10:00am - 5:00pm | Cost: £120 - £150

Monday 26th - Tuesday 27th September 2022

‘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. Leading on to the present day, with Hestercombe Gallery delivering a programme of 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.

Conference themes

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.

Registration fee

For non-speaking attendees, there will be a £120 registration fee, which will cover the following:

  • Tea and coffee breaks with biscuits
  • Buffet lunch on Monday 26th September
  • Drinks reception with canapés on Monday 26th September
  • Buffet lunch on Tuesday 27th September
  • Exhibition and garden tour
  • Complete conference pack

Optional 2 course Conference Dinner on 26th September with glass of wine and coffee: £30 (this must be added to your basket when you book your tickets for the conference)


  • Main - pan fried fillet of Cornish hake with purple sprouting broccoli, buerre blanc and parmentier potatoes
  • Vegetarian alternative - beetroot tartlet topped with sheep's curd and finished with vegetable ribbon salad
  • Dessert - custard tart finished with homemade plum sorbet and roasted plums
  • A glass of red or white wine and tea and coffee

If you have any dietary requirements or allergies please email gallery@hestercombe.com and let us know as soon as possible.

The conference ‘Artists and the Garden: New Perspectives’ is co-organised by Hestercombe Gardens Trust and Kingston University, London, and takes place on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th September 2022 at Hestercombe Gardens, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8LG.

Conference Programme

Day 1 – Monday 26th September 2022


Arrival and Registration / Tea, coffee and biscuits




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’


Tea, coffee and cake break


Session 1 Panel Discussion


Lecture-performance by Adrian Shaw


Keynote Lecture by Philip White MBE


Drinks reception with canapes, and viewing of the A Rose is a Rose is a Rose exhibition


Conference dinner (optional)

Day 2 – Tuesday 27th September 2022


Arrival with tea, coffee and biscuits


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 A Rose is a Rose is a Rose exhibition (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


Closing Plenary


End of the conference

Event Location

Hestercombe Gardens
Cheddon Fitzpaine
CWB 2 24c Artist Sketching at Hestercombe by J Eagles 1834 web

What's On

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