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Exhibition

The Architecture Centre
Narrow Quay
BS1 4QA

31 May - 8 Oct 2017
Gallery open:
Wed-Fri, 11:00-17:00
Sat-Sun, 12:00-17:00

Free Entry

The Architecture Centre is pleased to present the first ever exhibition of Garth England’s drawings, kindly on loan from Bristol Archives.

Garth England was born in 1935 and lived most of his life in South Bristol, working as a paperboy, milkman and on the railways. His remarkable collection of drawings – made with pencil, crayon and with a ruler – were mainly drawn from memory during his later years in a residential home and were created on whatever paper was to hand – often the backs of envelopes, bank notes and letters. The drawings present a remarkable record of not only Garth’s life but of the buildings and places that surrounded him throughout his life in Bristol and beyond.

In 2013, during the research phase of Future Perfect (a public art programme in Hengrove, South Bristol, curated by Jes Fernie and Theresa Bergne), the engagement manager for the project, Jo Plimmer, met Garth and was introduced to his remarkable drawings of Bristol.  As part of the Future Perfect programme, a selection of Garth’s drawings were published in a fully illustrated book, Murdered with Straight Lines: Drawings of Bristol by Garth England (Bristol: Redcliffe Press, 2016). Read Tim Burrows’ review in The Guardian here.

The exhibition aims to bring the work of Garth to a wider audience and has been programmed to coincide with:

Alternative Visions: Undiscovered Art in the South West

3 June – 10 September
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Frank, emotive and vibrant work by twenty regional artists who experience barriers due to health, disability or social circumstance. Find out more

“Murdered with Straight Lines was developed to bring the work of Garth England – a completely untrained artist who died in 2014 - to a wider audience. It has been mounted to coincide with Alternative Visions: Undiscovered Art in the South West at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. The exhibition provides a chance to see the work of this enigmatic man in the flesh and a true insight into his very particular vision.” Aldo Rinaldi, Senior Public Art Officer at Bristol City Council
  • c. Bristol Archives

  • © Bristol Archives

  • © Justin Hockney

Related Programme

The exhibition is the focal point of the Centre’s summer programme of talks and activities. The events consider exhibition themes such as memory, modern architecture and local distinctiveness. Events include:

Drawing on Memories
Gallery activity: 31 May to 10 September, Free

Drawing on Memories: Comics Workshop
Family workshop: Saturday 3 June, 13:00-16:00, Free

Never Too Old to Draw
Gallery activity: Wednesday 21 June, 13:00-16:00, Free

Drawing on Memories at Hillfields Library
Family activity: Saturday 24 June, 13:00-16:00, Free

Urban Sketching
Guided walk: Wednesday 28 June, 18:00-19:30, £7/£5

A talk with Nils Norman
Talk at Architecture Centre: Wednesday 5 Jul y, 18:30-20:00, £7/£5

When We Lived in Modern Times
Talk at Arnolfini: Wednesday 12 July, 18:30-20:00, £7/£5

Walking Garth’s Streets
Guided walk: Wednesday 9 August, 18:00-19:30, £7/£5

Future Perfect
Talk at Architecture Centre: Wednesday 30 August, 18:30-20:00, £7/£5

Garthopedia
Saturday Exhibition Tours: 22 July, 12 August, 9 September, 14:00-15:00, Free


The Murdered with Straight Lines exhibition is developed with the Architecture Centre in partnership with Bristol City Council and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. Funded by Bristol City Council as part of Future Perfect, and as part of Bristol City Council’s public art programme.

Supported by