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

The foundation story of Lacock Abbey

Sun 24 Jun 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

Sun 24 Jun 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

Sun 24 Jun 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.

Ask the Photography Experts

Sat 30 Jun 2018
10:30-16:30
Alongside the Panasonic roadshow, on the Saturday only, we will have a number of photohistorians to help visitors explore and date their old cameras and photographs. Why not bring yours along and find out more about them?

Panasonic roadshow at Lacock

Sat 30 Jun 2018
10:30-16:30
Meet photography experts from Panasonic, try the latest cameras, get top photo tips or join a photography walk as the exciting Panasonic roadshow returns to Britain's birthplace of photography - the home of William Henry Fox Talbot.

Family crafts and watercolour painting

Mon 23 Jul 2018
11:00-15:00
Join us in Lacock's beautiful Botanic Garden for a summer of fun family activities and watercolour painting all week.