Saturday 6 October, 5pm Bookings
As part of our IMAGE exhibition Process Weekend, we are joined by Brett Rogers OBE, director of The Photographers’ Gallery in London, the first public gallery devoted solely to photography and which has championed up-and-coming photographers since opening in 1971. Brett has been director since 2006 and spent the past decade transforming the gallery in to an internationally recognised centre of excellence in the medium.
Recently Coutts said photography has emerged as the hottest new investment for the very well-off as well as appealing to a new demographic. As well as talking about her work at the gallery, Brett will help demystify the world of collecting including advice on what to look for, how to discern different print types and editions, what questions to ask when purchasing a work as well as what to avoid.
Brett Rogers was awarded an OBE for her dedication to nurturing arts and media, where, amongst other things, she has endorsed and propelled photography to the forefront of conversation as an established art form in the UK, as well as boosting the profiles of British photographers abroad.
Before The Photographers’ Gallery, Rogers was the deputy director and head of exhibitions at the Visual Arts Department at the British Council.
Wednesday 31 October, 6:30pm Bookings
Join us on Wednesday 31 October at Messums Wiltshire with Caroline Donald, to discover some of her favourite gardens she has visited during nearly 20 years as gardening editor of The Sunday Times.
What do the famous actor, the bestselling novelist, the international musician and the model have in common? Like millions of us, they love their gardens – and with good reason.
Caroline Donald has been welcomed beyond the gate of many a private paradise both in Britain and abroad to share the owners’ love of gardening. Her new book ‘The Generous Gardener’ features a collection of stories and pictures of more than 40 private gardens, including those belonging to Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton, Jilly Cooper, William Christie, Harrison Birtwistle, Kelly Brook, Penelope Hobhouse, Catherine FitzGerald and Dominic West.
Enjoy the chance to view a solo exhibition by sculptor Brian Taylor and “New Perspective” – a show of British Realist paintings before the talk from 6pm.
Saturday 6 October, 3:30pm Bookings
Marte Marie Forsberg is a photographer, food stylist, visual story teller, writer and home cook. Her work has been featured in newspapers, magazines and online articles around the world.
Learn how to make the most out of your camera (or phone), using social media platforms such as Instagram to share your creativity for either business or pleasure. Marte Marie will discuss how to use photography to tell compelling and heart-warming stories, drawing from her own experience working on food and travel articles.
Marie’s passion for photography and cooking lead her to write her first cookbook, The Cottage Kitchen, her story told through one hundred recipes and beautiful images.
Originally from a small coastal town in the south of Norway, she has found a peaceful corner of rural England to call her home.
To join Marte Marie’s 277k followers on Instagram click here.
Saturday 6 October, 2pm Bookings
Angela Williams will speak about her professional relationship with Norman Parkinson, her glittering artistic career and extensive photographic collection.
Williams started her career as a freelancer in the 60s. Aged twenty-one she was introduced to the eminent fashion photography Norman Parkinson. Williams soon became his personal assistant, resulting in a close working relationship and creative collaboration.
She worked with Jeremy Banks on the Observer New Supplement, The Sun Paper and Woman’s Mirror, to name a few. Williams has amassed an impressive collection of portraits spanning the duration of her career. Subjects of particular note include Paul Newman, Audrey Hepburn and Jane Fonda.
Williams continues to run the Angela Williams Archive – a collection of Parkinson’s vintage prints as well as her own work.
Top: Angela Williams, photo by Stephen Coe
Saturday 6 October, 11:00am Bookings
Whether you are an amateur enthusiast looking to improve your skills or fascinated by travel photography, award-winning photographer Steve Russell has a wealth of knowledge to impart. With years of experience in all aspects of professional photography, including shooting artworks, Steve’s main focus remains his love of the people and landscapes of Africa. Frequent journeys to east Africa have provided Steve Russell with the opportunity to photograph an incredible variety of animals and bird species, as well as amazing scenery, from the Rwenzori mountains to the Tanzanian coastline. Join us on Saturday 6 October to learn more about Steve’ fascinating life and work.
Russell’s images have been recognised in various competitions including Hasselblad Masters 2016, Travel Photographer of the Year 2015, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015, National Geographic Traveller 2015 and the British Book Design and Production awards 2013. His book ‘Katonda Wenge’ was shortlisted for the Best Book in the ‘Photographic, Arts Architecture and Monograph’s’ category.
Russell’s work has been featured in both private and public collections including Nature in Art Gallery and Museum, Gloucestershire and the British Council in Kampala, Uganda.
Top image: ‘Camp’ by Steve Russell
Friday 5 October, 6:30pm Bookings
A talk by three of the most exciting photographers working and living in the UK: Anna Fox, Polly Penrose and Juno Calypso. Listen to each speak for fifteen minutes on their creative lives and work, followed by an audience Q&A.
Subjects will include digital media’s role in the images of the internet age: the positives and the negatives. On social media, women artists can very literally self- represent work in their own free digital galleries. Rather experimentally, the five photographers in the barn – Juno Calypso, Maisie Cousins, Anna Fox (in collaboration with singer Alison Goldfrapp), Polly Penrose and Natalie Krick – were discovered via Instagram accounts, posts or hashtags.
Though Instagram is certainly a new frontier for pioneers of fine art photography, it is imperative to note that the platform’s many detractors have suggested that social media can ruin our experiences: of travel, food, relationships and even art.
Anna Fox began working as a photographer in the early 1980s, emerging as one of the most exciting colour documentary photographers of the time. Fox’s fascinating study of the bizarre as well as the ordinariness of British life resulted in a combination of social observation with highly personalized projects.
After studying Graphic Design at Camberwell College of Arts in London, Polly Penrose went on to have a career in fashion styling. Penrose has been taking self- portraits on a ten-second timer for over a decade. Her pictures focus less on sexuality and female allure, instead retaining the awkward, often beguiling force of the body as an object.
After completing a foundation degree Juno Calypso graduated with a BA in Photography from University of the Arts, London in 2012. In 2015 Calypso spent a week alone at a romantic-themed couples resort in the USA to continue her series of self-portraits. With a suitcase of wigs and lingerie, Calypso posed as a travel writer to gain access to the ostentatiously themed rooms.
Wednesday 26 September, 6:30pm Bookings
Set amongst a circle of privileged, hedonistic friends in the West Country, Clare Empson’s debut novel HIM (Orion) has been described as ‘Brideshead Revisited meets Big Little Lies’. Join Clare here at Messums Wiltshire for a special launch event, a talk by Clare and music by London based singer/songwriter Bill Jefferson.
A dark love story, HIM opens with a mute woman in a psychiatric hospital who has witnessed something so traumatic she has lost the power of speech.
The doctors tell her the only way forward is to look into her past. She must start with ‘him’, Lucian and the passionate but devastating affair which changed the whole course of her life.
HIM is a novel about choices and those casual, seemingly simple decisions which can end up imploding our lives.
Clare is a journalist with a background in national newspapers – small business editor, finance correspondent and fashion at the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Express, freelance for The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, the Evening Standard and Tatler amongst others. She currently lives in Dorset and works as editor/founder of experiential lifestyle website www.countrycalling.co.uk.
‘What a wonderful debut! It was dark, addictive and ultimately heart breaking.’ – Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things
‘Gripping and kept me guessing – and so emotionally true.’ – Sophie Kinsella
‘Him is dark, gripping, original and totally heartbreaking. Clare Empson writes like a dream: taut and sophisticated, not a word wasted. I loved this book.’ – Francesca Jakobi, author of Bitter.
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).