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

Christmas pop-up shop

Sat 07 Dec 2019
10:30-16:30
Pick up some presents or delightful decorations at the National Trust pop-up shop in Lacock's Manger barn.

Lacock community Christmas tree festival

Sat 07 Dec 2019
11:00-16:00
Every year local clubs, societies and charities decorate a tree in Lacock Abbey's cloister for what is now a true Lacock Christmas tradition.

Lacock's reindeer games family trail

Sat 07 Dec 2019
11:00-16:00
Pick up your trail sheet at visitor reception and head on a festive family adventure around Lacock village and abbey grounds.

Photography exhibition at the Fox Talbot Museum by Maggie Taylor

Sat 07 Dec 2019
11:00-16:00
Artist Maggie Taylor returns to Lacock this summer with Through the Looking Glass. Using her point and click camera, flatbed scanners and Photoshop, she creates digital art that transports viewers into dreamlike worlds.

An Audience with Father Christmas

Sat 07 Dec 2019
11:15-11:45
Meet Father and Mother Christmas in their festive kitchen at Lacock Abbey. A unique experience in a cosy setting that is sure to please our young visitors.

Great hall decorated for Christmas

Sat 07 Dec 2019
11:30-15:30
At Lacock, our traditions of a roaring fire and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the Great Hall of the abbey have been going for a long time.