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Lilah Fowler: Code Clay, Data Dirt

Saturday 20 July - Sunday 3 November 2019

London-based artist Lilah Fowler makes artwork that examines the effect and consequence of technology on our contemporary landscape, revealing how the ‘natural’ and the ‘man-made’ are interwoven a state that she refers to as ‘nth nature’. For Firstsite Fowler…

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Anna Berry: Breathing Room

Thursday 10 - Tuesday 22 October 2019

‘Breathing Room’, is a large-scale, experiential, kinetic light installation by artist Anna Berry and collaborator/engineer Clive Doherty. A tunnel lined with cones, the work creates a strange and otherworldly immersive experience through its apparent “breathing”. On the outside, the…

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Siobhan Coen: Unknown Knowns

Saturday 20 July - Sunday 13 October 2019

Siobhan Coen creates immersive environments by reworking the component parts of digital communications—RGB light, the pixels that make up images, and the spoken word—inviting us to experience how their qualities, more than their subject matter, affect what we perceive…

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Mark Titchner: Some questions about us

Saturday 20 July - Sunday 13 October 2019

Artist Mark Titchner explores the tensions between the different belief systems that inform our society, be they religious, scientific or political. He works across a number of media including digital print, wall drawing, video, sculpture, and often employs motifs…

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Adorn: Jewellery and Identity

Thursday 5 - Monday 30 September 2019

Come and learn about how objects have played a huge part in expressing identity and gender throughout history. There may also be the opportunity for some of your stories to feature in Colchester Museums’ displays and the brand new…

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Ian Giles: Outhouse

Thursday 5 - Friday 27 September 2019

Ian Giles: Outhouse FREE Outhouse is a mobile queer space traveling across East Anglia. The transparent walls of the cylindrical structure feature photographs and ephemera related to historic and contemporary LGBTQI+ culture from the East of England. This space…

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Elsa James: Black Girl Essex

Saturday 22 June - Sunday 22 September 2019

Sat 22 June –  Sun 22 September 2019 Drawing on the original conception of the gallery surrounding the Berryfield Mosaic as ‘Colchester’s sitting room’, Firstsite has re-conceived the space as a working studio for the next 3 years— a…

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Roy Colmer: An Optical Haze of Colour

Friday 3 May - Sunday 7 July 2019

Roy Colmer (1935-2014) was a London-born artist known for photomontages, films and colour intensive paintings. Responding to the widespread availability of new, electronic media in the 1970s, Colmer sought to reproduce in paint, the patterns and effects familiar to…

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Cory Arcangel: BACK OFF

Saturday 4 May - Sunday 7 July 2019

Thoughts on violence, aggression, and surveillance; as seen through retro gaming, military technology and fashion. A survey featuring drawing, photography, lorry lights, a laser, a drum machine, and a baby monitor, as well as a new series of prints…

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Magda Archer | Problems with Modern Life

Friday 5 April - Sunday 23 June 2019

Problems with Modern Life is a new poster exhibition by artist Magda Archer. Bursting with colour and a love of typography, Archer’s artworks juxtapose retro and often optimistic imagery with popular words or phrases; mimicking online memes in their…

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Courage Calls To Courage Everywhere: The Making of the Millicent Fawcett Statue for Parliament Square by Gillian Wearing

Saturday 10 November 2018 - Sunday 2 June 2019

Courage Calls To Courage Everywhere is an exhibition documenting the creation of Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing’s recently-unveiled statue of Suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett, situated in Parliament Square, London. It features a number of artworks drawn from Wearing’s celebrated photographic…

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Zoe Beloff | Emotions Go to Work

Saturday 19 January - Monday 22 April 2019

‘Emotions Go to Work’ is an interactive installation by New York based artist and filmmaker Zoe Beloff. It investigates how technology is used to turn our feelings into valuable assets. Ever since the 19th century, people have been collecting…

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susan pui san lok | A Coven A Grove A Stand

Friday 8 February - Monday 22 April 2019

Rediscovering the persecution of witches, reimagining the landscape. An evolving installation combining sculpture, sound and moving image, with hand-crafted pieces from local communities. A Coven A Grove A Stand is a major exhibition by the artist susan pui san lok. The…

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flyingleaps: Art on the streets (II)

Saturday 12 January - Sunday 24 March 2019

Following the success of the initial presentation in 2018, Firstsite is pleased to present a second collaboration with ‘flyingleaps’, an organisation that commissions artists to create posters in response to contemporary politics, events and ideas. Launched on the day of…

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Raqs Media Collective: Not Yet At Ease

Friday 28 September 2018 - Sunday 20 January 2019

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW 2018   Not Yet At Ease explores the history of psychological disorders resulting from conflict and the stigmas attached to them. Using poetry and performance, this immersive artwork is inspired by letters written by soldiers during…

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Legacy: Two works on hope and memory

Saturday 22 September 2018 - Sunday 6 January 2019

Legacy: two works on hope and memory is a Crafts Council touring exhibition showcasing ceramic installations to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. The exhibition brings together work by ceramic artists Julian Stair and Clare Twomey. For Stair and Twomey, clay is a material that is…

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BRONZE AGE c. 3500 BC – AD 2018

Saturday 17 March - Sunday 28 October 2018

Phyllida Barlow • Louise Bourgeois • Martin Creed • Alberto Giacometti • Diego Giacometti • Subodh Gupta • Eva Hesse • Jenny Holzer • Thomas Houseago • Matthew Day Jackson • Hans Josephsohn • Bharti Kher • Anna Maria…

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Scott King | A New Life in Frigg

Saturday 16 June - Sunday 9 September 2018

Do you remember:When you knew your neighbours?When shop assistants were not machines?When you could still telephone your bank?When a holiday was at home, not abroad?When summer seemed to last forever?When you felt that you belonged? If you answered YES…

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Play It Again: The art of remaking

Saturday 30 June - Sunday 9 September 2018

‘Play It Again: The art of remaking’ features ‘remade’ objects, events and films, produced by artists and the public. The exhibition showcases how history, contemporary culture and our own everyday experiences inspire repetition, remaking and reenactment in different forms….

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Lata Upadhyaya | Transit: The Identity of a White Van

Saturday 12 May - Sunday 24 June 2018

Transit: The Identity of a White Van’ is an artwork by Essex based artist Lata Upadhyaya. An ordinary white Ford Transit van has been transformed; now enveloped in a graphic design that reflects the rich diversity of contemporary Britain and the…

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The Britishness Project

Saturday 17 March - Sunday 17 June 2018

‘The Britishness Project’ is a groundbreaking exhibition that explores national identity through art. From September to December 2017, eight professional artists undertook residencies for one term at seven schools and education organisations in Colchester, Harlow and Harwich. During this…

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Chip Night

Sunday 1 April - Sunday 3 June 2018

The Koestler East of England Exhibition curated by Firstsite’s Young Art Kommunity Firstsite, in partnership with the Koestler Trust, is delighted to present Chip Night, an exhibition of artwork, writing and music from prisons, secure hospitals and people on community…

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Float. | NUA showcase: Each To Their Own

Saturday 5 May

Float. have teamed up with BA(hons) Fine Art students from Norwich University of the Arts for a one day pop up exhibition. Experience live art installations all day, with an open critique at 3pm. Float. is an open platform inviting…

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Rose Finn-Kelcey | Power for the People

Monday 1 January - Sunday 4 March 2018

Power for the People brings together over four decades of work by highly-acclaimed and influential British artist Rose Finn-Kelcey. Born in Northampton in 1945, Finn-Kelcey attended Ravensbourne College of Art and Design before moving to London in 1968 to study…

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Wunderkammer: A cabinet of curiosities from Colchester collections

Saturday 11 March 2017 - Sunday 25 February 2018

Exhibition opening event 10 March, 6 – 8pm In collaboration with Colchester and Ipswich Museums. Firstsite is making its very own Wunderkammer; a cabinet of curiosities that will grow over the coming years to surround the Berryfield Mosaic sited…

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Grayson Perry: The Life of Julie Cope

Saturday 18 November 2017 - Sunday 18 February 2018

Grayson Perry ‘The Life of Julie Cope’ is a unique presentation consisting of tapestries, woodcuts, ceramics and tiles designed by the Turner Prize-winning artist for ‘A House for Essex’ (2015), the building designed by the artist in collaboration with FAT…

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Film and Video Umbrella: Lawrence Lek

Monday 2 October - Thursday 30 November 2017

Geomancer As part of a new partnership, Firstsite is screening selected works from Film and Video Umbrella’s (FVU) impressive back-catalogue based on the gallery’s yearly programme themes. In 2017/2018 Firstsite is exploring identity and the second film to be…

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We: You, Me

Saturday 14 October - Sunday 19 November 2017

Emerging curators explore identity   This autumn Firstsite has invited three emerging curators based in the east of England to explore contemporary identity through their own areas of research. In a unique group exhibition JMC Anderson, Charlie Bryan and Laurie Taylor Straiton bring together…

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Lubaina Himid: Warp and Weft

Saturday 1 July - Sunday 1 October 2017

Warp and Weft is a survey of works by the 2017 Turner Prize winner, Lubaina Himid. A key figure in the Black Arts Movement, Lubaina Himid first came to prominence in the 1980s when she began organising exhibitions of…

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Ed Gold: Other Worlds

Saturday 1 July - Sunday 17 September 2017

We are celebrating the work of Essex-based documentary photographer Ed Gold in a major exhibition. Entitled Ed Gold: Other Worlds, the presentation is made up a hundred photographs taken over a period spanning almost thirty years. These have been…

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BP Portrait Award 2016

Saturday 8 April - Sunday 18 June 2017

Selected from 2,557 entries by artists from eighty countries around the world, the BP Portrait Award 2016, organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London, represents the very best in contemporary portrait painting. From parents to poseurs, figurative nudes to famous…

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Zhang Enli : Gesture and Form

Saturday 11 March - Sunday 4 June 2017

Firstsite is delighted to host a major solo exhibition by the celebrated Chinese artist Zhang Enli. The centerpiece of the presentation will be a site-specific intervention that will span the entirety of the gallery’s 140-metre curving wall. This monumental…

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Gee Vaucher: Introspective

Saturday 12 November 2016 - Sunday 19 February 2017

Introspective is Gee Vaucher’s first major institutional show in the UK, and spans the artist’s career of more than forty years. It charts Vaucher’s journey from local activity to international ambition, from domestic concerns to world politics, and from healing…

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Cultural Traffic

Saturday 18 February

Firstsite is delighted to announce that it will be staging Cultural Traffic, a fair for counterculture material, alongside a day of performance, poetry, music and film, on Saturday 18th February. Free and open to all, the fair will feature over 40 dealers…

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Flipside: Circuit Festival

Saturday 15 - Sunday 30 October 2016

YAK’S two week takeover of the gallery. Exhibitions, interactive installations, gaming café, dance battles, film screenings and workshops spin new perspectives as you encounter a shifting world of opposites, thresholds and scale. Don’t stay in the dark – join…

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David Olusoga: Blackness, Britishness and the Windrush Generation

Starts Tuesday 8 October 2019

+ Q&A and book signing To coincide with the opening of Super Black, an exhibition co-curated with members of Colchester’s Black African and Caribbean communities, David Olusoga OBE, a British-Nigerian historian, broadcaster, film-maker and award-winning author, is coming to Firstsite…

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