TALK: 2B or not 2B: Why Draw?

Saturday 12 October, 5.30 & 7.30 – 9pm Bookings
A panel discussion followed by supper

For the first time in its history, the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize is coming to Salisbury, showcasing the best of contemporary drawing practice and the role and value of drawing in creative practice today. To mark the opening day of the exhibition at The Salisbury Museum, Messums Wiltshire is hosting a panel with a Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize selector, shortlisted artists and directors of the prize, to examine 
the relevance and importance of drawing and draftsmanship in 2019.

Our panel consists of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize and Drawing Projects UK Founder and Director Professor Anita Taylor, one of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize selectors, a shortlisted artist from this year’s prize and artist Charles Poulsen, whose three-dimensional drawings will be on display at Messums Wiltshire.

This event is part of the nationwide Big Draw Festival, which this year takes ‘Drawn to Life’ as its theme.

The Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, formerly the Jerwood Drawing Prize, is the largest and longest-running annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK and has a reputation for its commitment to championing excellence and promoting, celebrating and challenging contemporary drawing practice.

Messums Wiltshireis a leading multi-purpose arts centre, which opened in autumn 2016 after a two-year restoration project. Its aim is to offer a unique environment to experience and engage with the arts across genre including performance, dance, design as well as sculpture, painting, photography and ceramics. Messums Wiltshire recognises the importance of the hand’s skill in art: especially pertinent to a future in which the digital is expected to dominate. Situated in an area renowned internationally for its ancient art-making, beginning millennia ago with Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral and Tisbury’s Jurassic fossil coral, which is found underneath the hills of the Fonthill estate – and argued by Dr K P Oakley to be evidence of the first signs of human aesthetic appreciation.

The Salisbury Museum has a programme of supporting events to run alongside the exhibition, including a talk by Professor Anita Taylor and artist-led experimental drawing workshops. Activities for October Half Term are a whole-hearted celebration of drawing, inspired by the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing prize exhibition.

This is a ticketed event and will be followed by supper in our Mess Restaurant and a chance to continue the conversation.

TALK: By Artists-in-Residence Sonia Leber & David Chesworth with Arts Journalist & Broadcaster Fiona Gruber

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Friday 19 July, 6:30pm 2019

From 26 June this year Sonia Leber and David Chesworth will be the first artists-in-residence at Messums Wiltshire. During their five week residency the artists will create work in response to the thirteenth century tithe barn and it’s surroundings to be exhibited as part of the Image show in 2020.

Sonia Leber and David Chesworth are known for their distinctive installation artworks, using video, sound, architecture, and public participation. Developed through expansive research in places undergoing social change, Leber and Chesworth’s works are speculative and archaeological, responding to architectural, social, and technological settings. Their highly detailed, conceptual videoworks emerge from the real, but exist significantly in the realm of the imaginary.

Sonia Leber and David Chesworth’s artwork has been shown extensively internationally at exhibitions and Biennales as well as in their home country of Australia.

The talk will be hosted by Fiona Gruber, a Melbourne and London-based arts journalist, essayist, broadcaster and radio documentary maker. She’s written on the arts for many of the major Australian and UK newspapers and art journals including the Australian, Art World Australia, the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. Her work for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National includes a ten part series, Australian Portraits and Art After Death, a look at how the art world deals with the legacy of artists and their works. In 2018 she made the documentary “Creative Couple; Sonia Leber and David Chesworth.” about Messums Wiltshire’s 2019 artists in residence.

Join us for supper in the Mess Restaurant after the talk to meet the artists.

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'