16 Narrow Quay
City of Bristol



Box office and general enquiries

Education and group visits

Hires and hospitality


Box office and general enquiries

0117 917 2300

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0117 917 2313


Box office and general enquiries

0117 917 2303

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Arnolfini art gallery Bristol harbour side
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Arnolfini is a contemporary arts organisation in Bristol that attracts half a million visits a year.

In a fantastic waterside location at the heart of Bristol’s harbourside, Arnolfini is one of Europe’s leading centres for the contemporary arts, presenting innovative, experimental work in the visual arts, performance, dance, film, music and events, accompanied by a programme of educational activities. Five exhibition spaces, a theatre/cinema auditorium, Reading Room and Light/Dark Studios are housed in the Grade II listed, fully accessible building. The converted warehouse also contains one of the country’s best arts bookshops as well a café bar.

Arnolfini is open six days a week with free admission to the building, exhibitions as well as a stylish, lively café bar.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

11am - 6pm, Tues - Sun and Bank Holiday Mondays
Closed Mondays

Tues 11am-6pm
Wed-Sat 11am-8pm
Sun 11am - 7pm

Cafe Bar:
Mon 10am - 6pm
Tues - Sat 10am - 9pm
Sun 10am - 7pm

Reading Room:
11pm - 6pm, Tues - Sun

Closed: Mondays (except Bank Holidays)

Admission charges

Admission to the exhibitions is free.

In the visual art programme Arnolfini presents international developments and emerging trends through one-person and group exhibitions, commissions and projects. The programme draws attention to important British artists at an early stage of their career and presents timely exhibitions by major international artists.

The live art and dance programme, with its mix of highly visual, often provocative and non-narrative productions, offers one of the most exciting perspectives on contemporary performance and dance in the UK. Arnolfini is committed to commissioning new work to enable artists to develop their practice and to experiment.

In Arnolfini's cinema you'll find a distinctive programme of independent film, featuring a range of cinema including themed seasons, artists films, special festivals, film/music events and arthouse titles.

The learning and interaction programme continues to develop projects with partners old and new, supporting teachers and groups to get the most out of our activities. Arnolfini also programmes and hosts a range of talks, events, courses and local festivals.

Arnolfini celebrated its 50th birthday in 2011. It was established in 1961 by Jeremy and Annabel Rees above a bookshop on the Triangle in central Bristol. Its policy then is still relevant today: "to seek out challenging, often controversial and sometimes relatively unknown artists and performers and to provide a vital showcase for their work." Arnolfini's move to Narrow Quay in 1975 proved a catalyst in attracting other businesses to the then neglected dockside; the revitalised waterfront is now a focal point for Bristol's social and cultural life.

Collection details

Photography, Performing Arts, Music, Fine Art, Film and Media, Design

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
photograph of large round bouquet of flowers

Willem de Rooij

  • 21 November 2014 — 8 February 2015 *on now

A new exhibition featuring a politically-charged photographic work in an installation that explores themes of individuality, protest and representation.

The work of Dutch artist Willem de Rooij is multifaceted and incorporates film, sculpture, and installation. In many instances, his installations include the work of other artists and artefacts from historical or anthropological collections that relate to his own works, forming temporary groupings which create new layers of meaning.

This contextual gesture or act of framing draws attention to the relationship between cultural identity and memory, collecting and display. In his installations, meaning is not produced by an object alone, but in the relationship between the things we see, their context and our own act of reading.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


photograph of man and woman looking at photographs in gallery

Josephine Pryde: These Are Just Things I Say, They Are Not My Opinions.

  • 21 November 2014 — 22 February 2015 *on now

A major exhibition that examines touch sensitivity in a new photographic series, installed alongside a miniature train that will travel through the first floor galleries.

These Are Just Things I Say, They Are Not My Opinions is a new exhibition of British artist Josephine Pryde, an artist known primarily for her work with photography, though she often presents work with sculptural elements. Pryde plays with different photographic conventions, for example publicity or advertising images, where seductive and highly staged, high resolution images evoke and respond to desire. She draws on this visual language, responding to ideas and larger conceptual frameworks such as the history of photography and the moving image, through details, references, or the juxtaposition of different works.

For Arnolfini, Pryde presents an installation that combines a new series of photographs and a three dimensional work – a miniature train that can be ridden through the galleries. The disclaimer in the exhibition title highlights questions around speech: what might be the difference between what is said and what is held as an opinion? Why distinguish between the two? And what is being said?

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


IBT15 : Fujiko Nakaya : Fog Bridge

  • 12 — 23 February 2015

To celebrate IBT15 and Bristol’s status as European Green Capital, artist Fujiko Nakaya's new artwork will engulf Pero's Bridge (opposite Arnolfini) in fog.

Launches 7pm Thursday 12 February and runs at regular intervals from Friday 13 to Sunday 23 February.

The world is getting warmer – but how will this change our weather. And how might a changing climate disrupt our lives?

To celebrate Bristol’s status as European Green Capital, we have invited a conjurer of unusual weather, artist Fujiko Nakaya to the city.

Over 40 years, Nakaya has used fog as a sculptural medium. Collaborating with the elements, Fujiko’s clouds are created by water pumped at high pressure through many micro-fine nozzles. A special guest in Bristol, Nakaya’s long career has seen partnerships with a host of renowned artists and architects including Robert Rauschenberg, Trisha Brown and Bill Viola.

An exhibition of films and written provocations around climate change will accompany the artwork in Arnolfini's gallery.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Richard Long: TIME AND SPACE

  • 31 July — 15 November 2015

A major new solo exhibition celebrating Bristol-based artist Richard Long, including several new works and recreations of previous works that have been made for this exhibition.

TIME AND SPACE is a new exhibition by Richard Long. Part of the programme celebrating Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, the project looks particularly at the area where Long grew up and still lives as the start and end point for many if his early walks and text works. The exhibition focuses on the artists’ personal relationship to place and local materials, and how the ideas and language developed through his early career were key in the development of ideas that the artist now realises across the world.

TIME AND SPACE includes sculpture, drawing, photography and text works that date from 1967 to the present. The exhibition features a number of important early works, which are key to understanding the significance of Bristol and the South West in Richard Long’s practice, including an early sculpture, Ireland (1967), which will be remade in the galleries. The exhibition will include two major new works: a large sculpture made from Cornish slate and a wall work made with mud collected from the River Avon. Also included will be a selection of new mud fingerprint drawings on driftwood collected by the artist, as well as a selection of photo works and installed vinyl text works.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

WEDF Talk // 4Creative — Born Risky

  • 4 February 2015 7-9pm

The West of England Design Forum is delighted to welcome Channel 4's multi-award winning creative agency Creative Director Alice Tonge.

Alice Tonge is a Creative Director at 4Creative, the multi-awarded in-house creative agency for Channel 4. Creative Review’s Agency of the Year 2013, they are known for consistently creating some of the most powerful, effective and creative work in advertising, brand identity and graphic design. Part production company, part creative agency, they are responsible for all branding and advertising for the Channel 4 family, both on and off air.

Channel 4 was set up to provoke, experiment and entertain. It was born risky. That doesn’t mean risky as in naked abseiling, it means creatively risky. Born risky means going where other channels can’t to create something new, alternative and different.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


£12.00 / £10.00 conc


UWE Fine Art / Art in the City Talks : Heather Phillipson

  • 18 February 2015

Join artist Heather Phillipson as part of the UWE Fine Art / Art in the City series of lectures.

Heather Phillipson works across video, sculpture, music, text and live events. Recent solo exhibitions include: Bunker259, New York; Dundee Contemporary Arts; Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; Zabludowicz Collection, London; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; and a video commission for Random Acts, Channel 4 television.

Recent solo events include: Assembly, Tate Britain; the flavour of cooling enormities, Serpentine Gallery; Nuovo Monde, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and BOG-STANDARD REFRESHER, a live music event at the ICA, London. In 2015, Phillipson will present new work at Schirn Frankfurt, the Istanbul Biennial and will be Writer in Residence at the Whitechapel Gallery, London.

Phillipson is also an award-winning poet and was named a Next Generation Poet in 2014. For her presentation at Arnolfini, Heather Phillipson will discuss her recent exhibitions in the UK, Europe and New York, with specific reference to the influence of poetry and its syntactic, sensual and formal structures.


£6/£4 concs (Free for UWE staff and students with ID, Collect on Day)


UWE Centre for Moving Image Research Artist Talk : John Smith

  • 25 February 2015 6:30-8:30pm

Known for their formal ingenuity, wit and oblique storytelling, John Smith’s films have been widely shown internationally for over 30 years.

Often rooted in everyday life, his meticulously crafted films blur the boundaries between documentary and fiction, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema.

For this screening he will present and discuss a diverse programme of works made between 1976 and 2014.


£6/£4 concs (Free for UWE staff and students with ID, Collect on Day)


UWE/ Art in the City Talks : Johann Arens

  • 15 April 2015 6:30-8pm

Join artist Johann Arens as part of the UWE Fine Art / Art in the City series of lectures.

Johann Arens uses installation and video to survey the documentary properties of public interiors. By systematically re-editing the hardware of a location he draws up an abstract inventory of the social textures inherent in the site. His work is an enquiry into the role of mobile interfaces, the mechanisms of user behaviour and the desire to touch artefacts.

Arens’ employs the language of both sculpture and film and set in motion a direct comparison between visual culture and actual social space. He merges elements of a seemingly incongruous nature; domestic interiors alternate with stylised film props; institutional and scientific work environments transition into exhibition facilities and found memorabilia is reconstructed in computer-generated landscapes. Through a body of work produced in different material and media, visual artefacts are framed in a non-hierarchical order; the object is not approached as a monument but merely as a public situation.

His recent project ‘100 Arches’ is a permanent installation for the two sites of St John’s Primary School in Bristol as part of the Primary Capital Programme, commissioned by Arnolfini in conjunction with Art in the Public Realm Bristol.


£6/£4 concs (Free for UWE staff and students with ID, Collect on Day)