The RWA staff and supporters get ready to reach new heights!

This Sunday 40 fearless fundraisers will be abseiling 100ft in front of the Royal West of England Academy as part of the RWA’s Abseil for Art which will raise much needed funds for the gallery. Many of the participants will be tackling the challenge dressed as their favourite artists to create an arty spectacle on the day.

There will also be children’s activities, raffles, music and a book stall for those wishing to keep their feet firmly on the ground .

We take some time to get to chat to the abseilers and find out why they are taking part.

Director Alison Bevan

“The abseil was my (daft?!) idea, so despite having no head for heights whatsoever and being absolutely terrified at the prospect, I felt I had to do it if I was asking anyone else to! I’m intending to dress in a sort-of homage to Ellen Sharples, the RWA’s foundress, as depicted by her daughter Rolinda.  She is an inspiration to me – a formidable woman, who, instead of being subsumed with grief at the loss of her husband and two children, threw her energies into getting this magnificent Art Gallery built, persuading everyone from Isambard Kingdom Brunel to Prince Albert to contribute.

If you see me at the event on the 7th feel free to ask me how to make a donation in support of the abseil, and then ask me how you can get involved in our mission to make the RWA truly the region’s Royal Academy of Art!”

(c) Bristol Museum and Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Gallery Co-ordinator Tristan Pollard “I am abseiling for art because, like all of us, I see the importance and value of the academy as an arts institution in Bristol and want to see it continue successfully, so I am willing to help raise funds any way I can. As well as that, I am looking forward to the adrenalin rush of sliding down a 100 ft rope!

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This week, I shall be Salvador Dali. I fancied dressing in as whacky a way as possible and by dressing as him, I can combine a mixture of weird and wonderful things. I don’t want to give too much away, but pyjamas and a lobster are involved.

If the public see me, they can ask me about the permanent collection and I will try to answer any queries I can.”

Make sure you are here on Sunday from 11am to see our Director Alison tackle the abseil, and to catch a glimpse of the red trousers descending as the Mayor abseils at 12 Noon.


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