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


Royal West of England Academy

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

0117 973 5129

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Opening times

Tue – Sat, 10am – 5.30pm
Sun, 11am – 5pm

Closed Mon except Bank Holidays (open 11-5 spring and summer BH Mondays)

Closed 24 – 27 December 2018, 1 Jan 2019

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