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This major exhibition traces the representation of fire in British art across the last four centuries.

In turns destructive and creative, fearsome and fascinating, fire is a subject loaded with symbolism, ritual and emotion. Unsurprisingly, the subject has drawn in artists throughout the ages. The exhibition will examine how artists’ approaches have changed over time, recording historical, religious, domestic or natural events as well as exploring fire as a material phenomenon informed by contemporary themes and issues.

Artists include JMW Turner, Joseph Wright of Derby, William Blake, John Martin, Stanley Spencer, Wilhelmina Barnes-Graham, Eric Ravilious, Jeremy Deller, Tim Shaw, Susan Hiller, David Nash, Douglas Gordon and Cornelia Parker.

The exhibition shows how vital fire has been to the human experience, through technology, storytelling and symbolism and how the duality of our relationship with the element continues to fascinate in the 21st century.

PaintingSouth WestBristol


RWA (Royal West of England Academy)

Queen's Road, Bristol, Greater Bristol, BS8 1PX

01179 735129

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Temporarily closed - Opening 22 February

Closed until February 2022 for a major refurb 

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