Art at Mottisfont

Visitors enjoying an art exhibition at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Mottisfont became the centre of a creative circle in the early 20th century thanks to last owner Maud Russell. We continue those traditions today with up to five major exhibitions a year in a spacious art gallery. We also support artists in residence to create site-specific installations here.

An artistic past

Maud Russell made Mottisfont into a vibrant hub of artistic activity from the 1930s onwards. She supported and commissioned work. She invited many Modern British artists, critics and designers for long weekends of croquet and creative conversation here.

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.

Here at Mottisfont we have a permanent display of 20th-century art and changing exhibitions in a spacious art gallery. We also support artists in residence to create site-specific installations here.

Please find below a list of our current and upcoming exhibitions at Mottisfont. 

A hedgehog illustration from the Ladybird book 'What To Look For In Summer’

A British Summerscape: Mottisfont, Hampshire  

Discover original artworks and contemporary illustrations, from the Ladybird Books collection, spanning 60 years of Ladybird classics. Eighteen original watercolours from Ladybird’s 1950s and 1960s book series ‘What To Look For In Summer’ are on show for nature lovers to explore at Mottisfont this summer, offering a delightful new perspective on the world. Outside, in the gardens’ beech tree circle, a unique outdoor gallery space has been created to host local artist Natasha Durley’s vibrant digital illustrations for the new Ladybird edition of What to Look For In Summer. Until 5 September 2021.

Scottish painter Joan Eardley (1921-1963)

Joan Eardley Display at Mottisfont  

Discover the work of Joan Eardley (1921 - 1963) in the Red Room here at Mottisfont. From 19th May 2021, three of Eardleys works in the Derek Hill collection will be displayed together, for the first time ever, as part of a nationwide celebration to mark her centenary. Entry to the display in the Red Room is included in the admission price to the house, but we recommend booking your visit in advance, especially during peak times.

An oil painting of Lake Como by the artist Derek Hill

The Derek Hill Collection 

We're home to a collection of 20th-century art, including works by L.S. Lowry, Barbara Hepworth and Graham Sutherland. They were gifted to us by the artist Derek Hill, in memory of a long friendship with last owner Maud Russell.

Art installations


Step into the beech circle for a sound experience combining Japanese percussion and bass baritone voice, inspired by Mottisfont’s heritage as a place of pilgrimage.

Hywel Davies is a composer, sound artist and installation artist. His wide-ranging output includes the sound installation Test Polyphony which was installed in the Cellarium here from June 2013 to April 2014.

This installation taps into the experience of the pilgrim: as an outsider, observer or wanderer. The work is written for Japanese virtuoso percussionist Kuniko Kato and Englsh bass-baritone Laurence Williams. The music runs on a loop, broadcast from speakers embedded in four hemlock tree trunks.

Pilgrim can be found in the beech circle
Speakers mounted into wood in a circle of beech trees at Mottisfont
Pilgrim can be found in the beech circle