What's On in 2019 | The Victoria Art Gallery

What's On in 2019

We spoke to Victoria Art Gallery manager Jon Benington about what you can look forward to seeing on display in 2019...

7 January 2019


Is there a particular exhibition you are most looking forward to in 2019?

I am very excited about the Sharmanka Travelling Circus as we have never done anything like this before. It is a mechanical theatre on a stage with lots of moving parts including figures and animals, a fantastic light show and accompanying music, all of it created by one Russian family who emigrated to Glasgow in the ‘90s. I am a big kid at heart and fully expect to be enchanted by these dynamic artworks.

Are there any must-see pieces coming up in the exhibitions in 2019?

Our summer show, War and Rumours of War, includes a group of must-see pieces created during WW2 by Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland, when they were at the height of their powers and had the job of recording the impact of war on communities in Britain. Moore’s Shelter Drawings were created in London’s tube tunnels when they were used as air raid shelters – real spine-tingling stuff!

Can you tell us about the exhibition planning process?

No, because that would be giving away all my trade secrets! But seriously, having been in the job 22 years and still loving its challenges, you get a gut instinct about which shows will pull a crowd in Bath and which ones won’t. Having said that, I do like to have a rich variety and to stretch myself with subjects I know very little about.

Are there any interesting anecdotes you have about the upcoming exhibitions?

I love the fact that the ceramic artist James Tower, who was born in 1919, lived in a timber-beamed rural cottage. In pictures it looks totally ‘olde world’, yet his sculptural pots would not look out of place in the museum of modern art. This suggests that Tower’s genius for cutting-edge design came totally from within.

Watch our new video below to see our upcoming exhibitions for 2019.