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


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Saturday 19 October, 6:30pm  Bookings

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.

TALK: ‘A Memory of Lies’ by Johnnie Gallop


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Friday 16 August, 6:30pm, £10, Bookings

On Friday 16 August, author Johnnie Gallop will join us here at Messums Wiltshire for a talk and signing of his recently published novel A Memory of Lies, a story of family love and a dynastic epic. Taking place across five decades, the characters weave a path for survival through the moral maze of war-torn Europe and emerging Africa. In the end the reader is left considering how the presentation of history morphs over time in light of whichever is the prevailing dogma. How many ‘true’ memories are merely lies?

A Memory of Lies draws influence from Pasternak’s ‘Zhivago’, Archer’s ‘Kane and Abel’, Makine’s ‘A Life’s Music’, and Orwell’s ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’.

Born and raised in a south London suburb, Johnnie left school at 16 and worked for a small private bank in Fleet Street for nearly thirty years. He left banking to take his A levels and then went on to become an undergrad at the London School of Economics reading economic history. Whilst at university Johnnie worked out the plot for A Memory of Lies and decided that it had to be written. He is now working on the sequel and has a third novel in mind. These days Johnnie lives on the Wiltshire/Dorset borders.

There is an option for supper in the Mess Restaurant after the talk. If you wish to book a table phone us on 01747 445042 or email themess@messumswiltshire.com

Representation of Australian Artist Daniel Agdag


Announcement

We are delighted to announce that Messums will now represent the Australian artist Daniel Agdag in Europe and North America. Following his sell-out show here at Messums Wiltshire, Daniel’s collection of intricate scalemodels can be viewed at our sister gallery Messums London in Cork Street until this Friday 12 July.

Daniel is an artist and filmmaker based in Melbourne, Australia, whose practise sits at the nexus of sculpture and motionography. He creates highly detailed sculptural pieces that have been described as architectural in form, whimsical and antiquated in nature and inconceivably intricate.

Daniel predominately works in cardboard. Drawn to its utilitarian origins and monochromatic presentation, he creates a paradox of fragility and strength with structures that resemble architectural forms and machines by utilising a medium that is essentially paper and preserving them under glass vitrines or bell jars.

Whilst his work is predominantly realised in cardboard he has made work in steel, wood and glass in recent years as part of translating his elaborate ideas into large scale public art sculptures, in 2014 he completed a large-scale public commission ‘The Inspector’ in Abbotsford, Melbourne.

The son of Armenian immigrants, Daniel Agdag studied Fine Art before his interest in moving image drew him to filmmaking. He received a Masters in Film and Television from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2007.

He has exhibited solo shows in Melbourne and New York and been presented at several international art fairs: Melbourne Art Fair; Sydney Contemporary; Art Central Hong Kong; VOLTA Basel; Art Fair Tokyo. His work is held in private collections in the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and Europe. He has completed several private commissions, notably for Hermès Paris.

See more of Daniel’s work
Daniel’s exhibition at Messums London

Our First Artists-in-Residence at Messums Wiltshire


0a_Sonia_Leber_David_Chesworth_Universal_Power_House_0234_FIN (events page)

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.

On Friday 19 July, towards the end of their stay Sonia Leber and David Chesworth will join us for a talk 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.

Click here to book a ticket for the talk.

Camden Town Group Paintings Come to Messums Wiltshire


A Very British Collection
Until Sunday 7 July

A pop-up exhibition of important paintings by memebers of the Camden Town Group is on show in the Long Gallery until Sunday.

This collection comes directly from one source and represents one man’s lifetime obsession with the Camden Town Group. Christopher Mason-Watts has been collecting since he was four years old. He began with the colourful little picture cards that appeared in the boxes of Brook Bond tea. He bought his first artwork when he was seventeen and his first serious purchase was a pocket sized painting by Walter Sickert, bought when he was twenty three, it cost him almost a third of his annual salary. He has loved the Camden Town Group since he first discovered their work as a teenager and it was this group that he focused much of his collecting efforts towards. Though they held only three exhibitions between 1911 and 1912, the Camden Town Group was one of the most vital, exciting and well-known collectives of the twentieth-Century British artists.

Upon Sickert’s return to London from Venice in 1905, Harold Gilman, Frederick Spencer Gore, Lucien Pissarro (son of French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro), Augustus John, Henry Lamb, J.B. Manson, Robert Bevan, Walter Bayes, and Charles Ginner, all recent visitors to Paris, assembled unofficially at Sickert’s studio. There they engaged in lively discussions about the developments in contemporary French art. Their meetings brought a sense of French bohemianism into the English art world of the time. When the critic Frank Rutter joined the group in 1908, he proposed that the group organize itself after the French Salon des Indépendants. They thus formed the Allied Artists Association, completely independent of the established art societies such as the Royal Academy. The association held its exhibits of French and English Post-Impressionism at the Royal Albert Hall. In 1911 Sickert’s circle officially became the Camden Town Group. At the three important exhibitions held at the Carfax Gallery and sponsored by the Camden Town Group in the years 1911 and 1912, early French Fauve and Cubist paintings were introduced to the public.

The Camden Town artists knew the Impressionist technique well but were also open to the influence of Post-Impressionists such as Paul Gauguin and Paul Cézanne. Because the group was primarily interested in pictorial structure, it particularly turned to Cézanne for inspiration. Their subject matter was derived from the everyday life of an English industrial town. Despite a somewhat expressive use of colour, their paintings remained representational and realistic, reflecting an interpretation of a modern aesthetic different from the more formally daring developments emerging in Paris at the same time. The Camden Town Group was absorbed in 1913 by the London Group, a combination of several smaller groups of contemporary English artists.

Works in the Long Gallery include those by Walter John Bayes, Harold Gilman, Sir Robin Philipson (pictured above) Wendela Boreel, Percy Wyndham Lewis, James Bolivar Manson, Therese Lessore and Sylvia Gosse.

For more information on the full collection, visit our Messums London website

PERFORMANCE: Spoken Word Poetry with Ben Norris


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Saturday 6 July 2019

Poet and performer Ben Norris presents a live set about family and ideas of ‘home’ in work that looks unflinchingly at heartbreak, grief, death, love, hope and forgiveness.

“These poems are raw, fresh, fluent, and filled with a real voice and a real sensibility, without a cliché or slack moment insight. Norris has conveyed not only a sense of himself, but himself as someone on whom nothing is lost. Interesting, smart, sensitive, witty. He’s the real deal” Colm Tóibín

“Truly exciting, incisive, and revealing. Innovative without being gimmicky, confident without being cocky. Moving and truthful.” Jo Bell

“‘I thought, and felt my anchor fall’, begins Ben Norris’ pamphlet; in these poems, he dives deep, holding the twin ropes of family and fidelity, anchored by a great eye for imagery and detail. These are moving, witty and beautifully-crafted poems which are never complacent, never letting us stay on the surface.” Andrew McMillan

Ben Norris is a poet, playwright and actor. He is two-time national poetry slam champion and has appeared everywhere from Latitude Festival to the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. His has written commissioned for BBC Radio 4, Southbank Centre, IdeasTap, and Ditch the Label and was recently writer-in-residence at Theatr Clwyd. He is current poet-in-residence for Nottinghamshire Libraries and a Creative Associate at Nottingham Playhouse. He also plays Ben Archer in ‘The Archers’ on BBC Radio 4.

There will be an opportunity to buy signed copies of Ben’s celebrated poetry pamphlet Some Ending at the event.

TALK: ‘In Conversation’ with Photographer Beth Moon


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Friday 30 August, 6:30pm  Bookings

American photographer Beth Moon will join us on Friday 30 August for an ‘in conversation’ about her work and subjects followed by the option of supper in the Mess Restaurant after the talk.

We are delighted to host the first UK presentation of Beth’s work this summer. For over a decade she has been documenting the biggest, oldest and rarest trees in the world. This journey has taken her to desolate mountainsides, private estates and protected lands, where she has made portraits of some of nature’s most majestic giants.

Her work highlights the delicate duality of their existence— as both powerful but also vulnerable to environmental elements and human intervention. Fifteen of Beth’s recent photographs will be shown in the Long Gallery as part of Material: Wood– comprising images of oak trees, baobabs and sequoias, an exquisite body of work and a must-see.

TALK: Wrong end of the stick? The muddied waters between craft, design and fine art – what is the difference and does it matter


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Saturday 13 July 2019

Ever since man sat on a log or made a basket or made a bark painting, wood has been the material which man has relied on for both poetic expression and utilitarian function. In this discussion between three of its greatest proponents – Grant Gibson, former Editor of Crafts Magazine; Emma O’Kelly, Editor-at-large of Wallpaper Magazine; and Christopher Kurtz, one of America’s foremost sculptors in wood – discuss the ever muddied waters between craft, design and art – what is the difference and does it matter?.

This event marks the opening of Christopher Kurtz’s solo exhibition here at Messums Wiltshire.

EVENT: Small Step, Giant Leap – A lunar landing-inspired intervention by Bruce Munro


Bruce_Munro_Small_Step_Giant_Leap (Events page)

Saturday 20 July 2019

On 20 July 1969 astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon – a moment that those who witnessed it will never forget.

Drawing inspiration from this life-changing event artist Bruce Munro will present Small Step, Giant Leap – an unscheduled landing in our thirteenth century barn on Saturday 20 July 2019 to mark 50 years since the lunar landing. Projected on to the vast stonewalls of the barn will be the artist’s visualisation of the moon created from an animated projection, which takes Armstrong’s now iconic words translated into Morse code to create an abstract visual pattern. Artist Christopher Kurtz’s suspended wooden constellations – on show in the barn from 13 July – 1 September – will complement this lunar intervention.

Small Step – Giant leap is a recognition of that single feat, and incredible moment in history, and features a sound element of the original NASA recordings between Mission control, Apollo 11 and the Lunar Module.

Preview screening at 7.30pm
Post-landing supper with Bruce Munro at 8pm

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


0a_Sonia_Leber_David_Chesworth_Universal_Power_House_0234_FIN (events page)

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.

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