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: Lightworks
17 January – 19 April 2015
This show brings together leading photographers whose work particularly focuses on the effects of light.
Reflected light is central to many of the artists on show, such as Christiane Zschommler, whose rippling patterns of light and shade on water showcase the beauty of natural light. Pekka Nittyvirta uses digital technology to create explosive fireballs and eery icescapes that glow blue-white.
Susan Derges and Chris Bucklow don’t use a camera at all, preferring pin-holes and light sensitive paper as ways to capture luminous images. Bucklow’s series Guests are all people he’s dreamed of, created photographically through tiny pinpricks of intense light.
Banish the darkness of winter by stepping into the light.
At the same time in the gallery, we have another exhibition called Art in Focus: People.
This is the first in a series of mini-exhibitions focusing on Mottisfont's own art collection.
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.