Step into a virtual world with Mat Collishaw's Thresholds

This autumn, rewind time back to the dawn of photography with Thresholds, a new virtual reality artwork by Mat Collishaw. Using the latest multi-sensory technology, Thresholds will restage one of the earliest exhibitions of photography in 1839, when British scientist William Henry Fox Talbot first presented his photographic prints to the public.

Visit Thresholds and encounter an exhibition like never before, stepping back in time to one of the earliest exhibitions of photography in 1839. 

You will be able to walk freely throughout a digitally reconstructed room, and touch the bespoke vitrines, fixtures and mouldings; even the heat from a coal fire is recreated. A soundscape for Thresholds includes the sound of demonstrations of the Chartist protesters who rioted in 1839 on the streets of Birmingham, and can be glimpsed through the digital windows.

Visitor exploring the Thresholds exhibition; photo Richard Eaton
Thresholds Mat Collishaw by Richard Eaton
Visitor exploring the Thresholds exhibition; photo Richard Eaton
" You don’t understand how much you enjoyed the virtual world until you feel the urge to go back."
- The Telegraph

The original 19th-century exhibition, staged by the British Association for the Advancement of Science, celebrated cutting edge technological innovation. Unfortunately, Fox Talbot’s original images have faded almost beyond recognition with several of the surviving photographs existing only in light-proof vaults.  Through Thresholds, this exhibition not only restages an important historical exhibition but provides a way to view images that have since been lost.

Thresholds Visual 2017
Thresholds Visual 2017
Thresholds Visual 2017
" Collishaw has not recreated an historical experience, but has instead constructed an entirely new one."
- Frieze

Mat Collishaw is one of the UK’s most thought provoking contemporary artists, and the installation will be in place for you to visit from Saturday 16 September – Sunday 29 October 2017. 

Upcoming events

'Tribe' a photography exhibition

Mon 23 Apr 2018
10:30-17:00
Tribe is a collaborative exhibition of photography by mid-career professional artists. Their work is a narrative, addressing issues of family, history, love and loss. The artists are a group of women from all over the US.

Spring flowers and family trail at Lacock Abbey

Mon 23 Apr 2018
11:00-16:00
Lacock's wooded grounds are full of wonderful flowers over the spring months, ideal for a gentle stroll. All spring there are lots of things to spot in the grounds, see how many you can spot on our fun family trail.

The foundation story of Lacock Abbey

Sat 05 May 2018
10:30-17:00
Part of the Women and Power national programming theme, Lacock will be exploring the legacy of Ela the founder of Lacock. Through physical installations and sound, travel back to the 1300s and find out about the abbey's missing church.

A photography exhibition by Karen Knorr

Sat 26 May 2018
10:30-17:00
The photographic work of Karen Knorr is our second exhibition in the 2018 Women and Power celebration. Her work arises out of cultural research she undertakes and is in response to traditions, materials, furniture and ways of living.

Healing herbs family trail

Sat 26 May 2018
10:30-17:30
800 years ago, the nuns of Lacock Abbey couldn't just pop down the doctors to buy their medicine, so they grew their own. Find out more on our fun family trail.

Whispering Woods outdoor acrobatic theatre

Mon 28 May 2018
10:30-11:30
Family outdoor theatre with a twist, Whispering Woods bring ancient tales to life using circus acrobatics, live music and storytelling to weave a transporting journey for the audience amongst the trees.