TALK & SUPPER: with Danish Artists Henrik Vibskov & Malene Hartmann Rasmussen

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Wednesday 24 April, 6:30pm  Bookings

Denmark is at the cutting edge when it comes to design, innovation and creativity. On Wednesday 24 April we invite you to join us for a celebration of Danish art and culture in our ever-popular 3×15 talk format. Guests include fashion designer Henrik Vibskov as he prepares to headline our fashion show, also friend and ceramic artist Malene Hartmann Rasmussen.

There is the opportunity to join us for supper in our Mess Restaurant afterwards.

In collaboration with the Danish Embassy in London.

TALK & SUPPER: with Landscape Painter David Tress

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Friday 10 May, 6:30pm  Bookings

Following his sell-out London show at our Cork Street gallery, painter David Tress joins us in Wiltshire for one of our popular talk and supper evenings. David applies his signature expressionist style to his local landscapes in Pembrokeshire which have remained a core subject. He also paints regularly in other parts of Britain and Europe, particularly the west of Scotland and the Tarn area of the South of France as well as a series based in Wiltshire which we are currently being shown in the Long Gallery.

Widely regarded as one of Britain’s most inventive landscape painters, Tress moves beyond a landscape’s immediate appearance and evokes a state of mind: a sense of self in relation to place, its primordial history, and the wild, cyclical rhythms of the seasons and elements. Expressing a visceral response, his paintings thus establish a dialogue between topography and abstraction.

This expressionist aspect is heightened by Tress’s almost sculptural images. Realised on thick handmade papers that he alternately tears, layers, scores and scrapes, his paintings enact landscape’s transformation through perception, memory and emotion. They also access elemental truths, suggesting erosion and the impact of wind and weather.

Born in Wembley in 1955, Tress studied first at Harrow College of Art, and later at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham. While he was at Trent, he became involved with experiments in conceptual and performance art but later, came to question the assumptions of modernism. His rejection of modernism was, however, not so much a return to the beginning, as a rite of passage, which has brought to his landscape and figurative painting some aspects of abstraction retained from his earlier work.

TALK: ‘Common Threads – Craft, Couture & Fine Art’ with Joshua Millard, Connie Gray & Jacky Puzey

Sunday 28 April, 1 – 2pm  Bookings

Our third and final talk of the ‘Common Threads’ weekend addresses textile and fashion as art with designer Joshua Millard, curator of fashion illustration Connie Gray and embroiderer Jackie Puzey. Certainly clothing design has been recognised most notably by the V&A, London and the Metropolitan, New York who hold extensive collections and regular exhibitions. But what about those behind the scenes? The fabrics themselves are an integral part of the design and rely on teams of artists to create them.

Before photography, magazines relied on fashion illustration to convey the mood and style of a new collection to the public and fashion houses still use this stylised form of illustration for their initial concept boards. Curator Connie Gray has spent a lifetime fascinated with these drawings and repositions them as fine art within the context of her gallery Gray M.C.A.

Joshua Millard
Joshua Millard established his London-based womenswear brand in 2016. After graduating from London College of Fashion in Bespoke Tailoring, he gained experience at Jonathan Saunders and on Savile Row. He designs a transitional wardrobe of longevity, born from his clients desire to seek tailoring and outerwear that suggest something new, lasting beyond fast trends. “There is a complex idea of what masculinity and femininity are, similarly with country and citywear, I see no need to distinguish between either, I think we’re not defined by our location anymore”. The brand endeavours to source all shearling from Josh’s family farm in Dorset. In addition, £5 from every product is donated to Plantlife, a partnership which promotes endangered species of wildflower growth in arable habitats.

Connie Gray
Connie Gray Fashion Curator at Gray M.C.A. is recognised as the leading specialist on fashion illustration. Connie’s mission to shine a spotlight on the illustrators she has long admired led her to founding her namesake gallery with husband Ashley Gray.

Jacky Puzey
Jacky Puzey is an award-winning British designer and artist specialising in exquisitely embroidered interior screens and fabrics. Inspired by international textile cultures and urban imagery Jacky’s work begins with detailed drawings and meticulous research which she develops into some of the UK’s finest embroidered bespoke products.

TALK: Can Creativity, Productivity & Sustainability Overlap in Textiles? with Galahad Clark, Martina Spetlova, Kieren Jones and Edwina Ehrman

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Saturday 27 April, 5-6pm  Bookings

As part of our Material Textile ‘Common Threads’ weekend, join us on Saturday for a fascinating talk on one of the most pressing and topical concerns of our time, sustainabiity.

We pose the question to our panel, can creativity, productivity & sustainability overlap in textiles? I think we can safely say they can, panelist Galahad Clark, a descendant of the Clarks family, comes from seven generations of shoemakers. For the past decade, he’s been building his own brand, Vivobarefoot, shoes made from plant-based and upcycled materials, including a croc-like shoe made from algae biomass. Designer Martina Spetlova’s own name fashion brand are committed to sustainability and ethical sourcing throughout their supply chain, partnering with sustainable and organic suppliers. Kieren Jones is the course leader of the MA Material Futures Course at Central Saint Martins, London. During his time there Kieren has pioneered the discipline of Material Futures and has created one of the first wholly multi and trans-disciplinary design courses in the UK and joins us following his plastic recycling workshop here in the afternoon.

The talk will be chaired by Edwina Ehrman who is the senior exhibition curator at the V&A. With a specialism in nineteenth century fashion and textiles and the history of London fashion she knows more than virtually anyone about textiles. She has worked for two of Britain’s leading collections of fashion and textiles, the V&A and the Museum of London.

TALK: Narrative, Process & Collaboration with Celia Pym, Freddie Robins, Kate Grenyer & Polly Leonard

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Saturday 27 April, 1 – 2pm  Bookings

As part of our Material Textile process weekend ‘Common Threads’ we are hosting three group talks with artists, curators and designers working with fabric. Starting with the artist Celia Pym, RCA tutor Freddie Robins and curator Kate Grenyer talking about narrative, process & collaboration in what will be an informative discussion chaired by Polly Leonard, found of the textile magazine Selvedge.

Celia Pym
Shortlisted for the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize, V&A Museum in September 2017-January 2018, Celia Pym uses darning, knitting and embroidery to create intimate works that speak directly to human experience. Over the past ten years Pym has carefully darned other people’s clothing, interrogating our feelings towards vulnerability, care and repair. Her work draws out memories and meaning through the process of mending.

Freddie Robins
Freddie Robins is currently senior tutor and reader in textiles at the Royal College of Art, she works to commission and exhibits nationally and internationally. She has work in private and public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Nottingham Castle Museum, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum and KODE – kunstmuseene i Bergen.
“She uses knitting to explore pertinent contemporary issues of the domestic, gender and the human condition, as well as the cultural preconceptions surrounding knitting as craft. Her work aims to disrupt the notion of the medium as passive and benign”. Andrée Cooke, curator

Kate Grenyer (Dovecot)
Kate Grenyer curates Dovecot Gallery’s exhibition programme, a landmark centre for contemporary art, craft and design built around a leading international tapestry studio. Kate has a background working in gallery education and outreach as well as diverse experience working in exhibitions and programme coordination, art handling, and installation at a number of arts and heritage organisations.

Chaired by Polly Leonard, founder of Selvedge
After gaining a degree in Design from Glasgow School of Art and a Masters in Fine Art from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia I taught textiles for ten years before launching the textiles magazine Selvedge in 2003. “I wanted to publish a magazine as beautiful as the textiles represented within its pages”.

TALK: ‘Sustainability in Textiles’ with Weaver Catarina Riccabona


Saturday 27 April, 11am  Bookings

Join us on the Saturday morning of our Common Threads weekend, two days celebrating the work of textile designer makers and artists as part of our Material Textile exhibition.

Catarina Riccabona will be here to talk about her work as a loom weaver, working with natural materials such as linen, hemp and alpaca producing intricately woven throws, cushions and textile art. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins, where she studied Textiles, Catarina has gone on to develop her interest in sustainability, heavily influencing her creative approach. Drawing inspiration from tribal textiles, vintage grain bags and linen towels, each of Catarina’s pieces are one-off interior pieces hand woven on a traditional loom from her studio in South East London.

Catarina mostly uses unbleached and undyed linen for her warp. Her choice of weft yarns is limited to linen, hemp, wool, alpaca and second-hand or recycled yarns. For colour she uses plant-dyed wool or recycled linen. The final metre of warp on a loom cannot be woven and will usually be thrown away. Catarina collects these lengths of yarns from colleagues and knots them back together so that she can weave with them in the weft. During weaving the knots become visible randomly across the cloth and form a distinct design feature that is reminiscent of the hand-made look of tribal textiles.

Catrina’s work has featured in UK and international press, including The World of Interiors, Elle Decoration, Telegraph Magazine, Crafts Magazine, Hole & Corner, Selvedge, Architectural Digest (France), Vävmagasinet (Sweden), CREA Traveller (Japan).

TALK: ‘Weaving the Landscape’ with Zoe Ritchie

Saturday 27 April, 10am  Bookings

Every hank of wool is hand dyed using natural dye plants, every piece of fabric is woven by Zoe and each item she makes is a one-off.

When Zoe’s husband bought her a rickety old table loom she realised a dream and taught herself how to weave. And when she struggled to find the colour of wool she wanted Zoe decided to dye her own. For Zoe dyeing and weaving go hand in hand.

Based in Argyll, Zoe creates her own range of woven textiles from scratch inspired by the changing seasons of the local Scottish landscape. Join her on Saturday 27 April to hear more about her fascinating journey. It starts by hunting and gathering which Zoe does for most of the year, collecting the indigenous plants to extract their natural colours and essence.


TALK & SUPPER: Henry Lamb – Painter and Polymath by Primrose Campbell

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Friday 22 March, 6:30pm  Bookings

Primrose Campbell outlines the turbulent life of her grandfather, the artist HenryLamb.  It stretched from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth, violently broken by two world wars. He rebelled from the world of his youth among Manchester dons, moved through bohemian pre-1914 Chelsea, Paris and the wilds of western Ireland, to settled family life in Coombe Bisset, where he lived and painted for over 30 years.
Lamb was an intimate of Lytton Strachey, of Augustus John and Stanley Spencer, and ofthe grand eccentric hostess and patroness Ottoline Morrell. As a doctor-soldier he won an MC in Macedonia and at the end of his career he was a Royal Academician.

All proceeds in aid of 

Tickets available at £10 and £15 to include entry into raffle to become the owner of a Henry Lamb drawing selected from the Artist’s Estate, a framed and mounted study of Valentine (the artist’s son) sleeping.

Join us for our popular Supper Club in the Mess Restaurant after Primrose’s talk. There will be a set menu devised by our events chef Ana Ortíz inspired by Middle East flavours.


Roasted beetroot, walnut dip, feta cheese & flatbread
Slow roast shoulder of lamb with rosemary and preserved lemons
Couscous, grilled aubergine, peppers, onions salad
Roasted broccoli, garlic & chilli infused oil
Harissa roasted carrots
Meringue, rhubarb & pistachio mess



TALK & SUPPER CLUB: Ashley Gray from Gray M.C.A.

Wednesday 27 March  Bookings

Material: Textile is being curated in collaboration with Gray M.C.A. the gallery and collectors of post-war textiles and fashion illustrations. Gray M.C.A source rare and unique works made by artists including pieces by Picasso, Matisse, Henry Moore and Ben Nicholson.

Join us to hear Ashley Gray talk about collecting textiles and the option of joining him and other guests for supper afterwards in our Mess Restaurant.

“Ashley Gray of Gray MCA’s 2016 BADA Lecture “The Post War Textile Visionaries of Modern Art” was a tour de force! His vivid depiction of the importance of the 1950’s & 60’s commissions from Edinburgh Weavers and Ascher from the giants of Modernism was a revelation.”
Marco Forgione, Chief Executive, BADA

TALK & BOOK LAUNCH: with Author Professor Caroline Dakers ‘Fonthill Recovered – A Cultural History’


Friday 18 May, 6:30pm  Bookings

On Friday 18 May, Caroline Dakers, Professor of Cultural History at Central Saint Martins (University of Arts London) will join us to launch her new book ‘Fonthill Recovered – A Cultural History’ and discuss the legacy of William Beckford’s estate.  Messums Wiltshire was once itself owned by Beckford as part of the Fonthill estate.

Situated less than a mile away from the gallery, the writer and collector William Beckford built his Gothic fantasy house Fonthill Abbey at the end of the eighteenth century. The collapse of the Abbey’s tower in 1825 transformed the name Fonthill into a symbol for overarching ambition and folly.  However Beckford’s Abbey is only one of several important houses to be built on the estate since the early sixteenth century.

Caroline’s recent books include a new edition of Forever England (2016). She has also curated exhibitions at Leighton House Museum, London such as ‘George Aitchison: Leighton’s Architect Revealed’ (2012) and ‘Artists at Home: The Holland Park Circle’ (1999-2000).

Eventbrite - TALK & BOOK LAUNCH: with Author Professor Caroline Dakers 'Fonthill Recovered - A Cultural History'