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Hestercombe Gallery presents a new exhibition of artwork from the 18th March to 2nd July, 2023. The ‘Design for Life: Art and Architecture - Part 1’ show visually explores the historical intersection of art and architecture together with the interactions of artists and architects from the past 65 years.

All eight spaces of Hestercombe Gallery bring together artworks by over twenty international artists and architects, beginning with a late work by Le Corbusier, one of the pioneers of modern architecture. Drawings, paintings, sculpture, models, photographs, film and plans are all represented. The modern and contemporary works are complemented by original eighteenth and nineteenth century watercolours and plans from Hestercombe’s own collections.

Le Corbusier Chandigarh the Open Hand maquette 1956 Image courtesy of Drawing Matter
Credit: Le Corbusier, Chandigarh: the "Open Hand” maquette, 1956. Image courtesy of Drawing Matter

Highlights include artists who are well known for creating links to architecture, such as Christo, Elmgreen & Dragset and Marine Hugonnier. Op artist Bridget Riley and Estonian architect Leonhard Lapin, are shown alongside new works by Somerset based artist Toni Davey; with German photography luminary Andreas Gursky placed in context with architectural pioneers and influencers Superstudio from Italy and Le Corbusier.

Chinese artist Liu Wei repurposes industrial doors in order to highlight the simplistic beauty in basic architectural elements, whist also questioning the accelerated urbanisation and construction typical of cityscapes of China. Whilst Cyprien Gaillard’s film ‘Pruitt Igoe Falls” points to the failure of social housing and of modern architecture in both Britain and the USA.

Derek Boshier ‘16 situations’ is about the way in which an object, whether a sculpture or a piece of architecture can change a situation and the way in which a situation changes an object, often through size and scale. In Ugo La Pietra’s ideal house project he creates a house for a sculptor to sit on top of a skyscraper.

Artistic Director and Curator of the new exhibition, Tim Martin, says: ‘Ulla von Brandenburg’s ‘8’, filmed at Château de Chamarande, near Paris, draws parallels with Hestercombe House and Gardens; both properties had their gardens designed by mid eighteenth-century artists/architects who were inspired by the ‘Grand Tour’. Von Brandenburg’s film will, therefore, be juxtaposed with original works by Hestercombe’s C.W. Bampfylde to explore notions of architecture, romanticism and the sublime’.

The exhibition visually explores history, size and scale; from larger and conceptual ideas around the built environment, whether a house, a community or an art gallery to smaller architectural elements such as boxes, doors, fireplaces and railings.

As part of the exhibition, the public will also get the chance to view the eccentric Jacuzzi bath of Hestercombe’s Victorian owners, the Portmans, which is still perfectly preserved in Hestercombe House. It is an eight-tap spray bath which was one of the first Jacuzzi baths installed into a British home by George Jennings Ltd.

Full artist and architect list: C.W. Bampfylde, Derek Boshier, Lea Cetera, Christo, Keith Coventry, Constant, Michael Craig-Martin, Toni Davey, Elmgreen & Dragset, Jon England & Megan Calver, Tony Fretton, Cyprien Gaillard, Andreas Gursky, Henry Hall, Marine Hugonnier, Ugo La Pietra, Leonhard Lapin, Le Corbusier, Bridget Riley, Superstudio, Ulla von Brandenburg and Liu Wei.

Dates & Tickets

Design for Life: Art and Architecture - Part 1 is showing at Hestercombe Gallery from 18th March 2023 until 2nd July 2023.

Entry is by gardens admission only.

Hestercombe Gallery is open daily from 11am - 4pm.


Read the full press release here.


This exhibition has been made possible with loans from the David and Indrė Roberts Collection managed by the Roberts Institute of Art and from the Drawing Matter Collection, an organisation that explores the roles of drawing in architectural thought and practice.

Arts Council England and SWTC lockup

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Event Location

Hestercombe Gallery
Hestercombe Gardens
Cheddon Fitzpaine
Le Corbusier Chandigarh the Open Hand maquette 1956 Image courtesy of Drawing Matter

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