Hand in Glove worked in Bristol, UK and beyond to produce ambitious new public realm artworks and provided opportunities for new audiences, of all ages, to encounter art in unusual settings and be inspired by discussion and participation. We brought critical, high quality visual art and performance to the region and provided professional development opportunities for artists and writers, including commissioning and mentoring.
Operating in a diverse range of social and physical contexts, the projects we produced were typically temporary, playful and interruptive. Commissioned projects included an open-air sleepover and banquet in the centre of the city; a cocktail as art and hidden sculptures in plain sight.
Hand in Glove began as an artist-led group in 2009 after a group of emerging artists met in Bristol and started a series of Interplay events. These social gatherings showcased practice, encouraged the making of new work, fostered collaborations, and built a supportive network. Since then, we have developed a professional practice; the group has evolved, interests and professional skills have refined, but the ethos of providing a platform to develop new artwork and engage audiences through process, dialogue and exchange remains.
For six months, Bristol’s iconic Bearpit played host to a series of unusual interventions and encounters, interrupting the everyday life of the city. Art in Bearpit was a programme of commissions and events developed for the space, taking place from May to November 2015.
Art in Bearpit was a partnership project produced by Hand in Glove, initiated by Bearpit Improvement Group. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Bristol City Council Creative Seed Fund.
Presented as part of the inaugural Bristol Art Weekender programme in May 2014; a four-day collaborative festival celebrating art in all forms across the city, produced by Situations in partnership with the city’s primary visual arts venues, artist-run initiatives and arts producers.
For Surfacing, Hand in Glove commissioned new artworks from three emerging artists who were brought together to explore the intimate effects of surface, texture, pattern, colour and façade. Encompassing sculpture, installation, print and live performance, artworks were presented in unexpected indoor and outdoor spaces in Bristol’s waterside location of Redcliffe Wharf and extended online. Visual intrigue and intervention activated the sites and seduced the senses, creating complex relationships between object and image, viewer and performer.
A public realm project in Summer 2013 that encompassed 12 new sculptures exhibited on street furniture in central Bristol; a participatory sculpture trail; successful crowd-funding and social media campaigns; a launch event; artist talk and critical writing commissions.
Hand in Glove commissioned artist Anne Deeming to displace her object-based practice from the gallery to the public realm for the first time. Resulting in a kind of psycho-geographic encounter for the audience, i didn’t see you there unwittingly encouraged those seeking the work to pay unusually close attention to their familiar surroundings and those unaware of the work to look twice.