Maud Russell made Mottisfont into a vibrant hub of artistic activity from the 1930s onwards. She invited many Modern British artists, critics and designers for long weekends of croquet and creative conversation. Artist and collector Derek Hill was a frequent visitor; he honoured his long friendship with the Russells by leaving a substantial collection of 20th century art to us.
We’ve followed Maud Russell’s lead by converting a series of rooms on our top floor into a spacious art gallery. A series of changing exhibitions will explore different aspects of our art collection, as well as bringing in significant loans and new shows on a wide range of themes.
Current exhibition: Quentin Blake & Friends
Opening 19 July
One of the nation’s best-loved artists comes to Mottisfont this summer in a new exhibition of work by Quentin Blake and other leading contemporary children’s illustrators. Visitors will be able to see for the first time 21 new drawings by Quentin, full of his usual wit and sharp-eyed observations, made for the hit West End production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The original drawings and watercolours in the show have all been lent by the Chris Beetles Gallery in London and all of these unique works are for sale. The gallery is also lending stunning watercolour illustrations by artists including Michael Foreman, Emma Chichester Clark, John Burningham, Helen Oxenbury, Rebecca Cobb and Oliver Jeffers. The stories illustrated range from classics such as Treasure Island, Alice in Wonderland and classic fairy tales to works by Terry Jones and Michael Morpurgo.
Thanks to funding from the Arts Council, this project will see six artists in residence each producing a new, high-quality piece of art that helps tell one of our stories. Each artist will engage staff, volunteers and community groups in the creative process, so that six new pieces of high-quality visual art are produced over two years.
Our first artist is Louise O'Reilly who is a visual artist and illustrator. During her residency at Mottisfont she will be fulfilling an early childhood ambition of becoming a medieval illuminator.
Read our artist's updates on their blog and discover how great art is created.
Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva worked with members of the House, Gardens and Countryside teams along with volunteers at Mottisfont to create a major installation. Comprising of five fallen oak trees installed within the beech circle with their roots uppermost and partial gilding applied to the upper surfaces, it is not to be missed.