- The first book on the history and development of the Arnolfini in Bristol
- Published to mark the re-opening of the gallery
- Part of Scala’s popular Art Spaces series of pocket sized books on the architecture and history of museums and galleries
Scala’s Art Spaces series is the ideal format for the first book on the history and development of the Arnolfini, which was published to mark the re-opening of the gallery in June 2005. The Arnolfini in Bristol, UK, named after Jan van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait, is one of Europe’s leading centres for the contemporary arts. It was established ‘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 the Narrow Quay site 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. The Arnolfini was closed to the public in September 2003 for major expansion and renovation, led by architects Snell Associates and artist Susanna Heron to create new arts and education facilities. It re-opened in 2005, with more public space overall and more opportunities to experience the contemporary arts and to participate in a range of creative experimentation. The concise, informative text written by journalist Phil Johnson acommpanies fascinating images showing all the different stages of the transformation.