Past Exhibition Highlights

Kaori Kato

Unfolding, Unfurling


5 August – 18 September 2023


Part of an in-depth focus on materials investigated artworks made from paper. After a short residency artist Kaori Kato took over the barn gallery with a site-specific installation. Kato creates geometric patterns and organic forms by hand-folding paper.

Laurence Edwards



6 August – 17 October 2022


As the largest exhibition of his sculpture to date, this show presents the culmination of 10 years of work and development for Edwards. A ‘Tribe’ of giant bronze ‘Walking Men’ stride through the barn, amid a body of other large-scale works.




14 May – 3 July 2022 


At a time of accelerated shifts in sea levels and marine life brought on by human activity, Tideline examined artist responses to that most contested space, the littoral landscape. The area between land and sea carries with it the history of our earliest evolution, and remains one of the principal spaces for mankind’s dwelling.

Dame Elisabeth Frink RA (1930 – 1993)

Man is an Animal

26 September – 16 January 2022

Man is an Animal was the most extensive collection of large-scale sculptures by Dame Elisabeth Frink shown in this country since the artist’s death in April 1993.

Loaned from various institutions and private collectors, it was first exhibited at the Gerhard Marcks Haus Museum in Bremen, Germany.

The exhibition highlighted Frink’s almost unique insight – as a female sculptor – into the dichotomy of masculinity and of Man’s capability for cruelty as well as compassion and includes works made from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, when Frink was in the height of her artistic prowess.

Sculptures on view included her Riace figures, Running Man, Judas and Seated Man, which had never before been shown together in this country.

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15 September – 1 October 2021


Close Enough: Robert Capa

Robert Capa (1913 – 1954) is a legend in the history of photojournalism and possibly the most famous war photographer of the last century.

Laura El-Tantawy

In the Shadow of the Pyramids

‘In the Shadow of the Pyramids’ tells the story of the deep socio-political changes between 2005 and 2014 in Egypt. It documents the revolution and its emotional toll and impact on people’s lives.

Robert Capa

Close Enough

11 June – 10 July 2021


The central piece in this exhibition was Capa’s original Leica camera which he used to take his earliest photographs.

Of historical significance, was a display of Capa’s iconic photographs taken on Omaha beach during the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944. Only 11 images survived due to a darkroom accident during processing and these surviving negatives have become known as ‘The Magnificent Eleven’.

A Place Apart

Elisabeth Frink’s Studio


4 July – 18 October 2020


The working world of Elisabeth Frink arrived at Messums Wiltshire with the resurrection of her Woolland studio in our historic tithe barn.

The studio, which Messums rescued from collapse in 2019, was reconstructed to display a collection of original plasters alongside tools and objects salvaged from Woolland, providing a never seen before insight into one of Britain’s foremost sculptors.

Frink Studio virtual tour

Bruce Munro

Time & Place


7 December – 26 January 2020


Time & Place included a debut of Munro’s C-scales as a solo response to the volume of the barn gallery. This exhibition  also included a UK première of Munro’s most celebrated work Field of Light – a field of illuminated stems that bloom to gentle rhythms of light as darkness falls, the most celebrated of which is installed at Uluru (formerly Ayres Rock).

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Martina Amati



26 October – 1 December 2019


An exhibition of artist and film director Martina Amati’s immersive video installation Under (2015) as our inaugural MOVING IMAGE exhibition. Underwater cinematographer Daan Verhoeven captured Amati’s subaquatic performance, shooting every scene on a single, non-assisted breath of air.

‘It’s an entrancing experience. Martina Amati sweeps you away into the mysterious realm of freediver in her mesmerising multiscreen installation Under. Here is a beguiling world: dreamy and dangerous, disconcerting and seductive, alluring and yet frightening all at once.’  Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times

Christopher Kurtz

The Traveller cannot see North but knows the Needle can


13 July – 1 September 2019


A series of fine wooden constellations suspended just above the floor, Christopher’s sculptures explored the push and pull between craftsmanship, sculpture, design and fine art as a single installation that celebrated his chosen material.

“The telescopic scale of the works and their sublime grandeur of conception, position them outside of human interest. The mental space they open up is bigger than that – as big, in fact, as space itself.”  Glenn Adamson, May 2019

Catwalk Show

Material: Textile


Friday 26 April 2019


A highlight of the Material: Textile exhibition was a catwalk show featuring international fashion designers Henrik Vibskov, Joshua Millard and Sadie Williams.

Material: Textile


9 March – 28 April 2019


A highlight of the show was a 26 metre long sculpture, The Onion Farm, which ran the length of our medieval barn created by leading Danish fashion designer and artist Henrik Vibskov that was first shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum in September 2018. The structure, composed of colourful carwash brushes and red fabric onions served as the runway for a catwalk show by a number of international fashion designers including Vibskov.

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Michael Hulls

Material Light


8 December – 24 February 2019


Light artist Michael Hulls has worked almost exclusively in dance, largely in partnership with choreographer Russell Maliphant, establishing a reputation as a ‘choreographer of light’. Michael was invited to create a solo response to the unique setting of our thirteenth-century tithe barn.

Dante Marioni

Material Light


8 December – 27 January 2019


Though a celebrated art form in America, pioneering glassblower and leading Reticello glass artist Dante Marioni had rarely exhibited in the UK.

Dante at our Glass Festival in January 2019.

Material Wood: Art and Design


8 August – 9 September 2018


Our third Material: Wood – comprised of an exhibition, festival and hands-on making experiences. Set in our thirteenth-century barn, artists and designers including Paloma Varga Weisz, Christopher Kurtz, Thomas Heatherwick, Gareth Neal, Chris Eckersley, Richard Woods, Rob and Nick Carter and John Makepeace lead a survey of some of the most inspiring contemporary artists using wood and seeking inspiration from trees. The design element of the show will focus on chair design; Henry Brudenell-Bruce’s colossal, outdoor chair epitomises the spirit of this ambitious show.

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The Revelation of the Head


26 May – 8 July 2018


Our 13th century barn was the setting for a carefully chosen selection of some of the best sculptural heads that history has to offer; ranging from ancient Greek and Egyptian examples to contemporary depictions such as painter Jonathan Yeo’s first foray into sculpture – a large scale bronze self-portrait Homage to Paolozzi – created from an ingenious combination of virtual reality and advanced 3D scanning.

David Spriggs

Material: Light


9 December – 4 February 2018


Material: Light featured ‘Vision II’, a 5m x 5m x 2m light installation by David Spriggs as a sole illumination set in our 13th century monastic barn in one of the most ancient inhabited landscapes in the country.

‘Vision II’ celebrated the experience of light as the calendar drew towards the shortest day, as well as evoking one of our most elemental of relationships.

Spriggs uses a technique he pioneered in 1999 using multiple painted layered images in space to create unique 3D ephemeral-like installation artworks on grand scales.

Art in Motion: Spirit of the Horse


10 June – 8 July 2017


Featuring paintings and sculpture by some of the greatest exponents of Equine Art from the 19th century to the present day. Including work by including works by Elisabeth Frink, Isidore-Jules Bonheur, John Willis Good, Mark Coreth and Nic Fiddian Green.

Judy Pfaff

Roots Up


23 September – 26 November 2017


Judy Pfaff’s installation is a summation and a distillation through her senses of the architecture and also the landscape that surrounds the building. Her work can carry a more conceptual vocabulary, but it is ultimately a personal and remarkably handmade visual response, one that encourages us to see the space around us in a more textural and holistic way.

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