street
  • Room 212, Gloucester Road, Bishopston
  • Here Gallery, Stokes Croft
  • St Paul’s Learning & Family Centre, Grosvenor Road
  • Start Gallery, Baldwin Street
  • Planet Pizza, Gloucester Road, Bishopston
  • Barton Hill Settlement, Ducie Road
  • Gallery 2C, The Mall, Clifton
  • Southbank, Dean Lane, Bedminster
  • Oxfam, Westbury Hill, Westbury-on-Trym
  • QEH Theatre, Berkeley Place, Clifton
  • The Mall, Broadmead
  • Cafe Kino, Ninetree Hill, Kingsdown
  • The Kensington Arms, Stanley Road, Redland
  • Calumet Photographic, Montpelier Central
  • Broadwalk Shopping Centre, Knowle
  • Nails Gallery, St Nic’s Market
  • Retro Collectables, North Street, Bedminster
  • The Christmas Steps
  • Hamilton House, Stokes Croft
  • The 2 Degrees Gallery, Picton Mews, Montpelier
  • The Junction, Stokes Croft
  • Cube Microplex, Dove Street South, Kingsdown
  • CentreSpace Gallery, Leonard Lane (off Corn Street)
  • Easton Community Centre, Kilburn Street
  • Moreish, Chandos Road, Redland
  • View Art Gallery, Hotwell Road
  • The Arts House, Stokes Croft
  • Howies, Queen’s Road, Clifton
  • The Three Sugar Loaves, Christmas Steps
  • Canteen, Stokes Croft
  • The Picture House, Whiteladies Road, Clifton
  • Central Library, College Green
  • Fire Station Studio, York Road, Bedminster
  • Oxfam Bookshop, Princess Victoria Street, Clifton
  • Bridewell Island, Nelson Street
  • Shop, Christmas Steps
  • Create Centre, Smeaton Road
  • Thali Cafe, St Mark’s Road, Easton

The Arts House

2 05 2010

There are plenty of cafes in Bristol with art covering their walls. But there is only one whose raison d’etre is art, and whose every single inch of available space is packed with paintings, sketches and sculptures, hung closely together at all heights and angles.

By my ludicrously comfortable corner seat, with the stuffing protruding from inside, were four pen and ink drawings by Tim Nurse of the recent eviction of squatters from the former Jesters building about 100 yards away. On the wall opposite were some fantastically detailed pen and ink panoramas by Jonathan Farr showing this corner of Bristol in various stages of development. And near the bar were a selection of colourful bird boxes.

This place is not called The Arts House for no reason. And it is not just visual artists who call the building home. The Arts House encourages artists of all descriptions to join them, aiming to encompass and embrace Bristol artists of all descriptions: painters and potters, woodworkers and upholsterers, singer songwriters and DJs, poets and puppeteers, photographers and cake makers.

There are courses, clubs, workshops, live music nights, a gallery space downstairs, and thanks to a special license with Filmbank, The Arts House can show cinema classics old and new for free. Don’t forget that they are a cafe as well, with homemade paninis, pastries, cakes, salads, soups and tapas, as well as fair trade coffees from around the world and a good selection of bottled beers, ciders and spirits.

Gallery, cafe, bar, cinema, live music venue. The Arts House could only be in Stokes Croft. It is a fascinating and fantastic place.

The Arts House, 108a Stokes Croft.

Bristol Culture

4 04 2010

Bristol Culture is a blog that takes a cultural meander around Bristol looking at music, art and film, and spending too long in some of Bristol’s best cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars.

Bristol Daily Photo

10 02 2010

French student Antoine Felix, currently spending a year studying at Bristol University as part of the Erasmus programme, has been so taken by his adopted city that every day he takes new photos of Bristol’s hidden and not-so-hidden corners and documents it on his blog Bristol Daily Photo.

Here, Bristol Culture presents some of Antoine’s best photographs, interspersed with some of his thoughts about Bristol.

What I like the best in Bristol is the colour!
Bristol is a lively city. The offer of culture in Bristol is surprising. There are a lot of locations where you can see art, exhibitions, and performances. Most of them are free, it is very pleasant. It ‘s like art becomes free from the grip of money.
I’m interested in urban art. With a geographic way of thinking, urban art allows a lot of reflection about city. The city itself, for example its walls, can be used as a way of producing art and self-mockery.
Artists are new planners of a city often too grey. But even if the sky can become white or grey, performances, graffiti and Banksy art give colors to the city.
I like Bristolians too! The diversity of color that I like in Bristol can be found in the clothes of the inhabitants. When I arrived In Bristol, I have been surprised by the clothes. A lot of people have colourful clothes and it gives joy to the city.

I started taking photos like a way of life that leads to adventure. I take photos wandering through the city like a vagabond. I need to survey the city to discover and express my criticism of the urban. Photography is also a form of poetry and a good means to share it. I try to give a meaning to my photography. I try to make a form of photographic poetry. I like to highlight the mutual conflict between nature and urban.

My favorite places in the city are neighborhoods that have a reputation based on gossip. I like Easton and St Paul’s because there a lot of things to discover. In their cosmopolitan neighborhoods you can travel even if you stay in the same place.
I like Stokes Croft because I find the concept of bringing art into the street interesting. Stokes Croft is a feast for the eyes. I love researching and discovering new works, and visiting the exhibitions taking place in this neighborhood.
Cube cinema is also one of my favorite place. The programmes are very interesting and rewarding.