The Bread and Roses

Article by Rachael Gomery, Visual Arts Co-ordinator

The Bread and Roses

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The Visual Arts Programme at The Bread and Roses offers artistic exploration and development unlike any other art venue in Plymouth. Jam-packed with events celebrating all aspects of the creative process, we work with the ethos of ‘art for all’ and aim to support emerging artistic talent in the city in a setting far from the typical ‘white cube’.

Opening in 2013 as Plymouth’s only social enterprise pub, The Bread and Roses operates with the ambition of providing a significant contribution to the cultural life of Plymouth and beyond. We welcome a broad cross-section of the community to regularly use the space for socially inclusive and creative purposes. Live music, radical cinema, poetry, language groups and charity fundraisers are all regular calendar events. We also celebrate cultural highlights from LGBT pride to Jamaican Independence Day and Chinese New Year and will soon be holding monthly nights with Autism Assemble.

This mixing pot of diverse activity is what makes our visual art programme so unique. Contemporary art can be stigmatised as exclusive, but it is our belief that art is essential to the community and providing an accessible platform for the public to engage in art is key to our objectives. Artists also gain from a broader audience, contributing new challenges and different perspectives to be considered when thinking about, exhibiting or making work.

Kristina Bieganski 'World Circus' at The Bread And Roses, 2015

Kristina Bieganski ‘World Circus’ at The Bread And Roses, 2015

The Bread and Roses Christmas Art Fair, 2014

The Bread and Roses Christmas Art Fair, 2014

Oovie Usher 'Right is Left is Wrong' live performance at The Bread and Roses, 2014

Oovie Usher ‘Right is Left is Wrong’ live performance at The Bread and Roses, 2014

Monoprint workshop held at The Bread and Roses

Monoprint workshop held at The Bread and Roses

Over the last two years we have developed into a thriving venue for arts, offering pop up events, workshops, art fairs, live performance, residencies and exhibitions. We have had the privilege of regularly hosting ‘Hotwire – Interactive Arts Consortium’ where interactive art lovers, regardless of experience, are invited to collaborate in making digital coding, electronics and other interactive technologies.

We also hold bi-weekly art discussion sessions set up with the intention of creating a space for artists and creatives to get together and discuss ideas for projects without too much pressure to perform or ‘get it right’. Each week there is a theme or a topic of discussion. The sessions have included critiques for individual artists wishing to share their work in a more formal manner and usually take the form of a presentation by the artist – after which we have questions from the group, which rapidly turns into an exciting exchange of input from all different perspectives.

Artists in residence have worked in a variety of mediums such as performance, digital, drawing and textiles. These artist, which create work in the pub during general opening hours, are encouraged to incorporate social engagement into their practice, generating dialogue in the larger community about the role of the artist in society and breaking down barriers for people who may not have necessarily had the inclination or opportunity to engage with the creative processes of making artwork.

We are now looking forward to the opening of our next exhibition, ‘The Bread and Roses Selection’, on Saturday 26th September, as part of Plymouth Art Weekender. The exhibition, which runs until the 26th October, will showcase select artworks from Plymouth University Degree show 2015.

Discussing artwork at The Bread and Roses

Discussing artwork at The Bread and Roses