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.
The Art of Lauren Child: Adventures with Charlie and Lola and Friends
18 July - 6 September
Lauren Child is a multi-award-winning, bestselling writer and artist whose books are known the world over. She is the creator of many much-loved characters, including Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort and Charlie and Lola. This exhibition will showcase the breadth and diversity of Lauren's work spanning her 15 years of writing and illustrating her iconic characters.
Alongside the illustrations are objects that helped inspire the stories, such as Lauren’s sketch books, one of the original sets from the Princess and the Pea and the original dress who's pattern is used on Lola's yellow pyjamas.
There will also be a fabulous family trail running throughout the exhibition and family fun weekends on 18 & 19 July, 8 & 9 August and 22 & 23 August.
Don't miss Lauren's personal appearance on 18 July as she reads her stories and signs her books.
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.
In Company, a new interactive artwork installed in our café by Adept (artists Shanaz Guizar and Steve Manthorp) was commissioned as the sixth and final residency of Mottisfont's A Place for Art programme. The work explores and adds to our history of welcoming visitors. By recording a series of one-to-one conversations with members of staff and volunteers shared over a specially cooked meal, Adept have created a 'virtual dining companion'. Through their own unique stories, six fascinating people bring their stories of Mottisfont to life.
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.