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Discover hidden arts and science in the city with Bristol Fun Palaces


Press release issued: 1 October 2018

Graffiti a YoBike, pedal fruit into a smoothie, discover optical illusions, make a postcard on a moving train and try your hand at willow weaving and poetry. These are just some of the free activities members of the public can try this coming weekend [Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October] across Bristol Fun Palaces.

Bristol Fun Palaces, supported by Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research at the University of Bristol, bring local communities and researchers together to explore health and wellbeing through locally-led arts and science activities. Fun Palaces workshops, events and celebrations will take place throughout Bristol as part of the Fun Palaces annual weekend of action all over the world ‘where everyone is an artist, everyone a scientist’.

Community spaces and unexpected venues will become Fun Palaces for two days and Bristol communities will have the opportunity to share their skills and learn new ones in dark room photography, cycling, print-making and more at these FREE workshops across the city.

Barton Hill Settlement will become a hub of activity. People will have the opportunity to write a letter to their breath, enjoy homemade samosas and share favourite recipes and escape the room in a research-based computer game.

Visitors can get on the Severn Beach train, which runs between Temple Meads and Severn Beach, to make a postcard for a roving exhibition exploring mental health and wellbeing, then hop off at Avonmouth Community Centre to join Incredible Edible with live willow weaving, printmaking using flowers and dying wool with natural dyes.

At Bristol Central Library there will be the opportunity to graffiti a YoBike with Where the Wall, write health-inspired poetry, make a smoothie and play food games with nutrition researchers.

On Sunday, Jacobs Wells Baths will celebrate the Victorian bathhouse building with a whole host of creative, food growing and print-making activities where researchers will be on hand to invite people to explore optical illusions in urban space. Visitors can skip aboard the Bristol Ferry Fun Palace to explore the harbourside from new perspectives.

Ellie Shipman, Fun Palaces Ambassador at the University’s Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, said: “Taking part in a Bristol Fun Palace is a great opportunity to share your skills, discover your city and get to know your community and the University’s fascinating researchers. We hope you enjoy the weekend!” 

Other Fun Palaces will take place across Bristol and beyond.  Find out more details and Fun Palaces on the map by searching ‘Bristol, UK’ at: 

Further information

About Elizabeth Blackwell Institute
Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research - building new health research communities

The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute nurtures health and biomedical research at Bristol and beyond. We support pioneering and world-leading research to tackle today’s most pressing health challenges, striving to achieve better health for all.

We focus on:

  • building new interdisciplinary health research communities
  • innovative health research from the basic and molecular to clinical and social sciences
  • supporting early career researchers and clinicians

About Fun Palaces
Elizabeth Blackwell Institute has been hosting Bristol’s first Fun Palaces Ambassador Ellie Shipman since May 2017, whose role it is to bring residents and researchers together through co-creating health-inspired arts and science activities in their local area.

Bristol Fun Palaces are part of Fun Palaces 2018, a free, global campaign for culture at the heart of community and community at the heart of culture happening over the weekend of the 6 and 7 October 2018.

Each Fun Palace celebrates the unique skills and passions of local people – run by, for and with the local community. Since 2014 a total of 934 Fun Palaces across the world have been made by 24,000 people with 340,000 taking part. This year will be the fifth Fun Palace weekend.

Fun Palaces create events that bring together arts, science, craft, tech, digital, heritage and sports activities – but above all PEOPLE – to work together, create together, have FUN together, and in doing so, build our own communities, from the grassroots up.

#FUNPALACES | @FunPalaces | @Fun_Bristol

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