Tuesday 30th August, 2016


The city’s artists come together to announce the first ever Southampton Fringe. From 8th October to 14th January Southampton Fringe will present over 24 newly commissioned works, inspired by the BAS8 theme of the changing role of the physical in an increasingly digital age.


8th October – 14th January at venues around the city

To coincide with the prestigious British Art Show 8’s (BAS8) arrival in Southampton, the city’s artists have come together to announce the first ever Southampton Fringe. From 8th October to 14th January Southampton Fringe will present over 24 newly commissioned works, inspired by the BAS8 theme of the changing role of the physical in an increasingly digital age. Full details of all artists, events, exhibitions and venues are now listing on the website.

Visitors to Southampton Fringe can look forward to a festival brimming with extraordinary, thought-provoking and arresting contemporary art at venues and unexpected locations around the city. Highlights will include:

Live drawing using the Guildhall as a giant canvas; a market stall turned window into a virtual Utopian world; an intriguing video art trail around the city; pixelated floral tributes in city parks inspired by Victorian civic pride; a voice ‘salon’ allowing you to shape and even feel your voice; pop-up exhibitions in shipping containers and phone boxes; advertising billboards used as temporary gallery space; plus specially curated cabaret nights of spoken word, song and dance. There will also be an open invitation to artists and creatives around the city to put on their own performances and events as part of the Fringe festival.

Yvon Bonenfant of Tract and Touch, an artist premiering Curious Replicas, at BAS8 Southampton Fringe said “We are delighted to be bringing one of our unusual, inviting and multi-sensory artworks to the Fringe. Our artwork allows you to play with your voice, shape it and even touch it.”

This will be the first ever Southampton Fringe festival of visual and contemporary art showcasing the city’s buoyant cultural scene and its rich pool of artists, makers and curators. Combined with the highly influential BAS8’s exhibition, the festival will shine a light on Southampton’s cultural life force and fortify its reputation as an exciting and innovative city for artists to live, work and succeed.

“This is a superb opportunity for Southampton’s thriving arts and cultural scene to celebrate its own exceptional home-grown talent, alongside some of the worlds best artists.” said James Gough, Southampton Cultural Development Trust.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, added: “We’re really pleased to be supporting BAS8’s Fringe festival with a grant of £75,000 from our National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme. The festival will provide a platform for artists working in Southampton to show their work to wider audiences, and will also develop the infrastructure of new and temporary venues and locations within the City. The project will strengthen and develop Southampton’s visual arts ecology and the City centre’s cultural quarter, sustaining talented artists and creating a legacy of established partnerships to support ambitious programming in the future.”


Editors Notes

About Southampton Fringe
The Southampton Fringe, driven and delivered by homegrown artists, creative organisations, performers and curators, was conceived in recognition of the city’s selection as host of the highly influential British Art Show 8 (BAS8) and of the city’s vibrant visual art scene. It will see artists and arts organisations across Southampton come together to celebrate art, music, film, theatre and sound, showcasing the creativity and diversity of contemporary artists living and working in Southampton. Visitors and residents can enjoy and experience newly commissioned works, performances, sound installations, pop-up temporary exhibits, music, workshops, talks, cabarets throughout 8th October to 14th January at galleries and unexpected locations across the city. Southampton Fringe is supported by funding secured from Arts Council England by Southampton Cultural Development Trust. To find out more details visit

About British Art Show 8 (BAS8)

Widely recognised as the most ambitious and influential exhibition of contemporary British art, the British Art Show is organised every five years by Hayward Touring. BAS8 launched in October 2015 at Leeds Art Gallery, then toured to Edinburgh, Norwich before finishing in Southampton at the John Hansard Gallery and the Southampton City Art Gallery from 8th October to 14th January. Attracting over 420,000 visitors in 2010 / 2011 for British Art Show 7, the British Art Show is the largest touring exhibition in the UK. Each edition is dedicated to showcasing the best work of a new generation of artists. The artists are chosen on the grounds of their contribution to art in this country in the last five years – making the British Art Show a vital measure of the current state of contemporary art in the UK. BAS8 is curated by Anna Colin and Lydia Yee. Anna Colin is co-founder & co-director of Open School East and Associate Curator at Fondation Galeries Lafayette; Lydia Yee is Chief Curator at Whitechapel Gallery and was previously curator at Barbican Art Gallery.

About Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Supported by:

Arts Council England