Contemporary Art at Hestercombe Gallery

Hestercombe Contemporary Art Gallery aims to present the best in contemporary arts practice whilst focusing on the relationship between art and landscape. We aim to be a place where art is not just shown but where artists and designers can explore, collaborate, research and respond to make new work through residencies and commissions.

Hestercombe has always had a place at the leading edge of creativity, from Coplestone Warre Bampfylde’s groundbreaking landscape garden design with its borrowed views, to Gertrude Jeykyll and Sir Edwin Lutyens’ collaboration that pushed the boundaries of garden design and planting in the formal gardens.

Based in the historic Hestercombe House, the Contemporary Art Gallery is open daily 11am – 5pm, and entry is via our Ticket Office.

Please note, the Gallery is not yet wheelchair accessible; however for all of our exhibitions we display a documentary-style film on the ground floor. 

Hestercombe Contemporary Art Gallery in Somerset aims to present the best in contemporary arts practice


Current Exhibition

Where Function Ends: Responses to the architecture of Sir Edwin Lutyens 
14.07.19 – 27.10.19

To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944), Hestercombe Gallery presents new work by three artists that responds to the legacy of the man whose designs transformed the Hestercombe site.

The Formal Garden at Hestercombe, built for the Portman family between 1904 and 1908, is one of the finest and most ambitious examples of Lutyens’ garden design partnership with Gertrude Jekyll.

Featured artists:
Alex Hartley, Liz Nicol and Oliver Sutherland

Where Function Ends Symposium – 11.10.2019

Taking its theme from the current exhibition in Hestercombe Gallery, this one-day symposium will explore in more detail the life and work of Sir Edwin Lutyens and the contemporary art works made in response to Lutyens and Hestercombe in the Portman-era. Speakers will include Lutyens expert Charles Hind, Chief Curator of Drawings at the Royal Institute of British Architects, Niall Hobhouse of Drawing Matter, exhibiting artists Alex Hartley, Liz Nicol and Oliver Sutherland, and special guest Neville Gabie who will present his research into sport and class at Hestercombe in the early 20th century. Find out more and book tickets for the symposium

Liz Nicol, Thiepval, gelatin silver print, 2019

Upcoming Exhibition:

Urthworks by Ben Rivers will be open at Hestercombe Gallery from November 2019 to February 2020

Urthworks by Ben Rivers
9.11.19 – 9.2.20

Renowned artist Ben Rivers presents Urthworks at Hestercombe Gallery, from 9 November 2019 to 9 February 2020.

Urth, in Norse mythology is the goddess of fate, a giantess who personified the past. Earthworks is a novel by Brian Aldiss that imagines a future after devastating ecological breakdown. Ben Rivers makes films that explore ‘other worldliness’ in the actual world around us. Places are severed from the conventions of time past, present or future, where the line between real and imagined becomes uncertain.

Urthworks is the culmination of a long term collaboration between Ben Rivers and science fiction writer Mark von Schlegell. At the heart of the show is a trilogy of films that explore our planets geological evolution and the deep history of our cultural traditions.

Photo: courtesy of the artist and Kate MacGarry

Previous Exhibition

Simon Faithfull – Elsewhen
09.03.19 – 30.06.19

The solo exhibition ‘Elsewhen’ brings together a series of works and interventions by internationally acclaimed artist Simon Faithfull that collectively act as a kind of orientation device for both the artist and the visitor to Hestercombe Gallery. Many of Faithfull’s works endeavour to subjectively map the planet that the artist finds himself on – attempting to understand his place in both time and space.

Featured artist:
Simon Faithfull

Previous Exhibition

Materiality: Provisional States
10.11.18 – 24.02.19

Sarah Bennett, Megan Calver and Philippa Lawrence were directly engaged with Hestercombe for over three years and the resulting exhibition developed from these experiences.  Collectively interested in issues related to labour and the management of landscape and nature, Materiality: provisional states aimed to examine and critique human and non-human centred activity found in Hestercombe’s past and present.

Featured artists:
Sarah Bennett, Megan Calver & Philippa Lawrence

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