Exhibitions at Mottisfont

Mottisfont's last owner, Maud Russell, was a lover of art. We continue those passions today with changing exhibitions in a spacious art gallery.

We are currently in between exhibitions so our gallery is closed. It will be open again from Saturday 20 July for Beano Time Travellers.

Our gallery

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. We continue these artistic traditions today, with changing exhibitions throughout the year and a permanent display of 20th-century artworks.

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, on display throughout the house.

For anyone unable to access the upstairs gallery, where we hold our changing exhibitions, we have digital versions of exhibitions on iPads which are available on lower levels.

Next exhibition

Dennis and Minnie the Minx from Beano comics

Beano Time Travellers! 

20 July – 8 September: travel through Beano’s history of mischief and mayhem in this vibrant new exhibition. Outside, kids can whizz back to Mottisfont’s past with favourite Beano characters on an exclusive trail created for us by the comic.

Resident artists

Hywel Davies 

A composer, sound artist and installation artist. His wide-ranging output includes the sound installation Test Polyphony which was installed in the Cellarium at Mottisfont from June 2013 to April 2014.

Current project: Pilgrim
Mottisfont is a location long associated with pilgrimage. Hywel wished to develop a new piece of music with Japanese percussion virtuoso, Kuniko Kato; to this end in 2016 and 2017 he made two journeys to Izumo in north-western Japan which is home to Izumo Taisha, the largest Shinto shrine in Japan and also a place of pilgrimage. 

Pilgrim is borne out of these experiences. The principal element of Pilgrim is a score for three instruments, first percussion including Japanese and Western instruments; second, solo voice singing text in English; and third, a wordless chorus made up of multi-tracked recordings of the singer.

The piece will be designed to run on a loop to be installed in in a purpose-built wooden pavilion (referencing the structure of Izumo Taisha) sited within the Beech Circle.  

Planned date of installation: autumn 2019

Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer 

Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer work in collaboration and together have a broad, cross disciplinary practice which encompasses installations, large scale projection events, films and photography. Their photo-montage wall piece Capricco can be seen in our Welcome Centre.

Current project: Anna and Leon are exploring the architectural history of Mottisfont with its many layers and modifications to create an installation specifically for the Red Room. They will use the architectural features of the room as the basis to develop an immersive installation which will take an imaginative journey through the architectural layers of Mottisfont using a combination of lighting, 3D laser scanning technology, video projection and sound. 

Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer will be using laser scanning techniques to explore Mottisfont's architectural layers
A lidar scan of Mottisfont's interior
Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer will be using laser scanning techniques to explore Mottisfont's architectural layers

You can keep up to date with the project on their blog.
Planned date for installation: January 2020

Simon Ryder 

Simon Ryder describes his practice as that of an ‘investigative artist’, the journey of discovery for each new project being an integral part of the final work. This often includes the use of enhanced ways of seeing, such as infrared imaging, CT scanning, sound visualisation and data-driven animation.

Initially trained as a zoologist (BSc Zoology, Bristol University) prior to studying art (MA Fine Art, Royal College of Art), his work flows between art and science, fact and fiction, always with the aim of revealing new perspectives relevant to our times.

Current project: Surface Tensions

Simon will undertake a period of research on the River Test at Mottisfont with a particular emphasis on the history and significance of Mottisfont in the development of fly-fishing.

Simon will be working closely with Mottisfont’s river keeper to represent and reimagine the river’s narrative – past, present and future – to create a new multi-media piece for installation in the Cellarium, along with new visitor interpretation on the history of fly-fishing for the fishing hut in the grounds.

You can follow the progress of Simon’s residency via his blog on Instagram @surface.tensions.

The river is an important element of Mottisfont's visitor experience and economy but the history and the care and time that goes into maintaining and managing it is probably not known to many of our visitors.

The installation in the Cellarium at Mottisfont offer a new perspective on the story of Mottisfont’s relationship with the river, its management and ecology.

Planned date for installation: spring/summer 2020.