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.
Arborealists: the Art of Trees
19 September - 15 November
Our next exhibition celebrates the art of trees through paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. Created especially for us, ‘Arborealists: the Art of Trees’ draws on a rich tradition of the tree as a vital subject for art.
A new group of contemporary artists called the Arborealists are creating a unique show for Mottisfont, which will include new work exhibited for the first time. On display will be intricate pencil drawings of root systems, gorgeous autumnal colours and beautiful natural sculpture.
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.