Wednesday 27 January, 6:30pm
Join us online in conversation with writer and conservationist Isabella Tree who will be speaking with the travel writer and novelist Philip Marsden about her pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex.
Isabella Tree is an award-winning author and travel writer. She had published five non-fiction books and writes for publications such as National Geographic, Granta, The Sunday Times and The Observer. Her articles have been selected for The Best American Travel Writing and Reader’s Digest Today’s Best Non-Fiction, and she was Overall Winner of the Travelex Travel Writer Awards. Her latest book Wilding – the Return of Nature to a British Farm, charts the story of the pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex where she lives with her husband Charlie Burrell.
23 January – 21 February
For over a decade photographer Beth Moon has been documenting the biggest, oldest and rarest trees in the world. This exhibition focuses on some of the most famous oaks in the UK. Her work highlights the delicate duality of their existence— as both powerful but also vulnerable to environmental elements and human intervention. Beth Moon was born in Neenah, Wisconsin and studied fine art at the University of Wisconsin. Beth has gained international recognition for her large-scale, richly toned platinum prints. Since 1999, Moon’s work has appeared in more than sixty solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Italy, England, France, Israel, Brazil, Dubai, Singapore, and Canada.
Wednesday 20 January, 6:30pm
Join us online for a conversation with activist, environmentalist and conservationist Ben Goldsmith about rewilding and the environment. Ben Goldsmith, who owns a 300-acre farm, near Bruton in Somerset, plans to transform it into a wild habitat within the next four years.
He says, “We want to achieve the kind of species-rich, shape-shifting scrubby wood pasture environment that once blanketed much of western Britain.”
Working with a wildlife ecologist, Ben has encouraged wetlands along the River Frome, wild flowers and native species including water voles, beavers and glow-worms – which used to be a feature of long summer evenings.
Ben is an advisor to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and is CEO of Menhaden, his green investment business.
Attendees will receive a Zoom link before the start of the event.
Friday 15 January 2021
During the week the exhibition ‘Future Ancestors’ by photographer Dr Christian Thompson AO opens at Messums London we present a podcast interview with the artist. Christian will introduce us to the exhibition and the concepts behind his new work.
Dr Christian Thompson AO is an Australian born contemporary artist whose work explores notions of identity, cultural hybridity & history. Formally trained as a sculptor, Thompson’s multidisciplinary practice engages mediums such as photography, video, sculpture, performance & sound. His work focuses on the exploration of identity, sexuality, gender, race and memory. In his conceptual portraits he inhabits a range of personas achieved through handcrafted costumes & carefully orchestrated poses & backdrops. In 2010 Thompson made history when he became the first Aboriginal Australian to be admitted into the University of Oxford in its 900-year history.
Christian Thompson received a BA in Fine Art from the University of Southern Queensland, Brisbane, before a Masters in Fine Art from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2004. Thompson went on to study performing arts in Amsterdam and achieved his Doctorate of Philosophy (Fine Art), from Oxford University in 2015.
Christian Thompson has held solo exhibitions in Berlin, London, Valencia, Spain, Paris, Finland, Italy, Shanghai, Taiwan, South Korea, Netherlands, Canada and various locations in the USA in addition to Exhibiting across Australia.
8 January – 7 February 2021
Born in Faedis near Trieste, the son of an architect and winemaker, Francesco Poiana attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome and then the celebrated Albicocca fine art printing workshop in Udine before studying for a Masters degree at St Martin’s College of Art in London. The paper he uses is made from the mulberry paper trees and has a shadowy, translucence perfectly suited to the ghostly imagery of his works. ‘If you layer one sheet of paper on top of others they can look like a skin, soft and translucent and sensitive,’ he says.
7 – 30 January
Atong Atem is an Ethiopian born, South Sudanese artist living in Melbourne. Atem works primarily with photography and video to explore contemporary identity through portraiture and in particular the fluidity of migrant narratives and postcolonial practices in the African diaspora.
Wednesday 13 January, 6:30pm
Join us online for a conversation with Founder of Nekton Olly Steeds on his mission to genome the ocean.
You can’t protect what you don’t know. For years Olly Steeds has lead missions to catalogue the underwater environment. Now he is on a mission to genome the ocean to understand where it has come from and where it is going.
Wednesday 9 December, 6:30pm
As Richard’s exhibition ‘Alchemy of Light’ opens at Messums Wiltshire, join us online for a conversation with Richard and Johnny Messum.
Richard’s work is always moving forward, evolving, a reflection of a pilgrimage. This is despite the apparent paradox of his regular return to stand on the same spot in the same locations seen in his work, year after year. The journey begins, rests and then continues with every step, enriched by his experience of Light.
5 December – 2 January
A dedicated environmentalist and true polymath, Kurt Jackson’s holistic approach to his subject seamlessly blends art and politics providing a springboard to create a hugely varied body of work unconstrained by format or scale.Jackson’s artistic practice ranges from his trademark visceral plein-air sessions to studio work and embraces an extensive range of materials and techniques including mixed media, large canvases, print-making and sculpture.
For his debut at Messums Harrogate, Kurt will present a body of new works painted en plein air in his home county of Cornwall.
Saturday, 5 December
Join us for the preview of an exhibition of paintings by Kurt Jackson, one of Britain’s leading environmental landscape artists and campaigners. Documenting the spring of 2020 and the arcadia he found bursting into life immediately outside his front door, this exhibition marks Jackson’s inaugural exhibition at Messums Yorkshire.
Wednesday 25 November, 6:30pm
Online Members can access free tickets by using your promo codes. Information will be sent to Members before the start of the event.
By 1650, the spiritual and political power of the Catholic Church was shattered. Thanks to the twin blows of the Protestant Reformation and the Thirty Years War, Rome, celebrated both as the Eternal City and Caput Mundi (the head of the world) had lost its pre-eminent place in Europe. Then a new Pope, Alexander VII, fired with religious zeal, political guile and a mania for building, determined to restore the prestige of his church by making Rome the must-visit destination for Europe’s intellectual, political and cultural elite. To help him do so, he enlisted the talents of Gianlorenzo Bernini, already celebrated as the most important living artist: no mean feat in the age of Rubens, Rembrandt and Velazquez.
Together, Alexander VII and Bernini made the greatest artistic double act in history, inventing the concept of soft power and the bucket list destination. Bernini and Alexander’s creation of Baroque Rome as a city more beautiful and grander than since the days of the Emperor Augustus continues to delight and attract.
‘A total delight’ Simon Jenkins
Members can login to the Members Room to join the conversation. All other attendees will receive a Zoom link before the start of the event.
Wednesday 18 November, 6:30pm
Join an online conversation with Rebecca Wragg Sykes, archaeologist and author of ‘Kindred; Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art’.
Online Members can access free tickets using their promo codes. Information will be sent to Members before the start of the event.
Join Johnny Messum and Dr Rebecca Wragg Sykes online as they discuss the very earliest expressions of art by our most ancient relatives.
Long before Homo sapiens daubed their cave walls with pictures of bison or running deer, Neanderthals were experimenting with aesthetics of their own, whether applying mineral pigment to fossil shells or other curiosities such as geodes, to constructing mysterious underground rings of fractured stalagmites. The past three decades of archaeological discoveries force us to rethink assumptions that they were just loping brutes whose only entertainment was wrestling woolly mammoths and building fires.
Saturday 14 November, 6:30pm
Join us online during Dante Marioni’s exhibition at Messums Harrogate for an interview with one of the world’s master glassmakers.Known around the world for his mastery of Venetian glass techniques, Dante has spent years honing his skills which he pushes to the absolute limit of his craft. Using intricately patterned canework on flawlessly crafted, classically inspired elegant forms, the pieces he creates are both modern and instantly familiar.
31 October – 2 January
We have known the extraordinary Charlie Poulsen since a chance meeting at Messums Wiltshire just over a year ago, which led to a pop-up exhibition of his work in the Long Gallery last October. Charlie joined our roster of represented artists this year and we are delighted to be able to show is work in our new, permanent space in Harrogate this Autumn. Drawing has, in recent years, been Charlie’s primary means of expression. Whilst traditionally regarded as a secondary, or preparatory, activity, drawing has an immediate, direct and simple effect. He says, “it evokes and suggests rather than fixes, it feels transitory and ephemeral, echoing the lives we live”. His works are both delicate and light but also repetitious, frenetic, wild and in constant movement. Looking at Charlie’s work is similar to listening to a piece of music… the observer may lose oneself in the intricacy of the layering and mark-making. There is a language of harmony and rhythm in this experience and their scale also gives them an authoritative control of space and an unimpeded interaction with the eye.
Dante Marioni is an American glassblower whose signature style has been described
as the purest of classical forms executed in glass. His amphoras, vases, and ewers are derived from Greek and Etruscan prototypes, yet they are imaginatively and sometimes whimsically reinterpreted. Dante trained in Venetian glassblowing techniques with some of the greatest masters in contemporary glass and continues to push the limits of his practice.
Saturday 31 October, 11am
Join us at the gallery for a talk and interview with Charles Poulsen on the morning his exhibition of drawings opens at Messums Yorkshire.
We have known the extraordinary Charlie Poulsen since a chance meeting at Messums Wiltshire just over a year ago, which led to a pop-up exhibition of his work in the Long Gallery last October. Charlie joined our roster of represented artists this year and we are delighted to be able to show is work in our new, permanent space in Harrogate this Autumn.
Drawing has, in recent years, been Charlie’s primary means of expression, creating extraordinary, large-scale pieces which are both delicate and light but also repetitious, frenetic, wild and in constant movement. Looking at Charlie’s work is similar to listening to a piece of music… the observer may lose oneself in the intricacy of the layering and mark-making.
Charlie lives and works in the Scottish Borders.
31 October – 2 January
Dante Marioni is an American glassblower whose signature style has been described as the purest of classical forms executed in glass. His amphoras, vases, and ewers are derived from Greek and Etruscan prototypes, yet they are imaginatively and sometimes whimsically reinterpreted. Dante trained in Venetian glassblowing techniques with some of the greatest masters in contemporary glass and continues to push the limits of his practice.
Friday 18 September, 6:30pm
Author Suzanne Fagence Cooper discusses Jane & Williams Morris and their home The Red House in Kent.
In the summer of 1860, Jane and William Morris, pioneers of the Arts and Crafts movement, moved into their brand-new home, The Red House, in Kent. For five busy years, their home was a gathering place for artists, poets and architects. Suzanne’s talk explores the Morris’s remarkable partnership and how the friendships forged in these early years transformed British art and design.
5 September – 24 October
“There is the simplified form that allows the eye to comprehend the piece as a single coherent whole, like a passage in a Bach Cello Suite. Less is more, no fuss. Balance is all. A sweeping line fades and then reappears as you move around the undulating form,
invoking the optical effects the artist experienced among the dunes of the Arabian deserts. And, with this, comes a sense of rhythm and dynamism; of an object in motion, as light and shadow and perspective generate a kinetic energy. Such things are in the DNA of a Bridget McCrum sculpture or painting or drawing.” Will Gompertz
Bridget McCrum (née Bain) was shipped to the west country from a home in London to avoid the war; there she found horses, landscape, art, and above all, a friendship with a young Elisabeth Frink. This exhibition, which is shown against the backdrop of Elisabeth Frink’s studio in the barn gallery, charts her recent work and also looks back at some of her earlier pieces. It considers life through a shifting between shapes and images and looks at how McCrum (like Frink) found ways to free herself from the restraints of figurative precision.
McCrum’s approach to sculpting is a reductive one, removing mass from a block of stone using carving and sanding tools. Now in her eighties, McCrum’s technical ability has not faded and she arrives at stylised shapes that play with light and weightlessness, as with her many birds which may be taking off, alighting or in flight.
Private Collections is a selection of 20th Century work that provides a unique opportunity to see together both a remarkably complete collection of Camden Town Group, British Figurative and Impressionist paintings. It is also an insight into the desire to collect, and how personality can shape that process. This collection comes directly from one source and is being offered for sale in its entirety through Messums London. Included are iconic works by Sickert, Pissarro, Bevan, Lamb, Gore and Manson. Many are works that were in formative exhibitions, and most have been bought with a collector’s eye from places such as the Fine Art Society, Piccadilly Gallery, Agnews and as well as Messums.
Christopher Mason-Watts has been collecting since he was four years old. He began with the colourful little picture cards that appeared in the boxes of Brook Bond tea. He bought his first artwork when he was seventeen and his first serious purchase was a pocket sized painting by Walter Sickert, bought when he was twenty three, it cost him almost a third of his annual salary.
In truth, Christopher Mason-Watts would have liked to be an artist. Instead, however, he went into law and for thirty years was a mental health judge. Creating collections became is way of being creative. Christopher has loved the Camden Town Group since he first discovered their work as a teenager and it was this group that he focused much of his collecting efforts towards.
Though they held only three exhibitions between 1911 and 1912, the Camden Town Group was one of the most vital, exciting and well-known collectives of the twentieth-Century British artists. Their centre point and guiding light was the painter Water Sickert (1860-1942). This collection includes both important and less vital pieces by all of the Camden Town Group, with exception of Duncan Grant and James Dickson Innes. But since neither exhibited at the Group’s first show, Christopher feels his set is complete.
until 24 October
This year’s Material: Textile is an online exhibition of historically important and highly collectable textiles by some of the most important Modern female designers working in Britain. Brought together for the first time with an accompanying catalogue and podcast – the exhibition highlights the relevance of these mid-century textiles and the vital role they played in the evolution of taste and culture. It offers us all a unique insight into the artistic vision and originality of these women.
11 July – 24 October
Thiébaut began his career in 1976, training in France, Belgium and in England under Michael Cardew and Richard Batterham. Returning to France in 1981 he set up his first workshop in the Loire Valley and in 1984 built a new studio in the Vosges with a wood-fired kiln.
Examples of his work can be found in many public collections across Europe in Belgium, France and Germany. He is represented in the V&A museum and has recently been exhibited in the Louvre.