Bath's Annual Fringe Visual Arts Festival
FAB is Bath's only visual arts festival, we actively promote and celebrate contemporary art in the Bath area and beyond, showcasing early career artists and curators, and those who find it difficult to break into (or prefer to operate outside of) the gallery based art scene.
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Refuge: in search of safety

Do you ever stop to examine what makes you feel safe?

This thought-provoking exhibition gets to the heart of what it is that could make any of us seek refuge from harm, from fear, from circumstances beyond our control.

We all share a need to feel safe, and to help those we love feel the same. But in our stressful lives, facing an uncertain future, safety is often just an illusion.

Beginning as a response to the refugee crises of the past few years, this exhibition grew to include not only refuge from war or persecution but aspects which seem much more familiar: refuge from physical harm, illness, homelessness.

We bring together a varied group of artists, each of whom explores the theme in a deeply personal way. Between them they seek to help us understand what it is that gives us our sense of safety, or takes it away. Is refuge a place, a person, a state of mind? What lengths would we go to if this was threatened?

A dramatic exhibition featuring a range of media, from paintings and photography to video poetry, sculpture and stunning installations, it uncovers the humanity in our shared search for that feeling of safety.

Curated by Mike & Dona Bradley

Venue: FaB 2, 94 Walcot Street, BA1 5BG
Open 10am to 6pm - Sat 27 May to Sat 10 June
and 10am to 3pm Sun 11 June


One week to go! 

Artists! Sculptors! Printmakers! Photographers! Ceramicists! Creatives!

You have one week to go to get your submissions in for Fringe Arts Bath 2017. We want your though-provoking, moving, challenging work on the theme of Refuge: in search of safety. 

Help us understand what a place of safety means to you.

Deadline for submissions if Monday 27th March. For details of what, how and when to submit, please see below. 

Good luck! 


When home is not a place of safety

In 1971 the charity Refuge opened the world's first safe house for women and children escaping domestic violence. At the time, domestic violence was often seen as a 'private matter', something to be dealt with 'behind closed doors'; society often turned a blind eye. For more information about the work of the charity, see

Although societal attitudes have changed, domestic violence remains a shockingly current issue. On any given day Refuge still supports more than 4,600 women, children and men. The charity Women’s Aid identify that on average two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in England and Wales; on average the police receive an emergency call relating to domestic abuse every 30 seconds. [figures from]

What does it mean when home is not a place of safety? 

What difference can it make to have somewhere to go to when a home is not safe? 

The open call to artists and creatives on the the theme of Refuge: in search of safety is still open. We want to understand what you as an artist, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, photographer, poet understand by the concept of a place of safety. We want you to challenge and inspire us to think about our own concept of refuge. 

Submissions for artworks inspired by the theme of Refuge: in search of safety must be received by no later than Monday 27th March 2017. For details of how to submit, please see below.


Inspired to get creative? There's still time

Submissions for Fringe Arts Bath 2017 close on Monday 27th March, so there's still time for you to get creative. If you want to submit your artwork in response to the theme of 'Refuge: in search of safety', make sure your submission is in by then.

Here’s a quick reminder of how to apply.


Please email your submissions to

Your submission must include:


Artwork can be painting or drawing in any medium, printmaking (including digital prints), sculpture in any medium (or maquettes), glass, ceramics, textiles, photography, architectural drawings or models, poetry.


The deadline for submissions is 5pm on 27th March 2017. We’re aiming to make initial selections by early April and we’ll be in touch then if you have been successful.

‘Refuge: in search of safety’ will be exhibited from Friday 26th May to Sunday 11th June 2017. Getting your work there and taking it away at the end is your responsibility.


We don’t know where we’ll be exhibited yet—Fringe Arts Bath festival typically occupies ‘alternative’ exhibition spaces across Bath, such as empty shops, basements, pubs and other unusual venues as well as more traditional gallery spaces. We’ll let you know when we do!

How much?

It’s completely free to submit proposals. If you’re selected, there’s a £20 admin charge.

Questions? Concerns? Get in touch!

There’s more detail on my blog: or follow me on twitter: @RefugeArt2017 where I’ll keep you up to date with information, inspiration and progress. And if you’ve got any questions please drop me an email:


Seeking refuge - an individual's story

Seeking refuge from harm, war, famine or persecution is often seen as a political issue; but behind every headline there are human beings.

When he lived in Tehran, Mohsen worked as a firefighter, surrounded by a close-knit group of friends, colleagues and family. He was forced to flee Iran after converting to Christianity and now lives in Bradford with his wife, Sara, and their two-year-old son.

After training and a decade working in a job he loves, Mohsen desperately wants to get back to saving lives. But instead since the family arrived in Britain in July 2016, they have faced destitution and homelessness, and relied on help from charities including Refugee Action.

“I miss my friends and family, my job and the life I had,” Mohsen says. “But there are two main advantages of living in the UK – having freedom and safety. I had to leave Tehran because my life was in danger. It was a difficult and horrible experience having to make that journey. No one can imagine what it’s like being forced to leave your home, fearful for your life, unless they’ve been through it. People are not treated well on these journeys.”

Mohsen’s story is take from Refugee Action. For the full story, visit

What is the human cost of seeking refuge? What does it take for someone to give up everything in search of safety? And what does it take to find it?

Inspired? Submissions for artworks inspired by the theme of Refuge: in search of safety must be received by no later than Monday 27th March 2017. For details of how to submit, please see below.


Seeking safety from loneliness

I hope the theme of ‘Refuge: in search of safety’ has been thought-provoking and has inspired you to get creative. There are still just over a couple of weeks to go until the deadline for submissions for this year’s Fringe Arts Bath.

There is more to refuge than refugees; people seek refuge from all kinds of challenges. In the news at the moment is loneliness.

A commission started by murdered MP Jo Cox is investigating loneliness in the UK, described as an epidemic affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. The Commission will be working throughout 2017 to address the impact loneliness has on different sections of society. Shockingly, more than 1.2 million older people are chronically lonely [figures from AgeUK].

A number of UK organisations, including Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society, British Red Cross, the Campaign to End Loneliness, The Silver Line, Royal Voluntary Service, Independent Age, Gransnet and The Big Lunch, is proud to be leading the national spotlight on older people from 20 March to 23 April. During this period and throughout the year, these organisations will be highlighting issues and encouraging us all to do something to combat loneliness [].

What does ‘refuge’ from loneliness look like? Where might people seek safety from loneliness, and what does it take to offer a place of safety from being alone?  

Submissions for artworks inspired by the theme of Refuge: in search of safety must be received by no later than Monday 27th March 2017. For details of how to submit, please see below.