Visit to RPS House - Bristol
Date Friday/Saturday 28/29 February 2020
Those who had arrived earlier in the day had taken the chance to photograph the fantastic spectacle of the Extinction Rally that started on College Green to hear Greta Thunberg and then muddy and wet and often bearing soggy cardboard protest messages, an estimated 20,000 people paraded through the city amid a wonderful friendly atmosphere.
But then a small but enthusiastic group met-up on a very wet Friday afternoon at the IBIS Templemeads Hotel, before heading straight for the Paintworks, RPS HQ and a very welcomed hot drink. Kate Constance the volunteer manager then gave a very informative tour of the building before we ended up in the IPE 162 exhibition. With it still raining heavily we took our leave of Kate and moved very quickly between buildings to the Martin Parr Foundation to view the ` Street Fusion, Bristol in 2019 exhibition of Dutch photographer Hans Eijkelboom a really interesting collection of street photography which makes a strong social commentary with regard fashion and developed an innovative approach to linking the various elements of the exhibition with each other. We all agreed he had a very distinctive style.
Thereafter heavy rain meant no dallying and a quick return to the hotel and decisions to go our separate ways for the evening.
The Saturday weather proved much kinder for visits to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition in M-Shed and photography around the city.
Further exhibitions at Spike Island and Arnolfini crammed our eyes and minds with culture, but the real winner of the day was the Bag of Nails pub with its 14 cats wandering at will and real ale. It was a 50:50 split on which element made it a winner.
For the never say die brigade, there were still pictures to be had and we saw the first Bristol Light Festival with installations placed at strategic points around the city. While we did not get to them all, what we did see was well worth the effort.
All in all, even the atrocious weather could not prevent a very full and successful and enjoyable trip, to the extent we did not even get to St Mary Redcliffe as proposed – ah well next time perhaps.