OPENING WEEKEND: Preview Party and Talks


Friday 13 and Saturday 14 May

CURATORS TOUR: Friday 13 May, 6:00pm  RSVP
PREVIEW PARTY: Friday 13 May, 6:30pm  RSVP
Supper at the Mess Restaurant – Book here
TALKS AND EVENTS: Saturday 14 May, free events  READ MORE


Join us to celebrate the opening of two exhibitions Tideline and Ground. Come for the preview party and stay for supper or some along to the free talks and events on Saturday.

Tideline and Ground are exciting new exhibitions at Messums Wiltshire, exploring the relationship between art and the environment that is both celebratory and forewarning.


Shared ideas


We have 150 oak saplings all from the same tree to give away on the opening night. These are provided in an innovative Woollen pot that it is hoped will replace the c500m plastic flower pots that are used in the UK annually. Woollen pots can be planted directly into the soil and can be made using excess British wool.

Please plant them and the ideas they represent where you feel is right.


Reserve a tree


Photo (top): Mikko Raskimen, Aalto University

Saturday 14 May – Free to attend all day 

Sea Change Talks


Book tickets


Join us for a day of fun and discussion about the difference we can all make when we begin to see human activity and ecological systems as sharing common ground and interests.




with Isabel de Vasconcellos (Messums Wiltshire), Henrietta Armstrong, Wayne Binitie,
Ros Burgin, Simon Faithfull, Tom Waugh


12.30 – 1.30 pm  PUSHING BACK THE TIDE?
A panel discussion talking about the eco-systemic benefits that arise from seeing social and ecological systems as having common interests, and the role of creative practitioners in driving change by presenting these new ways of working as inspiring, fun and exciting, and something that everyone can be part of.

Tideline artist Julia Lohmann is joined by Juliet Brodie (Natural History Museum, London), Ann Light (University of Sussex/ Malmö University) and Brenda Parker (University College London) to discuss the potential for algae as sustainable materials for making, and how in the interplay of art, design and science, we can engage the public on ocean literacy and connect creative industries to meet sustainable development goals.

Julia Lohmann, designer, researcher and educator, investigates and critiques the ethical and material value systems underpinning our relationship with nature. She is a Professor of Design Practice at Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland. Julia is passionate about eco literacy and ocean protection. In 2013, she founded the Department of Seaweed, a transdisciplinary community of practice exploring the sustainable development of seaweed as a material for making. Julia Lohmann believes that any exploration of biomaterials needs to be based on amplifying their regenerative eco-systemic impact. In her practice and teaching she promotes an empathic, more than human-centric mindset and views design as a way of connecting knowing, caring and acting across disciplines and different levels of complexity. Julia is contributing to research consortia relating to design, biomaterials, science and ecology. She holds a PhD from the Royal College of Art and her work is part of major public and private collections worldwide.

Professor Juliet Brodie is an Individual Merit Researcher in Phycology at the Natural History Museum, London. She is an international expert in seaweeds, notably in the red algae, and currently specialises in seaweeds in a time of rapid environmental change. Prof. Brodie is passionate about her subject and finds inspiration from nature and the beauty and diversity of the seaweeds. She considers this to be one of the most challenging times in science but also one of the most exciting times to be a scientist.

Ann Light is Professor of Design and Creative Technology, University of Sussex, UK and Professor of Interaction Design, Social Change and Sustainability at Malmö University, Sweden. She is a design researcher and interaction theorist, specializing in participatory practice, human-computer interaction and collaborative future-making, with qualifications in humanities, arts, computer science and artificial intelligence. Her 25-year research career has focused on the politics, ethics and agency of design, exploring eco-social change-making in a range of community settings and leading interdisciplinary teams in diverse fields, from the ethical consumption of coffee to interdisciplinarity itself. She has worked with arts and grass-roots organizations and marginalized groups on five continents and is currently co-leading research on the European Union’s Creative Practices for Transformative Futures ( and UK’s Social Justice in the Digital Economy ( her academic career, she has 10 years’ professional experience in the design sector.

Dr Brenda Parker is an Associate Professor of Sustainable Bioprocess Design at the Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London. Her research and teaching are highly interdisciplinary, bringing together the fields of environmental biotechnology, sustainability and design for applications within the built environment. Together with Prof Marcos Cruz she co-founded the Bio-Integrated Design lab at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Their work has been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, London Design Festival and the Design Museum.
Brenda holds an MEng and PhD in Biochemical Engineering. Her postdoctoral research was conducted as part of the Algal Biotechnology Consortium at the University of Cambridge, and she has worked on biomanufacturing and bioremediation using photosynthetic organisms for over ten years.





1.30 – 4pm SEAWEED WORKSHOP  (Drop in any time for 20-minute sessions)

Join Julia Lohmann and her team of makers for a drop-in workshop, where she will share more of her passion for algae and sea health, and demonstrate the materials and fabrication techniques for her seaweed sculptures. 

Participants will learn how to work with seaweed and be shown how to make their own seaweed broach, which they can take away with them at the end of the session. 



Exhibiting artist Chris Drury (Ground) will be in conversation with David Buckland, Founder and International Director of Cape Farewell.

They will discuss their shared commitment to art that addresses ecology and climate, including Exchange (2013-14), Chris’s collaboration with Kay Syrad on a series of works commissioned by Cape Farewell to look at sustainable ways of living and farming in three farms in Dorset.


Lens-based artist, film director & producer, and curator David Buckland created and now directs the international Cape Farewell project. Bringing artists, visionaries, scientists and educators together, Cape Farewell continues to build an international collective awareness and the cultural response to climate disruption. His work is included in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery, London, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Michael Wilson Collection, London and the Metropolitan Museum of New York. Buckland curated ‘eARTh’ for the Royal Academy 2009, U-n-f-o-l-d for Cape Farewell 2010, and Carbon 12 for Paris 2012, Carbon 13 for the Ballroom, Marfa Texas 2012, London 2009. He produced the films ‘Art from the Arctic’ 2006 for the BBC and ‘Burning Ice’ for Sundance, 2010.

4:00 – 5:00pm   PUTTING IT IN WORDS:  Kay Syrad and Clare Whistler

Kay Syrad and Clare Whistler are eco-poets who work closely together on a range of writing projects.  Kay will read from her latest collection, What is near (Cinnamon Press, 2021) and Clare will read from her book An ABC of the Heart (Elephant Press, May 2022), and then –

as the composite eco-poet kin& kin’d, the two will read from their collaborative work h/edge (Elephant Press, 2020).


6:00 – 7:00pm      Talk with Sue Clifford, founder of Common Ground

Sue Clifford, a founder director of Common Ground, will explore and illustrate the charity’s pioneering early work. Common Ground emerged in 1982/3 with an aspiration to link nature and culture to highlight the importance of the commonplace and the local. We crossed boundaries within and beyond the arts from an imperative in environmental practice. We championed popular involvement and inspired celebration as one starting point for local action to improve the quality of ordinary places and everyday lives. It took us a couple of decades to describe meaning and locality: Everywhere is Somewhere. What makes each place unique is the conspiracy of nature and culture: the accumulation and understanding of story upon history upon natural history.


Lunch and supper are available from The Mess Restaurant. If you wish to book a table, email to check availability.