Brighton art guide 11-24 October

Your guide to upcoming art exhibitions and events in Brighton.

Brighton is a city renowned for its artistic heritage. From the iconic Victorian architecture of the front, to the boundary-pushing work being made in the city’s many galleries, the city by the sea is one of colour, expression, and innovation.

This week we have hand picked four of the best exhibitions and live events happening as the trash piles up in the streets.

Strange Relations, by Carys Reilly and Simon Le Boggit

Fabrica Gallery, 9 October – 28 November

Fabrica Gallery opened Strange Relations by Carys Reilly and Simon Le Boggit on 9 October, the gallery’s first preview in 2 years!

Regarding the exhibition, organisers said:

“For our autumn exhibition in partnership with Outside In UK we’ll be exploring extremity and diversity, and invite audiences to experience work of an extremely large scale and that at a tiny intimate size. This juxtaposition of the artists’ works will offer visitors a playful ‘sizeshifting’ experience – at first loomed over by one work and then towering over the other. In this highly anticipated exhibition, the artworks position the visitor as the ‘norm’ in the room. Playing with the norms of human scale, looking beyond the norms of human experience and questioning the cultural norms in current exhibition making.

Strange Relations is running until 29 november, Wed-Sun 12-6pm.

“Cary Reilly’s series includes psychologically charged sculptures, though tiny, they powerfully convey bodily intimacy and interiority. In contrast, Simon Le Boggit’s expansive video installation, Even Giants Have to Bend, fills Fabrica’s 10 metre high ceiling with the movement and sound of huge trees in a strong wind, immersing the viewers below it,” Fabrica organisers added.


Making Care, a group exhibition

ONCA Gallery, 8 October – 13 November

Making Care is a research project, group exhibition and events programme showcasing work by artists exploring aspects of care and access provision through their practices, pointing towards more just and equitable worlds against the backdrop of Covid and the inequalities it highlights.

This project asks how arts organisations can collaborate with – and care for – artists whose work explores themes of care. It centres access needs as opportunities for world-building and creative exchange, rather than problems to solve. It aims to open dialogue with artists, audiences and organisations about the transformative potential of DIY community care and access provision.

The exhibition is open Wednesday – Friday: 1pm – 6pm, and Saturday: 1 – 4pm.


Making Care commissions artists – Josephine Chime, Kyla Harris & Lou Macnamara, Evan Ifekoya, Keith Hennessy and Carmen Papalia & Heather Kai Smith – who explore care and access in rich, radical and varied ways, to co-curate an exhibition and programme, supported in their autonomy by ONCA, with space and resources to think through their needs and wishes.

I’m like other girls, by Hattie Malcomson

Phoenix Art Space, 9 October – 7 November.

The Phoenix Art Space will proudly be displaying I’m like other girls by Hattie Malcomson, a powerful take on the presence of women in art.

Malcomson’s direct, and urgent paintings are displayed at the Phoenix Window Gallery.

Discussing the exhibition, Malcomson commented:

“The central subject of my practice is the process of women empowerment in the context of contemporary society. I often use self-expression to source my ideas in order to convey universal female truths. With this body of work naturally focusing on the theme of beauty, my paintings present powerful female characters with aggressively formed, almost caricature-style, grotesque faces and confident poses. The characters are fully aware of the viewer’s presence, and they invite you, knowing that they are in control.

From 9 October – 7 November, the Window Gallery will be open Wednesday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm.


“The paintings present a reclamation of the representation of women in art due to this being historically a passive one and they often make references to these paintings of the past. Within contemporary society there is a notion that women must be physically perfect, pristine and delicate. I am instead trying to portray a realistic, human representation of these women. I am interested in testing the aesthetic boundaries of taste and creating contradicting feelings of attraction and repulsion in the viewer through intense colour, heavy impasto and seductive yet almost ugly characters. I also want to evoke feelings of awkwardness and discomfort in some viewers, and particularly for the male gaze.”

Hattie Malcomson was the recipient of the 2020-21 Cass Art x Phoenix Art Space Studio Award, and has enjoyed a year of free studio space at Phoenix Art Space.

Silt, by Nika Neelova

Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts, 22 October – 21 December

Silt is an exhibition of new work by Russian born artist Nika Neelova examining our cultural and physical relationship to water. The exhibition centres on a large scale sculptural installation accompanied by a series of studio works and additional contributions from artists Carolina Caycedo and Rachael Champion.

Exhibition organisers said:

“Beginning with Neelova’s interest in processes of geology; the gradual layering and transformation of materials, over the last 12 months Neelova has been working in collaboration with Brighton CCA and academics at the University of Brighton on a new body of work drawing on disciplines from archaeology and ethnography to literature, natural sciences and ecology. The exhibition title references the process in which materials suspended in water are deposited over time in pipes, at river mouths and estuaries. Silt is mineral rich, fundamental to shaping changing tidal landscapes and renewing fertility.  It is also unstable, thick and a challenge to free-flowing waterways.”


Entering the exhibition visitors find themselves in a subterranean world of archaeological strata. Fossils are strewn on the floor while sculptures cast from the interiors of ancient water systems are suspended throughout the space. Neelova cross references the veins and ventricles of the human body with the visual language of museology, transforming the works into the skeletal structure.  Placing the installation within the exposed framework of the gallery, Neelova adds a further layer in which architecture itself is conceived as a kind of body, sustained by the water and air running through the pipes woven within it. The installation is suffused with the accumulation of time and material, of architecture above and below the surface, of people and cultures across time linked and shaped by the liquid flowing around and through us. Combing new work with research via installations, experimental and studio projects, Silt speaks to our shared relationship with water and the physical and cultural sediment this has left through history.

Alongside Neelova’s works, Carolina Caycedo’s film Land of Friends (2014) details the impact of the El Quimbo Hydroelectric Project, Colombia on the indigenous peoples who rely on the river and its tributaries for their physical, social and spiritual wellbeing. Rachael Champion’s installation continues her explorations into human interactions with geological time and the traces we leave on the landscape. In conversation with Neelova’s works these projects open a dialogue between the cultural value of our natural resources and their exploitation in the service of society.

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