12 September - Meet the Fab 4 artists

Fab 4 exhibiition Meet the Artists 12 September 6-8pm Bocabar Bristol

Sneak peak

FAB 4 - Bocabar Bristol 12 September - 4 November 2018

4 Bristol artists with something to say- ‘FAB 4’ the latest exhibition at Bocabar Bristol 10 September - 4 November.
Meet the artists Wednesday 12 September 6pm - 8pm


This new exhibition brings together four of Bristol’s favourite artists - Andrew Burns Colwill, Julian Quaye, Thomas Dowdeswell and Jimmer Willmott. Each comes from a different genre be it contemporary, pop surreal, street or new brow art . However, running through their work is a surreal mix of allegorical and metaphorical delights revealing each artist’s unique commentary on society, politics and our current world order.

Veteran street artist Andrew Burns Colwill has been painting on Bristol walls since the early 80’s, and at the height of the punk scene had his work on four shops on Park Street. Today he is best known in Bristol for his accomplished walls and shop fronts at Upfest.

His work in this exhibition explores his environmental themes as well as political commentary on what is happening in the UK and America. This can be seen in his painting ‘A Blue and Yellow Umbrella’. About which his short prose reads:

“'A storm blew through earlier....
I think it’s left us all without shelter.''

A blue and yellow umberella by Andrew Burns Colwill

New Brow artist Julian Quaye is well known for his anthropomorphic characters with a web of stories behind the characters which one day will be woven into a book. For the work in this show he has combined his rich allegorical world with additional tropes from Celtic, Egyptian and other mythologies in hand painted additions to his limited edition canvas prints. As well as political themes - his parallel world of Albion reflecting our own, is also a fair amount of kitsch referencing with Bristol links. In describing his painting ‘Caroline “Ginger’ Grant’ he says “Ginger is cat burglar jewel thief, with her erstwhile magpie cohorts Kym and Novak. Who, having been caught and compromised, now carries out illicit work for the Kalistri. The secret police of Albion.”

Carolyn 'Ginger' Grant - by Julian Quaye

Contemporary surrealist painter Thomas Dowdeswell has exhibited widely across the UK, Europe and the USA. This is an opportunity to see work from Thomas’s American Series (not yet seen in Bristol). Of his diptych ‘Wailing Wall Blues’ he says: “The paintings discuss power, the threat to our traditional values, the venture into the unknown and if we are brave enough to stand up and speak out against prejudice and inequality. The American Series was developed as a way to digest the uncertainties of the past couple of years, the re-rise of the right, ignorance, racism, bigotry and blame. Trump's proposed Mexican Wall is one of the greatest motifs someone can give an artist.

We build walls, destroy them, live surrounded by them, are entrapped by them. They suggest a thousand stories. In these paintings I have questioned the true meaning of US democracy by de-starring the flag and reversing the stripes. The figures in the paintings are either brutal and animalistic or shrouded in hoods. They comment on the cruelty of human beings, the facelessness of banal violence and the subjugation of minorities.”

Wailing Wall Blues part one by Thomas Dowdeswell

Wailing Wall Blues part two by Thomas Dowdeswell

Popular Pop Surrealist Jimmer Willmott will be showing three works. His ‘Girl with the Smurf Tattoo’ and two new originals. Jimmer’s work takes traditional 1950‘s imagery and gives it a sugar coated surreal twist with vibrant colours and his own distortions on perceived reality. One of his works to debut in the show ‘Popping Sweets with the King’ is his take on Elvis and questions the idolatry of a character who has a dwindling relevance to a millennial audience. The piece reflects the parody that Elvis became of himself in his latter years.

The Girl with the Smurf Tattoo by Jimmer Willmott

FAB 4 is curated by Gilli Kane (AKA Auntie G) from the Bristol pop up and on line The Kane Gallery. She says “These are much loved, highly collectable Bristol artists. . On the surface some of their work is humorous, quirky but on closer inspection all contain a powerful message with their fascinating commentary on their view of our current world.”

‘FAB 4’ runs 10 September to 4 November The Bocabar, Paintworks, Bath Road, Arnos Vale Bristol BS4 3EH

‘Meet the artists’ Wednesday 12 September 6pm - 8pm.

Gilli Kane curator of The Kane Gallery

Gilli Kane curator of The Kane Gallery