SUPPER CLUB: with Guest Alistair Spalding CBE, Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells

Wednesday 21 November, 7:30pm  Bookings

Join us for supper after the talk by Alistair Spalding CBE the artistic director and chief executive of Sadler’s Wells.

Head chef Sunny Sin has designed a two-course menu including a selection of pasta dishes to choose from on the night…

Seafood pescatore
Roasted squash with sage, lemon and white wine sauce
or Beef and pancetta ragu

Served with green salads

Pudding will be Sunny’s classic Italian tiramisu

Our Supper Club events are popular and places are limited so do book your space early!

If you wish to also book a ticket for the talk by Alistair at 6:30pm click here

TALK: ‘Life of Brian’ with Art Critic & Historian Richard Cork

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Saturday 17 November, 11am  Bookings

On Saturday 17 November we are delighted to welcome the award-winning art critic, historian, broadcaster and exhibition curator Richard Cork to the barn to discuss the life and influence of eminent sculptor Brian Taylor. Joining him will be Taylor’s son and five generations of former pupils, including sculptors Laurence Edwards and Ellen Christansen.

Laurence Edwards –
It wasn’t Brian’s incredible technical ability or natural talent that got me in the end. He was ‘nature’, I’d never met someone so in tune with work, it was his only form of expression, everything boiled down to the making not the showing the casting or the talking, that and empathy are what he leaves me striving for.

Ellen Christensen –
‘In 1986 I was one of the students invited to his house in Italy. I began to draw the surrounding landscape but found myself overwhelmed. Brian’s drawings were amazing – especially impressive when one knows how difficult it is. The mountain range was huge, and the light was beautiful’. The best advice I had from Brian was ‘there is always more you can see’…

Formerly Art Critic of The Evening Standard and Chief Art Critic of The Times, Richar Cork now writes for The Financial Times and broadcasts regularly on BBC radio and TV. He was Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University in 1989-90, and Henry Moore Senior Fellow at the Courtauld Institute, 1992-5. He has acted as a judge for the Turner Prize and curated major exhibitions at Tate, the Hayward Gallery, the Barbican Art Gallery, the Royal Academy and other European venues. Richard Cork was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy in 2011.

Messums Wiltshire are pleased to represent the estate of Brian Taylor.

The exhibition Brian Taylor: A Retrospective is showing in the Barn Gallery from 27 October – 2 December.

TALK: 3 x15 Discussion with Artists from the ‘New Perspectives’ Exhibition

Friday 16 November, 6:30pm  Bookings

Join us at the start of Drawing Weekend for our ever-popular 3 x 15 talk with three of the artists from our ‘New Perspectives’ painting exhibition, chaired by Professor Anita Taylor. Each artist has fifteen minutes to discuss their work before the floor is opened up for an audience Q&A.

Daphne Todd OBE

In 2010 Todd won First Prize in the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery, the most important portrait prize in the world. She was elected the first female President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (1994-2000) and was awarded an OBE for Services to the Arts in 2002.

Peter Brown NEAC

Inspired by the architecture and his own life in Bath, Brown has become a familiar figure painting the city’s streets and it was here he earned the nickname ‘Pete the Street’. He rarely paints in the studio, preferring to work directly from the subject on site, sometimes in the foulest of weathers. He is a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. In 2018 he was elected President of the New English Art Club.

Saied Dai NEAC RP

Dai studied Painting at the Royal Academy of Arts, London and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Gold Medal at the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, prizes at the BP Portrait Award Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London and the Young Contemporaries, Christie’s, London. He was made a member of The Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 2004 and The New English Art Club in 2009. Dai lives and works in Bath.

Professor Anita Taylor is a practicing artist, exhibition organiser, published writer and Executive Dean of Bath School of Art and Design. Before Bath, Anita was Director and CEO of the National Art School in Sydney, Australia and Vice Principal of Wimbledon School of Art, London. She is also the founding Director of the Jerwood Drawing Prize project, the pre-eminent annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK.

TALK: ‘A History of Dance’ with Alistair Spalding CBE Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells

Wednesday 21 November, 6:30pm  Bookings

Nobody knows about dance and its history better than Alistair Spalding, who has been Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells since 2004.

Under Alistair, Sadler’s Wells has become a world-leading dance house offering an ambitious programme of dance in all its forms and presenting first-class UK and international artists and companies. Audiences of over half a million see performances at its London theatres each year, with over 130,000 more enjoying its touring productions at venues across the UK and around the world.

Sadler’s Wells commissions and presents more new dance work than any other theatre in the world, embracing the popular and the unknown. Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 160 new dance works to the stage.

Alistair was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2005 and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2012, for services to dance. He holds honorary doctorates from Middlesex University (2012), the University of Hertfordshire (2014) and the University of Roehampton (2015).

Messums Wiltshire are proud to have an ongoing association with Sadler’s Wells, including staging works by associates and world-class choreographers Russell Maliphant and Alexander Whitley.

Our monthly Supper Club with Alistair as our special guest, if you would like to know more or book a place at the table click here

WORKSHOP: Still Life Drawing Class with Caroline Bays

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Sunday 18 November, 10 – 11am & 12 – 1pm  Bookings

‘Let whoever may have attained to so much as to have the power of drawing know that he holds a great treasure.’ Michelangelo

‘The art of drawing which is of more real importance to the human race than that of writing…should be taught to every child just as writing is’. John Ruskin

As part of our ‘New Perspectives’ exhibition we are celebrating the art of observation with a Drawing Weekend which includes talks and workshops and tutored by professional artists.

Artists of all ages and experience are invited to join us for an hours still life drawing tuition with artist and tutor Caroline Bays. Learn how to observe the objects around us in a new way, with a perceptive awareness of their outline, shape, proportions, tone, texture, form and composition. As Caroline says, “There is a particular engagement with the subject matter that comes when working from life”. A still life will be set up in the Long Gallery to benefit from the space’s natural north-facing light.

Caroline regularly exhibits with The Royal Society of Portrait Painters and is a member of the ‘Pastel Society’. She has been shortlisted for the Lynn Painter Stainers Prize Exhibition 2013, The Hunting Prize, The Discerning Eye and The Garrick Milne Prize.

All drawing equipment will be provided.

PREVIEW & PARTY: ‘Make Your Mark’ Drawing Competition

Saturday 17 November, 6pm – midnight  Bookings

To celebrate the art of observation with our ‘New Perspectives’ show we are inviting famous artists, celebrities and members of the public to start with a dot and complete their own pencil drawing and return it to us by 10 November.
The drawings will be included in our exhibition and judged by art critic and historian Richard Cork and Professor Anita Taylor, the executive dean of Bath School of Art and Design at the gala evening and preview on Saturday 17 November. All works are being sold at £25 each to raise money for the New English Art Club and The Heatherley School of Fine Art and Drawing Projects UK. The drawings will be shown anonymously but signed on the back, so come along to the preview and peruse the collection and at the sale on Sunday morning at 10am you could be walking away with a work by a famous artist or celebrity.

6 – 7pm
Ticket only preview of ‘Make your Mark’
£15 inc. drink

7 – 8.30pm
General opening of Drawing Competition + announcing of winner

8.30pm – midnight
Party with DJ Atsushi Hasegawa

Combined ticket for drawing preview and party £20

Sale starts on Sunday 18 November at 10am on a first come first served basis.

If you would like to enter your own drawing in to the competition, come along to the gallery to collect the drawing paper.

WORKSHOP: Life Drawing Class with Antony Williams R.P. P.S. N.E.AC

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Saturday 17 November, 5pm  £40  Bookings

“The only way is to sweat it out at life class, like I did.” David Hockney

As part of our ‘New Perspectives’ exhibition we are celebrating the art of observation with a Drawing Weekend which includes talks and workshops for those of all ages and experience and tutored by professional artists.

Learning to draw from life is considered to be fundamental as a practice for any artist. Studying the human form is complex and rewarding, not only does it improve drawing skills and powers of observation but improves the understanding of movement, gesture, emotion, composition and spatial awareness.

Come along to the Long Gallery with it’s natural north-facing light for an intensive two-hour drawing session with a professional life model. Your tutor for the course will be the painter and professional portraitist Antony Williams NEAC PS RP. His impressive array of portraits include those commissioned by Her Majesty the Queen, the RT Hon Margaret Beckett MP and Sir Alan Budd. In 2014 Williams won the Prince of Wales’ Award for Portrait Drawing and was the winner of the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize in 2012.

All drawing equipment will be provided.

Day out with Ras-amatazz

Thursday 20 September 2018

Malene with ‘Black Celebration at hte V&A’

The day started with Danish pastries at the Danish Embassy where Malene Hartmann Rasmussen was interviewed by Alun Graves, Keeper of Ceramics at the Victoria and Albert Museum about the work she has created at the museum during the last year as the Danish ceramic artist in residence.
Malene explained that her work is inspired by children’s books about trolls as well as the sense of uhyggelig the uncanny underpinning much of Danish culture.
Her work, exquisitely wrought ‘green men’ made of leaves, trolls and beasts, flowers and bugs, acorns, tree stumps, spiders, rabbits and corn dollies have featured in two in two exhibitions at Messums Wiltshire showcasing Europe’s best contemporary ceramic artists. She is also creating some new works for an exhibition of contemporary ceramics we are curating for the Koç Foundation in Istanbul next September.
In the afternoon a group of Messums Wiltshire patrons met in the main sculpture hall of the V&A where Malene has transformed an Italian Renaissance grotto made by Bernard Palissy for Catherine de Medici into one inhabited by a man made of seaweed and a pink frog. Behind him are some stalactites also made by Malene creating a surreal vignette in a gallery otherwise dominated by works by Giambologna, Rodin and Canova.
We admired how wet and lifelike the seaweed looks; the glaze is fired at such a high temperature (1280 Celsius rather than the usual 1080) that the glaze vitrifies meaning that it can withstand frost as it doesn’t absorb any water; perfect for a fountainhead in the grotto which Malene plans to make.
We then went upstairs and visited Malene’s studio, situated rather publicly in a glass walled room adjoining the ceramics galleries. ‘It does feel rather like a gold-fish bowl but I have got used to having people watching me work’ she said.
Apart from her kiln which has a six-foot-high chimney, we saw the first in a new line of troll heads made of pebbles and shells and her ceramic ‘diamonds’, all using this remarkable new, extremely subtle and lifelike watery glaze.
The like a mermaid’s cave, full of sea life; from the tiniest winkle to the biggest anemone as well as clams, sea snails, stalactites and seaweeds.
Particularly beautiful is a new work woven out of some green snakes, each curling and coiling with the poetry of those you see in the borders of medieval illuminated manuscripts.
the afternoon concluded with some delicious coffee served by Malene and some langues de chats; as delicate and delicious as Malene’s ceramic art.

Photo: Sylvain Deleu

PREVIEW: Pop-Up Exhibition by Ceramic Artist Makoto Kagoshima & John Julian


Friday 12 October 2018

In June this year we welcome Makoto to the Mess gallery where he created our mural and visited again the John Julian pottery. There he painted a small collection of works which we are delighted to now offer for sale. As there are only a small number of these works, we are holding them in reserve for the opening of the exhibition.

From Saturday 13 October to Sunday 4 November we will be hosting this exhibition of new work from the collaboration between internationally acclaimed ceramic artist Makoto Kagoshima and designer John Julian, as featured in the October issue of World of Interiors.

Join us for the preview on Friday 12 October at 6:30pm to see the work ahead of the sale opening on Saturday morning. Due to high demand, sales are limited to two pieces per person.

Makoto Kagoshima, based in Kyushu, the southern island of Japan, illustrates whimsical and heartwarming motifs on clay, making each ceramic object a unique, one-of-a-kind piece of art. His works are designed with a variety of plants and animals, remembered from his childhood and reimagined with the influence of William Morris’ Arts and Crafts detailing in evidence. Kagoshima’s designs are all done freehand. Forms are drawn in pencil on the dried clay, then blocks of colour are applied using a paintbrush. Fine lines are then scratched out to give detail, using the improvised tool of a dentist’s pick and the broken rib of an umbrella.

Sculptor and designer Julian Sainsbury is recognised for his collection of exquisite kitchenware, serveware and tableware. His designs are known for their pared-back aesthetic, neutral palette and finely judged simplicity. Leading chefs, discerning cooks and foodies alike around the world appreciate the sculptural form and the excellent functionality of his enduring classic designs. In 2013, after becoming disenchanted with the restrictions of conventional mass manufacturing, he set up his own artisanal workshop in Wiltshire.

SUPPER CLUB: with Guest Artists from our IMAGE exhibition

Friday 5 October 2018

On Friday 5 October we are hosting a talk by three of the most exciting photographers working and living in the UK: Anna Fox, Polly Penrose and Juno Calypso followed by a Supper Club where the artists will be our special guests. The theme for the supper is Indian food and head chef Sunny Sin has designed a delicately spiced Thali menu. In Indian cuisine the idea of a Thali is to present all the six flavours sweet, salt, bitter, sour, astringent and spicy on one single platter. According to Indian food custom, a proper meal should be a perfect balance of all these six flavours.


Lentil dahl
Tandoori chicken
Chickpea and spinach curry
with side dishes of pilau rice, naan bread, raita and onion relish
Mango lassi syllabub
Chai Latte to finish.

We have created a paired drinks list to match with this menu, contact us to pre-order your drinks.

The Mess Restaurant offers a unique atmosphere surrounded by works of art from our past exhibitions and the perfect place to give voice and to listen to thoughts about the evenings talk with friends and new acquaintances. Space is limited and the interest is strong, so do please book early.

If you wish to come along to the talk at 6:30pm tickets are free but need to be reserved at:


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