Air: Visualising the Invisible in British Art 1768-2017

Royal West of England Academy

16 June – 3 September 2017

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A major exhibition of historic and contemporary art that takes air as its inspiration.

John Constable, Cloud Study, Hampstead, 11 September, 1821

We breathe it, fly through it, harness its power, and pollute it. For centuries artists have been fascinated by our relationship with the air around us and the space above.

Whether looking up at it through the study of meteorology or looking down via the medium of aerial photography, this exhibition charts the many ways artists have drawn inspiration from the invisible. Spanning four centuries, artists include JMW Turner, John Constable, Eric Ravilious, Christopher Nevinson, John Everett Millais, Peter Ford, Stephen Jacobson, Janette Kerr, and Ian MacKeever.

Themes move from the struggle to dominate the skies with hot-air balloons and later wartime aerial technology to the contemporary concerns of climate change and air-borne diseases. The wonder and worry of this substance we can’t live without is explored through painting, photography, sculpture, installation and film.

Venue information

Opening times

Tue – Sat, 10am – 5.30pm

Sun, 11am – 5pm

Closed Mon

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