TALK: with the Author Michael Morpurgo

Friday 26 June, 6:30pm  Bookings

Talk and reading of ‘Muck & Magic’ the new book by the best-selling author of ‘War Horse’ Michael Morpurgo.

We are delighted that the highly acclaimed author Michael Morpurgo (Warhorse, Why the Whales Came, The Butterfly Lion) is coming to the gallery this summer to talk about his new book ‘Muck and Magic’. Signed copies of the book will be available to purchase.

‘Muck & Magic’ is an inspiring and empowering story about a girl who discovers a hidden talent. A contemporary countryside tale about the power of friendship and creativity, from the nation’s favourite children’s author and beautifully illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill (J. K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). Bonny has always wanted to be a top cyclist, maybe even a future Olympic champion. But her world changes after meeting a sculptor named Lizzie, who is inspired by Elisabeth Frink, a great friend of Michael’s.

Michael Morpurgo has an unparalleled reputation as a children’s storyteller. He was Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005, has written over 100 books and is the winner of many awards, including the Whitbread Children’s Book Award, the Smarties Book Prize, the Blue Peter Award and the Red House Children’s Book Award. His books are translated and read around the world and his hugely popular novel War Horse is now both a critically acclaimed stage play and a highly successful film.

The Pod Pop-up

2 – 6 James Street, Harrogate

Saturday 8 – Saturday 15 February
Preview Party: Friday 7 February, 6 – 8pm  RSVP
Collectors Tour: Saturday 8 February, 11 – 12pm  RSVP


Messums Wiltshire and the Pod are taking to the road and showing in the centre of Harrogate at the beginning of February whilst the Barn undergoes its seasonal maintenance.

Featuring a large selection of works from our Pod store, the curated collection will feature paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and glass. Includes works by Peter Brown, Thièbaut Chagué, Majeda Clarke, Laurence Edwards, Kurt Jackson, John Julian, Makoto Kagoshima, Qu Lei Lei, Dante Marioni, Alan Reynolds, Zoe Richie, Tuesday Riddell, Joanna Still, John Walker and others.

FILM SCREENING: Freediving Documentary ‘Inside Under’


Wednesday 27 November 2019

The documentary follows Martina Amati as she teams up with Doctor Kevin Fong to explore the physiological effects of freediving and was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust Large Art Award commission in 2012. The film includes footage and interviews with scientists and the world’s pioneers of freediving, amongst others Enzo Maiorca [1931–2016], who was the first to freedive down to -50 metres. Enzo was told he would die attempting the record but he did it anyway. Since Enzo’s time, divers have continued to push the boundaries of what is humanly possible, diving to ever greater depths (the current world record for ‘no limits’ diving is -230m) and – with the help of scientists – are continue pushing this incredible and fascinating discipline.

Martina Amati is a film-maker and artist based in London. Many of her films study the human body crystalised in movement and the limits of its strength and fragility. She grew up close to the sea in Italy, and water is a recurring theme in her work.

Doctor Kevin Fong is co-director of the Centre for Altitude, Space and Extreme Environment Medicine in London.

EVENT: After Dark: Light Installations in the Landscape by Bruce Munro


Various dates throughout December and January 2020

For December only, two nights a week, experience Bruce Munro’s light installations in the barn, the Field of Light and a field of moons as you have never seen them before.

After dark is the perfect time to view Bruce Munro’s five light installations in the tithe barn and outside in the sculpture gardens. See the landscape around the galleries light up in a multiplicity of colours. The amphitheatre shaped lawn will be highlighted by a bumper crop of mini moons based on the ‘Harvest Moon’ designed for Waddesdon Manor. The courtyard gardens will host ‘Moon Blooms (Field of Light)’, two swathes of stemmed fibre-optic globes whose colours shift from one shade to another so slowly you barely notice, until suddenly the field of blue and green you have been looking at has morphed into pink and purple. An ethereal light-based, sculptural experience that calls attention to nature and based on Bruce’s famous Field of Light in Uluru, Australia and Field of Light in Sensorio, California.

Wiltshire based Bruce Munro is inspired by natural light and his curiosity for shared human experiences. With a background in fine arts and lighting design, large-scale light-based artworks have become his signature. He has created them for parks, galleries, museums, botanical gardens, estates and cathedrals all across the world.

Photo © Bruce Munro Studios
Photo credit: Serena Munro

EVENT: Raise the Roof – A Choral Celebration


Saturday 21 December 2019

Join in and sing along with 200 other voices and a big band for an experience like no other this Christmas.

This is a free event open to everyone. Just bring your voice and best Christmas wishes and help us raise the roof of our venerable building.

The bar will be open for mulled wine, drinks and our homemade Christmas sausage rolls.

EVENT: Tim Harrisson Sculpture to Move to Nadder Centre

Tim Harrisson’s limestone sculpture ‘Silent Rhythm’ is moving from the Messums Wiltshire sculpture garden to it’s permanent new home outside the Nadder Centre, Tisbury.⁠

The work has been commissioned by Wiltshire Council, supported by C G Fry and Son Ltd and working with Messums Wiltshire to further highlight the development of the Nadder Centre for Tisbury and the collective endeavour in the surrounding area. ⁠

The unveiling is at the Nadder Centre on Saturday 28 September at 10am and a brief talk by the artist followed by refreshments.⁠

EVENT: Explore & Taste Australia’s Finest Wines with Matthew Jukes


Friday 13 December 2019

A relaxed and informal tasting of Australia’s finest wines introduced by the Daily Mail’s wine critic and writer Matthew Jukes.

Messum Wiltshire and wine connoisseur Matthew Jukes open and share fifty of the finest 100 Best Wines alongside a light installation by artist Bruce Munro and a collection of Australian paintings. We hope that you will join us for a thoroughly unique evening of indulgence in the form of Australian wine and art. The wines are designed as a balanced, modern collection of all styles of wine, including sparklers, whites, reds, sweet and fortified wines. Everybody attending the wine tasting will receive a free copy of Matthew’s 100 Best Australian Wines 2019-20 booklet worth £25.

The Mess Restaurant will also be open for supper afterwards (book a table phone/ 01747 445042 or email/ So come along to the barn and enjoy some drinks followed by a delicious feast.

Home to some of the oldest vines in the world, Australia is rapidly gaining ground in the trade and the public’s estimation as a fine-wine producing country of note. With its sheer size, Australia has a vast array of diverse climates and the wines produced reflect each of their region’s distinct and unique characteristics.

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for over 30 years, he wrote ‘The Wine Book’ which was serialised by the Daily Mail and then went on to write the most widely read wine column in the UK in the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine. In January 2012, Matthew Jukes was awarded the Honorary Australian of the Year Award by the Australia Day Foundation. His book, Taste Food & Wine, co-written with Tyson Stelzer, won the Australian Food Media Award for Best Food and Writing in 2008. In 2002, Matthew won the prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition’s Trophy for Wine Communicator of the Year.

DANCE PERFORMANCE: Creative Circle Preview

Friday 6 September 2019

Join us for the Creative Circle preview on Friday 6 September of two new contemporary dance performances choreographed by Sadler’s Wells Young Associates Ruby Portus and Anthony Matsena following their highly acclaimed London debut last week.

Enjoy a champagne reception followed by an exclusive preview of the two dances in the Barn, a unique and breathtaking environment to discover and enjoy art and performance. There is an option to join us afterwards for a very special three-course supper and wine with the dancers and choreographers.

Your support will secure future performances at the Barn, enabling us to bring established artists to Messums Wiltshire and help those at the beginning of their careers whilst also providing subsidised tickets to bring contemporary, world-class dance to a broader and younger audience.

In praise of past performances at Messums Wiltshire:

[Alexander] Whitley’s intelligent dance-making gets a fabulous showcase…
The Guardian, July 2018

‘Elegant and emotionally probing’
Alison Gunn for the Financial Times, July 2018

‘A particular hooray for Messums Wiltshire, a new space for dance both spectacular and exquisite…. Maliphant’s serene and inward creations lit with the chiaroscuro genius of Michael Hulls in the cathedral emptiness of [a 700 year old barn] make for a hallowed match of art and place.’  Ismene Brown for The Arts Desk, November 2018

TALK & FILM SCREENING: ‘Man of Stones’ by Laurence Edwards


Saturday 19 October 2019

Join us on Saturday 19 October on the penultimate day of Laurence Edwards’ magnificent solo show where he will give a talk about the making of his 8ft sculpture Man of Stones alongside Calvin Winner and introduce a documentary by Bill Jackson.

Bill Jackson has been photographing Laurence’s sculpture and documenting his studio and foundry for the last three years and has made a film looking back at a year of studio production centred on the making of Man Of Stones. The result is a stunning piece of visual poetry that explores the creation and development of the sculpture.

Filmed in black and white and on hand held cameras, Jackson captures the energy of Edwards at work, visually he almost becomes one of the sculptures he is making. Edwards taps in to our deep and ancient relationships with ourselves and the landscape, trapping it in his work for people to see and to remember.

Bill Jackson is an international award winning photographer and film maker having recently shown at the Venice Biennale and winning Gold and Silver at the Moscow and Tokyo International Foto Awards respectfully. He lives and works in Suffolk.

Calvin Winner is an author and Head of Collections at The Sainsbury Centre. His essay The Last Man is featured in Edwards’ exhibition catalogue.

WORKSHOP: Drawing with Clay

Saturday 19 October 2019

Bring clay to life and be part of an art installation in our 13th century tithe barn during the major solo show by leading observational sculptor Laurence Edwards. Come along and make your own mini Man of Stones in clay and join with others to create a unique piece of installation art before taking your creation home. We are delighted that sculptor Alasdair Rennie from Coade will lead the event and offer his expert tuition.

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

Open to sculptors of all ages.

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