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image for Art Exhibition item typeBRONZE AGE c. 3500 BC – AD 2018 at Firstsite

  • VistEngland VAQAS
  • Self-assessed Accessibility Information

Art Exhibition, Sat 17 Mar - Sun 28 Oct 2018, free entry


Bronze Age

Bronze Age




Lewis Gardens,
High Street,


Hans Arp • Phyllida Barlow • Louise Bourgeois • Martin Creed • Alberto Giacometti • Diego Giacometti • Subodh Gupta • Eva Hesse • Jenny Holzer • Thomas Houseago • Matthew Day Jackson • Hans Josephsohn • Bharti Kher • Anna Mario Maiolino • Paul McCarthy • Fausto Melotti • Henry Moore • David Smith • André Thomkins • Mark Wallinger • David Zink Yi

‘BRONZE AGE c. 3500 BC – AD 2018’ is Hauser & Wirth gallery’s satirical museological presentation first made for Frieze London 2017. The exhibition recreates a fictional Bronze Age presentation from a forgotten museum. Originally realised in collaboration with Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, the exhibition focuses solely on works made of bronze or from the Bronze Age period. These include artefacts on loan from regional museums and private collections nationwide, sculptures by artists including modern masters Hans Arp, Louise Bourgeois, Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, and Fausto Melotti, along with Phyllida Barlow’s bronze cast paint sticks, Subodh Gupta’s bronze Mona Lisa, a cast bronze fist by Martin Creed, and Mark Wallinger’s spectacles.

The artefacts and artworks are separated into six themes: Domestic Life, Decoration & Adornment, Fertility & the Body, Religion & Burial, Trade & Agriculture and War & Battle, mimicking the curatorial choices of historical museum exhibitions.

Contemporary works of art and historical artefacts are mischievously mixed with miscellaneous bronze items purchased from eBay. Masquerading as archaeological finds, these invite us to ponder how the significance of an object can be dictated by context. Moving away from the traditional white walls of an art gallery, the presentation challenges expectations and highlights the power of display.

Institutions that have loaned works and objects to ‘BRONZE AGE’ include: Bruton Museum, Somerset; Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Shrewsbury; and David Roberts Art Collection, London. At Firstsite, objects have been incorporated from the ‘designated status’ collection of the Colchester and Ipswich Museums. These include a group of Bronze Age ceramics known as the ‘Ardleigh urns’. A unique addition to the presentation at Firstsite is the Berryfield Mosaic (c. AD 150), which is located at the entrance of the exhibition. This mosaic masterpiece was discovered in Colchester in 1923 where Firstsite is now located, and is permanently installed within the gallery floor.

Says Professor Mary Beard: ‘I thought the playacting, whimsical nature of the project sounded like a bit of fun and while we’ve approached the presentation as a satire, it’s also a way to reinvigorate how people think about history, archaeology and museum display. It’s partly about the way we look. Who knows how and where inspiration strikes! I’m very keen on keeping alive our connection to the past and our conversation with it; and this project encapsulates that in a very accessible way.’


Baby changing facilitiesCoach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (with charge)Disabled toiletsEducation/study areaFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopOn-site cateringOn-site light refreshmentsPicnic sitePublic toiletsRegional Tourist Board MemberWelcome HostWheelchairs availableAccepts groupsFacilities for conferencingFacilities for corporate hospitality

Event details

Dates Times
Sat 17 Mar - Sun 28 Oct 2018 10:00 to 17:00


Free entry

Events at this Venue

date event
Sat 10 Mar - Sun 3 Jun Chip Night
Sat 17 Mar - Sun 28 Oct BRONZE AGE c. 3500 BC – AD 2018
Sat 17 Mar - Sun 17 Jun The Britishness Project
Tue 20 Mar Sovereign, Squire & Rebel: Maharajah Duleep Singh
Sat 24 Mar Plug In Showcase
Sat 24 - Sun 25 Mar The Japan Foundation | Touring Film Programme 2018



Plan route to Firstsite using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: TL 999252  Lat: 51.88968 Long: 0.90477

By Road:
Follow signs to the Town Centre.

Accessible by Public Transport: 1 mile from Colchester Town station


  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Credit cards accepted (with charge)Credit cards accepted (with charge)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site cateringOn-site catering
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Picnic sitePicnic site
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Regional Tourist Board MemberRegional Tourist Board Member
  • Welcome HostWelcome Host
  • Wheelchairs availableWheelchairs available
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Facilities for conferencingFacilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitalityFacilities for corporate hospitality

Self-Assessed Accessibility Details


  • YesDesignated parking for guests with disabilities
    • YesWithin 50 metres approx. of entrance
  • The surface of the car park and pathway leading to entrance:
    • Yesis solid
  • YesDrop-off point for guests outside entrance
  • The route from the parking area to the entrance:
    • YesIs flat (i.e. without steps)

Public Areas

  • Level access (no steps/thresholds) or access by ramp or lift:
    • YesFrom the entrance to reception / ticket area
    • YesTo a specially adapted public toilet suitable for wheelchair users
    • YesTo the gift shop
  • YesGood contrast between the floor and walls
  • YesContrast markings on clear surfaces such as glass doors
  • YesBaby changing facilities
  • YesVisitor information available in large print (14pt and over)
  • YesHearing loop installed in public areas


  • YesSeating available for visitors with limited mobility
  • YesClear signage
  • YesEffective lighting for visually impaired visitors
  • YesGood colour/tonal contrast for visually impaired visitors
  • YesRoutes/pathways suitable for wheelchair users or visitors with limited mobility
  • YesDisplays at suitable height for wheelchair users / children
  • YesAudible alarm system


  • YesEntrance is well lit
  • YesAutomatic door at the main entrance


  • YesLevel access (no steps/thresholds) or access by ramp or lift to cafeteria
  • YesGood contrast between the floor and walls
  • Restaurant / cafe provide meals for visitors with special dietary requirements:
    • YesSugar free (diabetic)
    • YesGluten free (coeliacs)
    • YesLactose free (dairy free)
    • YesNut free
    • YesAdditive free
    • YesVegetarian
    • YesVegan
  • YesSeating suitable for wheelchair users, ie moveable and good height for person sitting in a wheelchair
  • YesHigh chairs for children
  • YesChildren's menu