Hauser & Wirth Somerset which is preparing to open in summer 2014, will be a world-class gallery and art centre located at Durslade Farm in Bruton, Somerset. With community and landscape at the heart of the project, the renovation of the existing historic buildings on the site is currently underway, alongside the development of two new gallery buildings designed to sit sensitively within the landscape. The core exhibition programme will highlight new work by Hauser & Wirth artists, and will be supported by extensive learning and artist residency programmes.
The inaugural exhibition, opening summer 2014, will be a presentation of new work by the British artist Phyllida Barlow. Featuring works created specially for Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Barlow’s exhibition will fill the 18th century Threshing Barn and adjoining farm buildings with a series of bold and colourful installations inspired by the country fête and carnival.
Phyllida Barlow’s abstract sculptural works are constructed from readily available materials, such as polystyrene, cement and felt. Bodily and dramatic, these ragged assemblies interact with their environment, invading the viewer’s space and forcing them to perform within the environment the artist creates. Inspired by Durslade Farm and its surrounding environment, Barlow’s exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Somerset will develop her interest in the notions of regeneration and upheaval, celebrating the restoration of the farm buildings into new gallery spaces.
Opening alongside Phyllida Barlow will be an exhibition of drawings by the internationally renowned landscape designer Piet Oudolf. Oudolf has designed the landscape for Hauser & Wirth Somerset including the 1.5 acre Meadow Garden that will sit behind the gallery buildings. Of this 2,733 square metres (0.7 acres) will be planted using over 25,000 herbaceous perennials. The exhibition will showcase his planting designs, including maps and drawings which highlight the detailed working process behind his creations.
‘We are hugely excited to be opening this important new art centre and gallery with an exhibition of new work by Phyllida Barlow. Phyllida is one of the most significant British sculptors working today and continues to be an inspiration to generations of younger artists and students. The exhibition itself will rejuvenate these incredible farm buildings which have stood empty for a long time’. – Alice Workman, Director, Hauser & Wirth Somerset