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New Year, New Exhibitions

We are excited to launch an extra special programme of amazing exhibitions for 2022 so let's take a look at the year ahead!

We kick off the New Year with Decoding Braille, Decoding Me. Clarke Reynolds is a Portsmouth based artist, and is registered severely sighted. This exhibition is his second solo-show, and a stunning vibrant self-portrait in braille. Using a colour-coded system, Clarke has created a visual guide to learn braille. With a 'decoder', visitors can explore and translate the canvases on display through sight and touch.

Clarke’s work is with us from Friday 7th January to Sunday 30th January. If you would like to get creative with Clarke, our two workshops Decoding Braille and Children's Braille Art are perfect for learning more about Clarke's process and creating your own artwork. You can also join us for a special event on Saturday 15th January to meet Clarke and hear him talk about his work - click here to find out more and book your ticket.

Next we welcome back to The Base, Wildlife Photographer of the Year from Friday 4th February to Sunday 3rd April. It is the 57th installment of the world-renowned exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum, London. This amazing exhibition features exceptional images which capture fascinating animal behavior, spectacular species and the breath-taking diversity of the natural world.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, providing a global platform that has showcased the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights for over 50 years.

You will also be able to marvel at our own local talent as the winners and finalists of our popular photography competition ‘My Wild Life’ will be on display in our Runway Gallery. Click here to find out more about the competition.

The month of May, marks the return of Open Studios Insight to our gallery. Following the successful September 2021 exhibition, we are looking forward to having a fantastic array of local talent grace our walls and cabinets once again.

Not only does Insight offer the chance to view artwork by the most talented artists in West Berkshire and North Hampshire, there is also the opportunity to purchase art for your own home. From 2D art to 3D sculpture, textiles and jewellery, there is a wealth of artwork across all mediums to enjoy and buy. In 2021 we had an unprecedented amount of sales and we hope this will continue in 2022. But, most importantly, Insight celebrates the wealth of artistic talent we have locally and highlights how vital art is to our community and creative well being.

Wake up your eyes with our next vibrant exhibition, featuring fifty works by Pop Art master, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi with Eduardo Paolozzi: General Dynamic F.U.N.

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005) was one of the pioneers of the pop art movement in the UK. He is equally revered for his mechanistic sculptures and his kaleidoscopic print projects. The artist, who described himself as ‘a wizard in Toytown’, transformed the mundane, the derelict and the mass-produced into images that zap with electric eclecticism and impress with their graphic complexity. ‘Carrots into pomegranates!’

General Dynamic F.U.N. is a series of fifty screen-prints and photo lithographs created between 1965 and 1970. Here Paolozzi employs the technologies of mass-reproduction and gorges on its idols – the household names and familiar faces of consumer advertising, high fashion and Hollywood. The artists friend and sometime collaborator, J.G. Ballard, described General Dynamic F.U.N as a ‘unique guidebook to the electric garden of our minds’.

General Dynamic F.U.N. is coming to The Base from Saturday 11th June to Sunday 24th July.

Looking towards the summer months, celebrate Peter Rabbit’s birthday with us at The World of Peter Rabbit™ Storytime Trail! With photo opportunities and activities to take part in along the way, there will be plenty to do and see throughout the summer holidays and beyond.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was first published in 1902 and will be celebrating 120 years of mischief during 2022. To celebrate the anniversary, Frederick Warne & Co. are pleased to present “The World of Peter Rabbit ™ Storytime Trail”, a walk-through experience where visitors will be able to immerse themselves into the much loved tale.

From Saturday 30th July to Sunday 25th September, visitors can experience Peter's wonderful and imaginative world. Little bunnies can have fun amongst the gooseberries, crawl under the garden gate, and see their reflection in a mirror pool, just like Peter Rabbit!

And last but by no means least, The Half: Photographs of Actors preparing for the Stage is an actor’s countdown to walking on stage and facing an audience. Simon Annand’s photographs capture this final half-hour of excitement and intensity before the show begins. Opening on Friday 7th October, visitors are invited to peep into the secret world of the dressing room to discover actors engaging in person reflections and private rituals as they make the transition into character.

The Half spans over 30 years of British Theatre and includes portraits of many well-known performers including Dame Judi Dench, Dame Helen Mirren, Cate Blanchett and Daniel Craig.

“Simon Annand is one of the most amazing photographers I have had the pleasure of working with in the theatre . . . He is an individualist with an eye for the unusual. The results speak for themselves” – Dame Judi Dench

Image Daniel Craig In A Number at the Royal Court Theatre, 1999 © Simon Annand

And that completes our guide to our 2022 exhibitions. If you like what you see, having unlimited access to our exhibitions for 12 months with our Base Pass could be for you!

We look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors to The Base in 2022.