Not for Profit

Published: September 10, 2021 | Updated: February 7, 2022

Resort’s newest arts space B.A.D. reopens in old department store with major exhibition

The B.A.D. Gallery. Picture: Roz Pike.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Bournemouth’s newest artspace B.A.D. is to reopen its doors from tomorrow, September 9, and welcome back visitors for its first major exhibition, 2 B Human.

Following the makeover of the old T J Hughes department store for its annual arts festival, the arts organisation BEAF (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe) has now created a ‘popup’ arts venue.

It includes a vast gallery space, a theatre-in-the-round, a lounge cinema and a recording studio.

The space first opened for the nine-day annual arts festival at the end of June.

Now BEAF is planning a year-round programme of free exhibitions in the space, plus a host of events which will include live music, film and theatre, and a series of talks, family workshops and community events.

Including work from the local to the international, BEAF says it is filling a much-needed gap in the cultural map, showing that Bournemouth is more than – as recently quoted in a national newspaper – ‘a cultural desert’.

To kick the programme off, B.A.D. will open from tomorrow, Thursday September 9, to October 9 with the exhibition 2 B Human, previewed during the BEAF festival.

The exhibition features the work of international South African artist, William Kentridge who grew up amidst the racial turmoil in Johannesburg.

His work particularly explores the legacy of apartheid, as well as the human condition and the ever-repeating cycle of history and memory.

Alongside Kentridge’s cinematic animation, Other Faces, the exhibition includes new work from artists commissioned by BEAF, and includes fine art, photography, sculpture, interactive digital work and film.

Also included in the 2B Human exhibition is the photographic project Seeking Refuge which continues the theme with work from photographers Lauren Forster, Kitty Gale, Charlie Hall, Carol John, George Maund and Matt Trapp.

Each photographer worked together with people setting up a new life in Bournemouth after leaving their home and country often through desperate and tragic circumstances caused by war, displacement and disputed territories.

Each Saturday, BEAF is organising free events.

Between 12.30-2.30pm are free workshops for children and families and, at 3pm, a free artist’s talk from one of the exhibitors.

All details and how to book can be found on the website here.

Following the exhibition, BEAF is running a pop up Christmas arts market in B.A.D. in collaboration with South Coast Makers Market and Pen Gallery, Poole.

The market will run throughout December.