FaB Festival 22 May - 7 June 2020 #FaB20
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FaB 1, 94-96 Walcot Street, BA1 5BG


Fantastic and Strange

Many humans are curious. Curious about things that are deemed weird or different. Things that are exquisite yet grotesque. Things that are delicate yet sinister. Things that we don’t always understand.

Fantastic and Strange explores the idea of the weird and wonderful, the odd and the beautiful and work that falters between the extravagant yet awkward.

Curated by Clare Winnan.


Size Matters

Does size matter? As artworks get ever more gigantic in vying for attention, size, it seems, does impress. But is an enormous erection any more than a cheap thrill? Size Matters aims to draw you in rather than shout at you from across the street. With artworks that measure 5cm squared or cubed, you are invited to look closer, quieter and perhaps for longer.

Fittingly for the scale, many of the artworks in the show deal with ideas, experiences or thoughts that are intimate and relatable. These might be personal, introspective or merely whimsical. Some artworks celebrate the small, giving attention to the overlooked. Others deal with much bigger issues, where the scale simultaneously relates to the individual whilst seeming fit to burst with the frustration of being contained.

Each piece is the voice of an artist and the common scale aims to democratise those voices. The juxtapositions between voices create new dialogues, much as conversations can lead to new understandings. The viewer is invited to imagine narratives or conversations between the pieces as part of the dialogue. Size Matters is the trigger for a bigger conversation.

Size Matters is arranged loosely into six themes: Human Matters, Sound Matters, Art Matters, Location Matters, Memory Matters, and Earth Matters. These are aimed to support a conversation, not to dictate it.

Human Matters investigates our bodies, desires and anxieties, our gut reactions and our sense of humour. Sound Matters visualises poetry and music, mumbling and shouting. Art Matters questions the quasi-religious reverence often bestowed on the artwork. Location Matters presents works in dialogue with a specific place. Memory Matters reveals traces of past presences and allusions of the intangible. Earth Matters investigates the minutiae and grandness of the natural world.

Curated by Mark Fearbunce.


“altars and shrines are external representations of interior mysteries memories”

Artists have responded to the theme by creating individual shrines that are deeply personal. The relics within are signifiers of identities and histories of the self.

Curated by Rekha Sameer Jalundhwala.


Deadline / Lifeline

‘Deadline / Lifeline’ is pursuing a line of enquiry around how we can learn to collaborate. As our civilisation/nature paradigm totters and shifts in crisis, it seems we are starting to let go of the 20th century story of separation and consumer individualism.

Are we Humans being called to greater connection and a deeper sense of belonging? Are we being asked to create a new story for ourselves about our relationship with our planet home? What part can Art play in this? Can our actions as artists facilitate these radical shifts in perspective that are coming?

At this time you could say that collaboration is a revolutionary and vulnerable act. It’s tricky, as artists, to let our egos go and really immerse ourselves in a collaboration. Our tactic is to find our way through being playful and fluid, enabling each of us to build into a whole that we can truly claim to be stronger, and definitely ‘more’ than we might have achieved as separate units.

Deadline / Lifeline is our next phase of this and is a way to share and keep these transformative ripples going. We want to practice listening and trust, be aware of fears and resentments.

This is a performative, open practice allowing personal control to blend into collective authorship, making and unmaking and remaking to enable new possibilities. We are not trying to say the line is dead but that there are ways of bringing individual lines together and making something beyond a single line. Building bridges maybe. Going beyond the deadline of exhibition into a living object/being that can be seen growing, transforming, mutating and evolving throughout the FaB festival. A Life/line.

It’s ambitious, appropriately so… watch out for tokens of gratitude.

Curated by De/Select.

Disordered States

Undertake an image search for ‘mental illness’ on the internet and you are faced with pages of clichéd head-clutchers, word clouds and monsters. Disordered States presents a different visual language for mental health. Artists with lived experience of mental health problems who embody their experiences in their practice were invited to look at the mechanisms, thought processes and actions involved in mental illness, rejecting historical, representational and figurative tropes, moving towards a more critical discourse.

The works presented here engage with the internal processes and external actions of various mental illnesses and how they can be translated into objects. Whether it be the psychomotor agitation of mania, the dark energy of anxiety, or obsessional mark-making, each artist draws on their unique experiences of mental illness: ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety or body dysmorphia.

The works here deal with different aspects of the artists’s experiences – the effects of medication, symptoms, displacement activities, expressions of fragility – and also the materials used hold insights; medical notes, personal talismans, fragile paper and porcelain all speak to the thoughts and behaviours which the artists experience.

Curated by Kate McDonnell and Matthew Dibble.


FaB 2, 8 Broad Street, BA1 5LJ


36 Exposures, working with found photography

36 Exposures is an evolving body of work designed to explore the beauty and potential in the lost, discarded, forgotten and redundant things that come from analogue photography. The joy of finding something in the street, the darkroom or someone's attic is combined with the potential to see these things as fresh material for brand new work. Redundant technologies given new life as raw materials and inspiration for new ways of working with photography.

In an increasingly digital world there is something beautiful in an old curled up photo, the click clack of a slide projector, the act of holding these things in your hand connects us to them and makes us look at them differently and want to preserve them. There are stories and histories in these images and machines.

Curated by Ash van Dyck.


'Dull' brings together a diverse range of artists who are united in an approach to artmaking that is rooted in observation and that rewards the attentive viewer. Against the backdrop of a fast-paced world, these artists invite us to stop, to pause just a moment longer and allow instinctive reactions to make way for deeper contemplation.

Quiet transformation in an everyday context is a common theme here, with works that reveal, for example, the mutability of the body or the constant, yet often unseen, metamorphosis of matter or materials in our daily environment. Other works address the phenomenological experience of looking, the impossibility of silence, and the fine line that sometimes exists between boredom and wonder.

Curated by Sightlines Projects in collaboration with Beth Biddiss.

2019 - dull - Signtlines.jpg

Cardiff Arcade Studios

Group show by 5 award-winning female painters. A strong representation of the current new crop of exciting artists to come out of the Welsh Capital: Hannah Morris, Zena Blackwell, Jessica Dent, Rhiannon Davies & 2016’s Bath Open Art Prize winner Lara Davies.

Curated by Rhiannon Sian Davies

Image © Lara Davies, 'Fleurs dans un Vase' from 'The Last Flowers of Manet'

Image © Lara Davies, 'Fleurs dans un Vase' from 'The Last Flowers of Manet'

Image © Rhiannon Sian Davies, Underdog Plotting Revenge

Image © Rhiannon Sian Davies, Underdog Plotting Revenge


FaB 3, 15 New Bond Street, BA1 1BA


A different view of Bath - Postcard Project

Original artworks & unique postcards available to buy in support of FaB festival. Produced by 80 1st year students in collaboration with the Art & Design dept. at Bath College.


This woman’s work

In our exhibition we consider the idea of a ‘feminine’ aesthetic and in doing so ask the following questions:

What subject matter might be included or excluded?

Are feminist principles implicit to the very idea?

Might a ’feminine’ aesthetic be translated as a heightened femininity; or perhaps as a more overt political statement?

Might it infer the domestic and/or mundane routines of the everyday; might it refer to motherhood and specifically female bodily attributes?

We believe that there are many ‘feminine’ aesthetics and that such a stance could be(come) a playful, openly liberating force for creatives and are keen to include works that respond to our questions in diverse, performative and engaging ways that will entice viewers to look again.

We want to celebrate the idea of a ‘feminine’ aesthetic and are excited to see what a collection of ‘feminine’ aesthetics might look/feel like when brought together in conversation with one another.

Curated by Adams and Whiting.

Image © Quilos and the Windmill; The Swedish Workshop Quilt 2019

Image © Quilos and the Windmill; The Swedish Workshop Quilt 2019


The ‘SELF’ has always been at the forefront of art history. In the realistic depictions of the old masters, emotional expressions of the modernists or the ideological stances of the contemporaries. How far removed is the artist from the work and what defines the artist’s sense of identity? Is the self within art purely constructed, an artifice - or is all art purely biographical?

This exhibition is a collection of artwork that tackles the subject of ‘SELF’. With a mixture of 'traditional' self-portraiture, conceptual, performance, video, abstract, etc. This exhibition is an exploration of the artists' idea of ‘SELF’.

Curated by Toby Rainbird.

2019 - SELF - Samuel Morgan and Toby Rainbird.jpg

See the Wood for the Trees

Whether walking through woods or being totally immersed in the natural beauty of a forest, trees are profoundly grounding. As the seasons and our lives change a tree stands still and tall, providing a constant point of reference which we can return to again and again.

The Gardener's Lodge Art Group (of the Holburne Museum) invite you to peep into imaginary worlds which take inspiration from real, imagined and remembered trees. These miniature 'sets' also echo the working practice of Lauren Child whose exhibition, 'The Art of Illustration' is currently at the Holburne (until 8 September).

See the Wood for the Trees has been developed with ceramic artist Clare Day as part of Clay Forest which will be exhibited at the Forest of Imagination Festival, this year happening in and around the Holburne Museum and Sydney Gardens 20-24 June, visit www.forestofimagination.org.uk for info.

The Gardener's Lodge Art Group at the Holburne Museum is proud to be promoting health and wellbeing through engagement with the arts and heritage. It is part of the Pathways to Wellbeing programme, a museums partnership project funded by the National Heritage Lottery, which puts wellbeing at the heart of Museums.

Curated by Andrew Peacock and Louise Campion

See the Wood for the Trees - b and w.jpg

21st Century Neanderthal

This exhibition is a research into today’s dating world seen through artists’ eyes, mixed with every day’s righteousness and immorality.

Online dating is a noncommittal opportunity to screen through potential suitors and eliminate the alleged rotten eggs immediately. It is fun and easy, but it’s not real, it’s digital.

We have all heard about the horror stories, following encounters on dating platforms. And we have all heard the success stories and happily ever afters. But why do we consciously put ourselves in supposed vulnerable situations when meeting the person from the dating site that we think we fancy?

Online profiles can be a fallacy, with all the fake information the other user wants us to believe. Presenting yourself online is like writing a fairy tale (not necessarily consciously). Likewise, chatting to people online is writing what you think the other person would like to hear to get under their skin.

This impersonality of online dating caused me to question the behaviour of current society. I invited artists to step into this digital world where fantasy and reality blur, where the lines cross and the perfect version of the truth is never quite what it seems. Communication is contorted as the rules no longer apply.

This exhibition challenges and exposes these online experiences through art and touches upon the personal histories of participating artists and their views on romantic relationships.

I would also like to invite visitors the share their dating adventures and join us in uncovering the struggles of contemporary infatuation.

Curated by Nina Jesih.

FaB Photomarathon 2019

1 city, 1 day, 20 themes, 20 photos... A huge collection of peope & images! FaB's annual psychogeographical ramble through the streets of Bath invites you to discover our city from a new angle, through someone elses' eyes.

Curated by Bartek Vavzynovic & Edyta Murawska


Telling Spaces

Drawing particular attention to the mediums of sound and proximity, 7 artists explore the potential for making art with a range of auditory experiences.

The Artists: Copper Sounds, Gareth Proskourine-Barnett, Hugh Stant, Ladina Clément, Samantha Davies, Vicky Vatcher, Yelei Li.

The performances:

Copper Sounds Gareth & Proskourine-Barnett will be performing on Sat 1 June at FaB 1.

Hugh Stant will be offering audience inclusive auditory tours at the Opening Night Arty Party, and on 25, 26, 27 May at 2pm - meeting in The Circus.

Yelie Li will be performing "Your fingers are muted" they said, in the window of FaB 3 at 12.30pm on 25 May.

Visit What’s On for full event details.

Curated by Vicky Vatcher.


44AD artspace, 4 Abbey Street, BA1 1NN


Bath Open Art Prize 2019

Now in its 9th year, The Bath Open Art Prize is one of the key open art prizes in the South West. Open to visual artists working in any medium, an eclectic and exciting mix of high level submissions are received; including video and installation as well as painting, print and 3D.

Developed as part of Fringe Arts Bath (FaB), alongside the established traditions, the prize welcomes more idiosynchratic and whimsical works that reflect FaB’s open approach.

From the many submissions received, works are selected for showing as part of a 2 week long exhibition at 44AD artspace in the centre of Bath.

To find out more about The Bath Open Art Prize 2019, judges, sponsors & awards, please visit www.bathopenartprize.co.uk

The Workshop

Once machines were our slaves, but as technology becomes more sophisticated and subtle in its applications the power dynamic has shifted. Do mobile phones become extensions of our personality? Is our relationship with social media an unhealthy addiction and are machines trying to take over and make humans redundant?

I’m the operator

With my pocket calculator

I’m the operator

With my pocket calculator


How far will our relationship with machines and technology develop? Are our personal machines like pets or family members or even lovers? Is the relationship tainted? Are the machines seducing us, beguiling us and leaving us dependant on them. Are they friend or foe?

Car fumes are killing us as surely as guns. Television and advertising is dulling our senses. Here in The Workshop artists from the UK and Europe have joined together to playfully explore man versus machine.

Curated by Helen Grundy and Paul Johnson.

Image © Helen Grundy, Love Machine

Image © Helen Grundy, Love Machine


Walcot Chapel, Walcot Gate, BA1 5UG



MUD performances taking place on 25, 28, 29, 30 May & 1, 4, 5, 6 June at Walcot Chapel.

See also Mud workshops on 26, 27, 31 May & 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 June at ICE Space.

Check what’s on for times

Soil is what connects all beings; it is what we grow from. Our relationship to soil nowadays is quite different. We relate soil to soiled, making us believe that it is something unhygienic while today it is one of the cleanest things around us. It has aesthetic, spiritual, cultural and educational benefits. We build with it, the soil creates our food, purifies our water, stores carbon and contains biodiversity.

These processes can suck you into a state of no-mind where you feel more aware, alert and alive. Painting and sculpting with soil pull you into an escape from our mad world. It will re-connect you to the earth.

Through a number of workshops we wish for people of all ages to take part in the ancient processes of painting, sculpting and building with soil. Will simply be using soil and water, and basic building fabrics. We will be using the tones of the earth and experimenting with thick and thin mud to create tone and shape.

Join us and be inspired to reconnect to what is beneath our feet. Become acquainted with these ancient practices, and get messy!

Curated by Jemima Hall & Emma Stevens

Image © Jemima and Emma

Image © Jemima and Emma

Deviation Street

The Street as a Platform.

The notion of the Street as a Platform is the starting point for this exhibition. Deviation Street www.deviationstreetmagazine.com brings together the works of 12 artists who explore the differing aspects of street. As a physical and social space both past and present rich in sound and textures , as a technological space and as a psychological and emotional space, a place where we reside and a place of memories and dreams.

The Street as a Platform reflects the thoughts and experiences of 10 Artists working in different mediums from photography to painting to soundscapes and installations.

Curated by Brian Gibson.


I.C.E. Space, 1 North Parade, BA2 4EU


FLOW Reflections on Water

This exhibition is intended as an immersive experience, like a plunge into a deep pool, apparently familiar on the surface yet filled with mysteries and the unexpected.

Some things we may already know: every human is close to 60pc water, 70 per cent of the earth's surface is covered in water and water is the essential source of all life as we know it. It is its unique subatomic properties that make water so vital and ubiquitous. It is not only the most various of phenomena -the one material that can be solid, liquid and gas at common temperatures- but it is also uniquely diverse in its appearance. It is forever changing form, reflecting back to us infinitely revised versions of what we think we know. It is a substance that gives us space to reimagine our relationship with itself, and with all the other phenomena that the Earth relies upon to sustain existence. Might immersing ourselves in its elusive, trickster ways encourage us to know water better, show it -and all the other complex systems we are part of- more respect, aware that its overabundance or its lack could see us off completely?

Of some things we can be certain, if we keep filling it with our junk, pillaging its wealth and poisoning it with our venomous stupidity, the debt we accrue will become impossible to redeem.

This exhibition is work-in-progress, conceived as a starting point, a wellspring. It will travel, like a stream, to other places, changing its appearance slightly at each new bend, inevitably becoming absorbed into other, larger streams some way ahead.

Curated by Geoff Dunlop

Image © Geoff Dunlop, FLOW Mell 790 diptych

Image © Geoff Dunlop, FLOW Mell 790 diptych



MUD performances taking place on 25, 28, 29, 30 May & 1, 4, 5, 6 June at Walcot Chapel.

See also Mud workshops on 26, 27, 31 May & 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 June at ICE Space.

Check what’s on for times

Curated by Jemima Hall & Emma Stevens

Image © Jemima Hall & Emma Stevens

Image © Jemima Hall & Emma Stevens

Ice Flow


Ebb and flow creates a recurrent pattern of coming and going or decline and regrowth. Whether it be associated with water, etherial or physical form, a sense of movement pushing forwards but being pulled back.

The word flow represents freedom of movement  the idea of ICE is of a hard solid structure the stress of these two ideas being juxtaposed creates an endless rhythm of journeys that are interminable, sagas of epic constraint never reaching a conclusion.

Curated by The Wooding.


Milsom Place, Unit 20, Lower Level, BA1 1DN


It is human nature to sometimes ignore what we don’t understand, to overlook, to pretend it’s just not there. Artists however, are often fascinated by the unseen, the hidden, and like scientists we try to make sense of things through making, testing, exploring, experimenting deconstructing and probing. We make visible the invisible to greater understand our existence.

Hidden presents work by a selection of artists of diverse disciplines that explore these themes. 11 Artists’ works are showcased that explore the “unseen”. The Artists in this exhibition have wide ranging interests but come together to explore ideas based on subtlety, discretion and exposure, trace, space, time, geophysics, growth, chemistry, germination, materials and processes. Sometimes our approach to materials sparks wonder and playfulness. What we don’t understand can be a source of intrigue, fear and awe.

How do we contain these vast elements and frame them in a human scale? Through the differences in our artistic practice we address a commonality of investigation.

Curated by Anna Boland and Janie George.

Bath Artists' Studios, BA1 3AH

Fresh Art@ FaB 2019

Open 24 to 30 May, (closed Sun 26th) see our What’s On page for free daily workshops.

This vibrant exhibition showcases the artwork that was created and inspired by workshops held at the Holburne, No. 1 Royal Crescent and The American Museum between February – April 2019.

“The Fresh Art@ project encourages individuals to create art, which enables growth in confidence, self-pride, well-being and camaraderie as a group.”

Fresh Art@ is an innovative partnership project that promotes positive wellbeing by engaging people who are facing mental health challenges to create artwork which is then used to enliven NHS environments.

For more information about the Fresh Art@ Project visit: www.creativityworks.org.uk/what-we-do/for-mental-health/about-fresh-art/

Creating artwork on Ward 4 as part of FreshArt@ 2019

Creating artwork on Ward 4 as part of FreshArt@ 2019

Creating artwork on Ward 4 as part of FreshArt@ 2019

Creating artwork on Ward 4 as part of FreshArt@ 2019


Museum of Bath at Work, Julian Road, BA1 2RH

Born For It

A site-responsive multi-channel audio installation created from recordings in the Museum’s sound archives, allowing fragments of the thoughts, passions and ideas of Bath workers to surround the listener. Free with museum entry. www.bath-at-work.org.uk

Image © Leona Jones, untitled

Image © Leona Jones, untitled

Image © Leona Jones, unttled

Image © Leona Jones, unttled

Waller&Wood, Abbey Green, BA1 1NW


A collaborative exhibition at Waller&Wood featuring the work of Annie Beardsley, Gary Wood and Carole Waller. wallerandwood.co.uk

Image © Annie Beardsley

Image © Annie Beardsley


A few images from Fringe Arts Bath Festival 2018 #FaB18


A few images from Fringe Arts Bath Festival 2017 #FaB17


A few images from Fringe Arts Bath Festival 2016 #FaB16


A few images from Fringe Arts Bath Festival 2013 #FaB13


FaB Art Market, Sunday 2nd June 2019

Click here to let us know you’re interested, we’ll remind you when the sign-up form is ready.

Our annual pop-up Art Market is a great place to get yourself a masterpiece at street-market price. From Oil Painting to Watercolour, Sculpture to Screen-Printed T-Shirts, the FaB Art Market is a treasure trove of original and collectable wonders, mixing both established local artists and new upcoming art masters of the future.

Join a fantastic collection of Artists and Groups selling their wares in leafy Kingsmead Square surrounded by the street performers and other oddities of Bath Fringe Festival's Bedlam Sunday event.


FaB Photomarathon, Sat 4th May 2019

Click here to let us know you’re interested, we’ll remind you when the sign-up form is ready.

The FaB Photomarathon charts a psychogeographical ramble through the streets of Bath. See a different side of Bath in the results of this creative annual event which draws photographers of all ages and skill levels.

That’s right, the challenge is laid down again! You have 10h to take 20 photos following 20 themes in the correct order. Both film and digital entries are welcome, the results will be exhibited during the FaB Festival fortnight.