NOTICE: Hestercombe will be closed on Monday 31st January and Tuesday 1st February 2022 so our main driveway can be completely resurfaced. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.
This event has been cancelled
Regrettably we have had to postpone this conference. Many of our speakers are international and the logistics of obtaining the results from the required PCR tests in time for them to return to their own countries has proved problematic. We shall endeavour to reschedule this conference next year and do hope this has not caused any inconvenience. In the meantime, all delegates will receive a full refund.
‘Artists and the Garden: New Perspectives’ will explore the relationship between cultural production and the garden, across creative disciplines and media, from the 18th century until the present day.
This international conference will take place at Hestercombe – a unique estate with four period gardens, which has been decisively influenced and shaped by artists and creative practitioners. Starting with Coplestone Warre Bampfylde, artist, architect, landscape designer, and one of the most distinct, yet overlooked cultural figures of 18th-century Britain, to whom Hestercombe largely owes its unique identity. Then, in the 19th century, Rev John Eagles, a founder member of the Bristol School, created many artworks at Hestercombe. In the early 1900s, Gertrude Jekyll, an artist before becoming a horticulturist, constructed the estate’s world-famous Edwardian garden with Sir Edwin Lutyens. And today, Hestercombe Gallery delivers a programme of new indoor and outdoor commissions, and contemporary art exhibitions, which are inspired by the estate and its gardens.
In this historical setting, ‘Artists and the Garden: New Perspectives’ draws together artists, art historians, critics and curators who reflect on the multifaceted web of relations and influences between cultural creativity and the garden. Illustrated papers will explore the historical, contemporary and experiential role of the garden through disciplines as diverse as painting, interior architecture, installation art, literature, garden design and drawing.
The conference keynote is a lecture by Philip White MBE, founder and chief executive of the Hestercombe Gardens Trust, and expert in the life and work of Coplestone Warre Bampfylde (1720-1791), whose 300th anniversary was the impetus for this conference. Philip’s lecture ‘Laying out ground’ C.W. Bampfylde; artist and place maker’ will focus on Bampfylde’s artistic development culminating in his being elected an honorary exhibitor at the Royal Academy; together with a description of the creation and the subsequent restoration of probably his greatest work, Hestercombe’s landscape garden developed over a period of forty years.
Key conference themes consider the garden as a mirror of society, the garden as playground for artistic endeavours, and curating and creativity at Hestercombe - past and present. Topics range from the translocation of plants by the C19th European plant hunters, to the influence of picturesque garden theory on interior architecture in C18th France; from the politics of inclusive public gardens in Germany, to the integration of artistic intervention, botanical sphere and landscape design in contemporary Italian gardens; and from the imaginary labyrinth and pleasure garden, to the role of rhetoric in the understanding and appreciation of gardens.
See the Conference Programme below.
For non-speaking attendees, there will be a £120 registration fee, which will cover the following:
Optional 2 course Conference Dinner on 27th September with glass of wine and coffee: £30 (this must be added to your basket when you book your tickets for the conference)
The conference ‘Artists and the Garden: New Perspectives’ is co-organised by Hestercombe Gardens Trust and Kingston University, London, and takes place on Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th September 2021 at Hestercombe Gardens, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8LG.
Registrations for the conference are now open - please use the 'Buy tickets' link.
Please be assured we continue to do everything we can to keep our visitors and staff safe.
All staff continue to wear masks and we encourage visitors to do the same when indoors. We have hand sanitisers available at various points across the site and seating, both for conferences and in the restaurants, is designed to ensure social distancing is observed.
Arrival and Registration / Tea, coffee and cake served on the Victorian Terrace
Session 1: ‘The Garden as a Playground for Artistic Endeavours’ (part 1):
Rebecca Squires, ‘The Volatility of Space-Time Along the 18th-Century Garden Traverse’
Anton Pereira Rodriguez, ‘The Labyrinth & Pleasure Gardens by Jan Vercruysse’
Caroline Ikin, ‘Ruskin’s Gardening: the Ideas that Shaped Brantwood’
Lunch (standing buffet), and opportunity to view the Edwardian Garden
Session 1: ‘The Garden as a Playground for Artistic Endeavours’ (part 2):
Elizabeth Saari Browne, ‘Statues of Earthly Delights: The Interior Garden of the Château de Maisons’
Simone Zacchini, ‘Between Artistic and Botanical Garden: La Serpara and Il Bosco della Ragnaia in Central Italy’
Session 1 Panel Discussion
Lecture-performance by Adrian Shaw
Keynote Lecture by Philip White MBE
Drinks reception with canapes, and viewing of the Mariele Neudecker exhibition
Conference dinner (optional)
Arrival and tea, coffee and cake
Session 2: ‘Arts at Hestercombe: Now and Then’:
Laurent Chatel, ‘Primus inter pares’: C.W. Bampfylde and Other Garden Friends’
Tim Martin, ‘Contemporary Disclosures’
Sarah Bennett, ‘Hybrids and Heirlooms’
Session 2 Panel Discussion
Tour of Hestercombe’s 18th-century garden (option 1) or Tour of the Mariele Neudecker exhibition with the artist (option 2)
Lunch (standing buffet)
Session 3: ‘The Garden as a Mirror of Society’ (part 1):
Benedict Duthion, ‘Winter Garden in Literature and Painting, as Reflection of a New European Society During the 19th Century’
Judy Tarling, ‘The Weapons of Rhetoric: a Garden Magazine’
Mareike Schwartz, ‘Let’s Grow Inclusive Gardens! Munich’s Petuelpark (2005) at the Intersection of Society, Art and Landscape Design’
Tea, coffee and cake break
Session 3: ‘The Garden as a Mirror of Society’ (part 2)
Edwina Fitzpatrick, ‘English Gardens as Heterotopias: Colonialism and Translocated Plants’
Vanessa Badagliacca, ‘Doing and Nothing. An exploration of Song Dong’s Doing Nothing Garden and the Possibility of Renewing Ourselves and our Environment through Not Doing’
Session 3 Panel Discussion
End of the conference