Firstsite

Firstsite
Lewis Gardens
High Street
Colchester
Essex
CO1 1JH
England

Website

www.firstsite.uk.net

E-mail

info@firstsite.uk.net

Telephone

01206 577067

Fax

+44 (0)1206 577 067

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Photo: Richard Bryant / arcaidimages.com
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Firstsite is a visual arts organisation based in Colchester, Essex. Our mission is to make contemporary art relevant to everyone.

Our integrated programme of work includes projects, exhibitions and publications by established and emerging artists, as well as extensive learning opportunities and artists’ support initiatives.

Over the last fifteen years firstsite has gained a strong reputation by presenting ambitious work to new audiences in the East of England and beyond.

Firstsite’s new building was designed by the Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly. His design was selected by a worldwide architectural competition that attracted more than 100 entries.

The crescent shape was created to wrap around the existing D-shaped garden of East Hill House, leaving intact the established arc of mature trees.

Its low-lying, single-storey design nestles in the landscape, with minimum disruption to Colchester’s historic roofscape.

Venue Type:

Gallery

Opening hours

Exhibition Spaces and Shop

Monday - Sunday 10am – 5pm

MUSA Café Restaurant

For seasonal opening times, telephone 01206 713 713

Admission charges

Entry is free. Most events are free unless otherwise stated.

firstsite has no permanent collection.

Collection details

Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art

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.
Dinky & Club, photo: Judith Merritt

Dinky Disco and Club Dinky

  • 28 September 2014 2-4:30pm

Dinky Disco for under 3s AND under 7s and their parents 2 – 3pm

Sunday 8 June
Sunday 28 September

Club Dinky for under 7s and their parents 3.30 - 4.30pm

Sunday 28 September

Learning Studios

Bring your under 3s or under 7s to Dinky here at firstsite. With proper DJ Stereofreakz, chill out zone, colour and art.

£4 per child, £2 per adult, booking essential.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6

Admission

£4 per child, £2 per adult, booking essential.

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/dinky-disco-club-dinky

Book Group: Books, Art and Culture

  • 18 September 2014 7-9pm *on now

JUNE'S BOOK GROUP

Thursday 12 June

Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris: Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Important-Artifacts-Personal-Property-Collection/dp/1408804727

This session will be run by Jane Morrow, Artist Development and Studio Network Manager.

More information about up coming months coming soon!

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children
  • 18+

Admission

Free, but booking essential. Refreshments provided.

Website

https://uk.patronbase.com/_firstsite/Productions/BGAJ/Performances

Y.A.K. zine: A gallery in magazine form

  • 14 June — 21 September 2014 *on now

A young people-led publication of original work produced and edited by Y.A.K. in response to project themes. Past editions are available in the firstsite shop.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

50p from the firstsite shop

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/y-a-k-zine-a-gallery-in-magazine-form

Gallery Staff Tours: Bruce McLean

  • 14 June — 21 September 2014 *on now

Wednesdays 11am, Saturdays and Sundays 2pm

Meet in the Entrance Space for an informal walk through the current exhibition with a member of gallery staff.

Free, just drop in.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/gallery-staff-tours

Sculpture Kit

  • 14 June — 21 September 2014 *on now

A brilliant kit to build your own sculpture inspired by Bruce McLean's exhibition at firstsite. See the show, then make something extraordinary and place it on its own tiny plinth. Devised by firstsite's Family Advisory Group.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

Kits £1 available to buy from firstsite's shop

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/sculpture-it-art-games-in-the-garden

Bruce McLean, A Jug, A Piece of Floor, A Certain Smile, A New Front Door, 1977 Private collection, London. Image courtesy the artist. Photo: Dave Morgan.

Bruce McLean: Sculpture, Painting, Photography, Film

  • 14 June — 30 November 2014 *on now

Saturday 14 June – Sunday 30 November 2014

firstsite announces the first major survey of the work of Bruce McLean (b. Glasgow, 1944). Tracing the career of an artist who was at the forefront of the development of Conceptual art in Britain in the 1960s, the exhibition will feature over 100 works across 5 decades including working drawings and photographs never previously exhibited. Sculpture, painting, photography, drawings, ceramics and film will be presented across seven galleries occupying 855 square metres.

Characterised by wit and an often ironic sensibility, Bruce McLean’s work has employed a range of media since the late 1960s. Often considering ‘the condition of sculpture’, McLean has explored the parameters of what a sculpture could be and tested conventional definitions, modes of production and display. These investigations have acted as a critique of social and academic hierarchies at work within the production and exhibition of contemporary art.

A student of Anthony Caro and Phillip King at St. Martin's School of Art, London, McLean was a leading Conceptual artist who challenged the formalist tendencies that were upheld by his tutors. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, he adopted an unconventional approach that often involved working outside the studio or gallery to produce works in the natural or urban landscape. This exhibition will include key examples of his Street Works, Floataways, Shoreskapes and Rockskapes photographic series, which placed process and production at the heart of his endeavour.

Other early works, including Mirror Work, Barnes Common (1969); Installation for Various Parts of the Body (1969) and Pose Piece for Three Plinths Work (1971), introduced the notion of ‘pose’ and an approach to using the body as sculptural material which he explored further through live action and performance in the 1970s, most notably as part of Nice Style, ‘the World’s first Pose Band’. The exhibition will also present a number of recent paintings alongside significant works from the 1980s and 90s, including Ambre Solaire and Going for God II (both 1982), two of the largest and earliest works on canvas, and Jaffa Jaffa Jaffa (1991), a four-metre long painting on steel panel.

The exhibition will feature one of McLean’s major public commissions, a 5.5-metre high steel sculpture entitled Ludgate Head (1992), originally sited on Fleet Place in the City of London. A selection of films will be shown in timed screenings in the auditorium in addition to gallery presentations of Urban Turban (1994) and In the Shadow of Your Smile Bob (1971), a film that McLean made in response to a photograph of the artist Robert Morris that was published in the catalogue for the exhibition When Attitudes Become Form (1969).

The exhibition draws upon public and private collections in the UK and Europe, including the Arnolfini, Bristol; the Arts Council Collection; the British Council; British Land; Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna; David Roberts Collection, London; the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Tate and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. The exhibition builds upon renewed critical attention and follows a solo exhibition of early and recent work at Leeds Art Gallery, Bruce McLean: Another Condition of Sculpture (15 February – 11 May 2014). It is supported by the Henry Moore Foundation.

A 208-page monograph, edited by firstsite’s Senior Curator, Michelle Cotton, will be launched during the exhibition. It features new essays by Clarrie Wallis, Curator of Modern and Contemporary British Art, Tate Britain and Michelle Cotton and an extended interview with the artist. These are accompanied by over 100 illustrations including new paintings, previously unpublished drawings, posters and ephemera. Covering a period of almost 50 years, it will be the most comprehensive publication on McLean’s work to date.

Bruce McLean (b. 1944, Glasgow) studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1961 to 1963, and then at St. Martin’s School of Art, London from 1963 to 1966, where he was taught by Anthony Caro and Phillip King. From 1966, he has held teaching posts at Croydon School of Art; Maidstone College of Art; Stadelschüle, Frankfurt; Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam; and the Slade School of Fine Art, University of London, where he was Head of Graduate Painting from 2002 to 2010. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at Leeds Art Gallery (2014); The New Art Gallery Walsall (2010); Chelsea Space, London (2006); Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh (2000); Norwich Gallery (1996); Arnolfini, Bristol (1990, 1980); Henry Moore Sculpture Studio, Toronto (1990); Tate Gallery, London (1985, 1972); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1983); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1982); Kunsthalle Basel (1981); Third Eye Centre, Glasgow; Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (1980); Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1975); and Nova Scotia College of Art Gallery, Halifax (1970). His work has been presented in significant survey exhibitions, including documenta 6 and 7, Kassel (1977, 1982); Zeitgeist, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (1982); A New Spirit of Painting, Royal Academy of Arts, London (1981); Information, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1970); Op Losse Schroeven, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1969) and When Attitudes Become Form, Kunsthalle Bern (1969). He was awarded the John Moores Painting Prize in 1985, and currently lives and works in London.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/

Art Games in the Garden

  • 14 June — 21 September 2014 *on now

Try out our art games during the summer holidays if the weather is fine. Pick them up from firstsite reception and take them into the garden.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/sculpture-it-art-games-in-the-garden

Y.A.P. (Young Arty People) New free monthly session!

  • 20 September 2014 12-2pm

Create, inspire, invite, an exciting opportunity for young people aged 11 - 14 years to participate in art activities and plan events for friends at firstsite with Artist Jess White.

You will meet other young people, give your opinions, learn new art skills and gain experience of working in the arts. Free food and drinks will be provided at these monthly meet-ups.

Free, lunch provided, booking essential.

If you are interested but want to know more, please email Jess: jess@firstsite.uk.net

Suitable for

  • 11-13

Circuit at The Waiting Room

  • 23 September 2014 7-9pm

Y.A.K. is firstsite's young people led group who programme events and activities exploring socio-culture. Y.A.K. is part of Circuit, a national programme connecting young people to the arts (led by Tate and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation). Y.A.K. has worked with visual artists, dancers, film-makers, graphic designers, performance artists and street artists. Planned future collaborations include sessions with chef Charlie Stocker and Colchester Film Festival.

Join Circuit artist Mandy Roberts to try out some new and old techniques to create your own visual art.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+
Art in the community, photo: Judith Merritt

Art in the Community

  • 24 September 2014 2:30-4:30pm

A session where you can use our spaces to create your own art. A firstsite staff member will be on hand along with a basic range of materials. Please bring any specialist materials that you need.

Open to people who have previously attended Art in the Community with Clive Wakeford but also welcome any new participants.

Please contact Clive via email if you have any queries: artbyclive@yahoo.co.uk

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, just drop-in

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/art-in-the-community-2

twenty-somethings in the arts, photo: Judith Merritt

Twenty-Somethings in the Arts

  • 14 November 2014 1-4pm

Following on from the success of the first session, artist Jess White will lead these afternoons to include presentations by participants about their skills and skill-swapping, creative role play and information on our Associate Artist scheme. Participants will also be invited to bring work for inclusion in a visual crit group.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking essential

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/twenty-somethings-in-the-arts

Locke - Unseen Cinema

  • 18 September 2014 From 7:30pm *on now

Dir. Steven Knight (2013), 85 mins, Cert. 15

Actor Tom Hardy plays Ivan Locke during a car journey which sees him at a nadir from which the collapse of his life unfolds. Unique in form, the story is engrossing and compelling and lets us experience how great acting, storytelling and dialogue can keep us mesmerised.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 14-15
  • 16-17

Admission

£5, £3.50 concession, £3 members

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/locke-unseen-cinema

The Invisible Women - Coffee Morning Screening

  • 19 September 2014 From 11:30am

Refreshments available from 10am in MUSA (please note film will start at 11.30am)

Dir. Ralph Fiennes (2013), 111 mins, Cert. 12A

This period drama tracks Nelly as she meets Charles Dickens at the height of his career and becomes his encompassing passion and muse. Ralph Fiennes portrays Dickens as a warm yet emotionally subdued character and Felicity Jones brings Nelly vividly to life where the character remained 'invisible'.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 11-13
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£7.50 (includes hot drink and a cake before the film)

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/the-invisible-women-coffee-morning

Big Night - Six of the Best

  • 19 September 2014 From 7pm

Dir. Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci (1996), 107 mins, Cert. 15

Big Night follows two brothers as they journey from Italy to New Jersey to open an authentic Italian restaurant.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£5, £3.50 concessions, £3 members

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/big-night-six-of-the-best

Free Family Saturday - Minimal Vs Maximal

  • 20 September 2014 11am-1pm, 2-4pm

Try your hand at something or nothing, loads or little, millions or minimums.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/free-family-saturday-2

Free Family Saturdays - Artists Can Change the World

  • 27 — 26 September 2014 11am-1pm, 2-4pm

They probably can, but if you are the artist what will you do to change it using art to help you on the way?

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/free-family-saturday-2

Free Family Saturdays - Nothing or Something

  • 4 October 2014 11am-1pm, 2-4pm

Just as it says, create something from nothing.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.firstsite.uk.net/page/free-family-saturday-2

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