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The Bristol Cable

Listen: Bristol Unpacked with Jimmy Galvin, the artist who hadn’t read a book at 20

Growing up in poverty on north Bristol council estate Lawrence Weston, Jimmy didn’t read a book until he was 20. His life changed when his girlfriend took him to the Tate gallery in London.

Listen: Bristol Unpacked with Neil Maggs

Now Jimmy Galvin is a renowned artist, composer and curator and has exhibited alongside the UK’s leading figures, including Mark Quinn, sculptor of the Jen Reid Black Lives Matter statue that was temporarily on Edward Colston’s former plinth. He recently brought Yoko Ono’s work to Bristol, curating an exhibition at the Georgian House.

He is eccentric, opinionated, and in many ways an outspoken outsider in the arts community, railing against what he sees as the dominance of the cosy art world of Banksy. Openly critical of ‘brand Bristol’, he challenges the appetite for urban edginess and cool chic, over the need for real and radical change.

His mission is to make art accessible and reclaim it for working class communities – in which all his heroes from Lennon to Bowie to Coltrane came.

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