These Mad Hybrids: John Hoyland and Contemporary Sculpture

These Mad Hybrids: John Hoyland and Contemporary Sculpture

03 February - 12 May 2024


RWA, Queen's Road, Bristol


03 February - 12 May 2024



The exhibition positions a group of ceramic sculptures made by abstract painter John Hoyland RA in dialogue with a spectacular, international, assembly of contemporary sculpture by artists including Phyllida Barlow and Hew Locke. A display of paintings by Hoyland shows the dynamic connection between his sculptures and paintings. 

Curated by sculptor Olivia Bax in collaboration with Sam Cornish and Wiz Patterson Kelly of The John Hoyland Estate, the exhibition is inspired by a group of unique ceramic sculptures by Hoyland, which he affectionately called his "mad little hybrids." This is the first public display of the ceramics since 1994, and their first presentation alongside Hoyland's abstract paintings from the 1960s to 2010s. 

The exhibition challenges the boundaries of what both sculpture and painting can be and how they speak to each other. The featured artists share a common fascination and appreciation for colour, materiality, and creative process. They work with materials ranging from cement or synthetic fabric to glitter, combining human and animal bodies, furniture, everyday objects and architecture into playful, bold, new sculptural hybrids.

Featured artists:

Caroline Achaintre | Eric Bainbridge | Phyllida Barlow | Olivia Bax | John Hoyland | Hew Locke | Anna Reading | Jessi Reaves | Andrew Sabin | John Summers | Chiffon Thomas

a signed copy of the book that accompanies this exhibition. 

BSL Welcome

Thank you Signs of Art for this fantastic BSL welcome to These Mad Hybrids. This video has been created to allow for Deaf and hard of hearing audiences to learn more about what we have to offer.

Find out about our upcoming British Sign Language (BSL) tour for this exhibition, happening on 20 April 2024 here

Audio Descriptions

Below you can listen to audio descriptions of some of the works in the exhibition. These audio descriptions are also available in the gallery on QR codes you can scan with a smart phone. If you need any assistance accessing these recordings just ask a member of our team. 

We also offer Described Tours for Blind and partially sighted adults. Our next Described Tour will take place on 6 April 2024. Find out more here.

This exhibition has been made possible by the kind support of:


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These Mad Hybrids: John Hoyland and Contemporary Sculpture

Ceramic sculptures by the British painter John Hoyland

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