To visit the Gardens, Gallery and House, you no longer need to pre-book a timed admission slot online (simply purchase gardens admission on arrival). Summer Late openings take place every Wednesday evening.
Landscape Portrait: Now and Then explores the links between landscape painting and portraiture at Hestercombe since the eighteenth century, juxtaposing this history with contemporary works from the past sixty years.
Set to open 17th May 2021, with online previews in April, the show brings works by Andy Warhol, Derek Jarman, Claudette Johnson, Susan Derges, Leon Kossoff, Patrick Caulfield, Gilbert and George and Balraj Khanna to Somerset, and for the first time to Hestercombe.
Shown across all seven galleries in Hestercombe House, historic works by local artists including C.W. Bampfylde, the Rev John Eagles and Henry Moon are interspersed with contemporary pieces by twenty artists, several of which are new commissions.
The exhibition has been made possible by loans from Courtauld Institute of Art and the Arts Council Collection. The loans are supported by Arts Council England and the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund. Created by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund, the Weston Loan Programme is the first ever UK-wide funding scheme to enable smaller and local authority museums to borrow works of art and artefacts from national collections.
Sophia Weston, Trustee of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said: “This exhibition features works from some truly world-class artists and promises to be a great experience for visitors. The Weston Loan Programme exists to bring important loans to regional organisations, and we are so pleased to be able to support the display of these artworks in Somerset.”
Landscape Portrait: Now and Then takes as its starting point the diverse practice of Hestercombe’s former owner, the landscape designer and artist Coplestone Warre Bampfylde. As part of the first national tradition of art in Britain, Bampfylde, like his contemporaries Gainsborough, Hogarth and Reynolds, was an innovator who pushed the boundaries of portrait and landscape art. His output includes paintings, prints, cartoons and bookplates.
The displays explore the ways in which themes that preoccupied Bampfylde centuries ago continue to echo in today’s society. A cartoon etched by him in 1775 is shown alongside Andy Holden’s 2016 Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape suggests the world is best now understood as a cartoon.
The exhibition portrays the breadth of innovative media employed by artists to convey their subjects and ideas. From the video and films of Gilbert and George and Trish Morrissey, the prints of Andy Warhol, Jo Lathwood and Susie Olczak; photography by Susan Derges, John Coplans and Sarah Lucas, to the textiles of Alek O and Jane Mowat.
Representing drawing and painting are Ken Kiff, Patrick Caulfield, Derek Jarman, Claudette Johnson, Balraj Khanna, Leon Kossoff, and Anna Liber Lewis. The show includes two new contemporary ‘Bampfylde’ commissions and the results of two residencies at Hestercombe in partnership with the Ingram Collection.
Landscape Portrait: Now and Then at Hestercombe Gallery runs from 17th May until 25th July 2021. An illustrated catalogue, with essay by Lizzie Lloyd will be available. Entry is by gardens admission only. Visit www.hestercombe.com/gallery for further information.
Images below by Andy Holden.
Notes for editors
Hestercombe Gallery opened in 2014 with the aim of showcasing the best in contemporary arts practice. Six years on from its opening Hestercombe Gallery has delivered a programme of high quality exhibitions in eight reclaimed spaces, a series of artists in residence, outdoor commissions as well as an engagement programme including talks, seminars, workshops and activities involving local people, artists, students, academics, teachers and experts from other disciplines.
Exhibitions have included Leaping the Fence; and Terrain: Land into Art featuring artists such as Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Peter Doig and Richard Long in partnership with Arts Council Collections. Solo shows have included Tania Kovats, Clare Woods, Helen Sear and Tim Knowles. Group shows have included photographs by garden designer Gertrude Jekyll alongside photographers Sarah Jones, Helen Sear and Mark Edwards as well as showcasing historic works by painter and poet Rev. John Eagles together with contemporary work by Rebecca Chesney, Paul Desborough and Jem Southam.
Hestercombe has engaged with writers Lizzie Lloyd, Sarah Kent, Cherry Smyth and Phil Owen; delivered garden commissions by Jennie Savage and Gilles Bruni; and opened a second exhibition space for community and educational projects.
The Hestercombe estate in Somerset is a unique combination of three gardens that cover three centuries of garden history and design: the famous Edwardian formal garden, designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and planted by Gertrude Jekyll; the Victorian Shrubbery and Terrace originally laid out by the 1st Viscount Portman in 1878; and the eighteenth century landscape garden designed by Coplestone Warre Bampfylde between 1750 and 1791.
Hestercombe Gardens is managed by Hestercombe Gardens Trust, established in 1996 as an independent charity. The Trust oversees the restoration and development of the gardens, house and archives to protect them for the future for public benefit.
Attracting over 100,000 visitors a year it is now 25 years since founder, Philip White MBE, discovered the historic gardens and made it his life’s work to restore Hestercombe.
Hestercombe House, which was previously the headquarters for the Somerset Fire Brigade, was acquired by Hestercombe Gardens Trust in 2013, with Hestercombe Gallery opening in 2014.
Founded in 1946, the Arts Council Collection is a national loan collection of modern and contemporary British art. Operating as a ‘museum without walls’, the Collection includes important examples of the UK’s prominent artists acquired at an early stage of their careers. For more information visit artscouncilcollection.org.uk. Arts Council Collection is managed by Southbank Centre, London on behalf of Arts Council England.
Established over 60 years ago in 1958, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, grant-making charity which supports causes across the UK and gave over £88million last year. It has donated well over £1billion to charities since it was established.
One of the most respected charitable institutions in the UK, the Weston Family Trustees are descendants of the founder and they take a highly active and hands-on approach. The Foundation’s funding comes from an endowment of shares in the family business which includes Twinings, Primark, Kingsmill (all part of Associated British Foods Plc) and Fortnum & Mason, amongst others – a successful model that still endures today; as the businesses have grown, so too have the charitable donations.
From small community organisations to large national institutions, the Foundation supports a broad range of charities and activities that make a positive impact in the communities in which they work. Around 2,000 charities across the UK benefit each year from the Foundation’s grants.
Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. It provides millions of pounds every year to help museums to acquire and share works of art across the UK, further the professional development of their curators, and inspire more people to visit and enjoy their public programmes. Art Fund is independently funded, supported by the 159,000 members who buy the National Art Pass, who enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places, 50% off major exhibitions, and receive Art Quarterly magazine.
Art Fund also supports museums through its annual prize, Art Fund Museum of the Year, which was won by St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff, in 2019, and through a range of digital platforms.