BOOK LAUNCH: Furniture in Architecture: the work of Luke Hughes

Wednesday 16 September 2020


A talk attended both online and in the barn gallery for the launch of ‘Furniture in Architecture: the Work of Luke Hughes’ with author and designer Luke Hughes in conversation with the author Aidan Walker.

As part of our series of architectural exhibitions and events ‘Living Within’ we joined author Aidan Walker and furniture maker Luke Hughes to discuss his life’s work and the new book that chronicles the journey. Considering questions such as what turns a building from a functional construction into a coherent environment? How does a building serve its purpose with elegance and efficiency? The unsung hero is often the under-appreciated solution – the invisible element in plain sight is the furniture.

‘Furniture in Architecture: the Work of Luke Hughes’ is the first survey of the work of Luke Hughes & Company, which has been described as embodying ‘a craft-led renaissance in British manufacturing’ exploring the relationship between space, function, design, craft and the ‘sense of place’.

Luke Hughes & Company’s furniture is an eloquent response both to the architecture it inhabits and to the true Arts and Crafts spirit and furnishes many of the world’s most distinguished buildings, from Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and most of the Oxford and Cambridge University colleges to the Keystone Academy in Beijing and one of New York City’s most vibrant synagogues.

Author Aidan Walker is an experienced cabinetmaker, editor of The Encyclopedia of Wood and former editorial director of most the the UK’s professional design journals.

Tanya Harrod, who wrote the foreword to the book, is one of the most highly regarded craft historians working today.

‘Furniture in Architecture: the Work of Luke Hughes’ is published by Thames & Hudson.

Online attendees will receive a Zoom link before the start of the event.

Photo: Tim Imrie

ONLINE TALK: Podcast with Peter Murray CBE, Founder and Director of Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Friday 10 July, from 11am

In the opening week of  A Place Apart – the Elisabeth Frink Studio, Peter Murray CBE, Founder and Director of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, recounts memories of Elisabeth Frink and discusses her legacy with Johnny Messum.

Peter Murray CBE founded the Sculpture Park in 1977 with a single grant of £1,000 and an exhibition of 31 sculptures. Since then some of the major exhibitions he has organised at Yorkshire Sculpture Park include Elisabeth Frink, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Andy Goldsworthy, which won the South Bank Show Award for Visual Arts.

He was awarded the title of OBE in 1996 for services to the arts, and the title of CBE in 2010.

TALK: ‘The Well Gardened Mind’ with Sue Stuart Smith

Thursday 10 September 2020

A talk in the barn gallery and online by psychiatrist, psychotherapist and author of ‘The Well Gardened Mind’ Sue Stuart-Smith.

As gardening experiences a surge in popularity during lockdown, psychiatrist, psychotherapist and author Sue Stuart-Smith will join us to discuss the psychological benefits. In a powerful combination of contemporary neuroscience, psychoanalysis and brilliant storytelling, Sue’s book and The Sunday Times bestseller The Well Gardened Mind investigates the magic that many gardeners have known for years – working with nature can radically transform our health, well-being and confidence.

Sue Stuart-Smith tells brilliant, illuminating stories of people struggling with stress, depression, trauma and addiction, from asylum seekers to veterans, inner-city young people to the retired.

This is a glorious book of science, insight and anecdote that shows how our understanding of nature and its restorative powers is only just beginning to flower.

‘The wisest book I’ve read for many years … Much more than a gardening book, much more than a guide to mental health … Hugely recommended’ Stephen Fry

‘An important and timely book … Beautifully written, drawing on a lifetime’s experience as both a clinician and a gardener, and I urge everyone to read it’ Monty Don

‘Riveting, inspiring and often very moving … A lively, compassionate exhortation for us all to get our hands back in the soil’ Isabella Tree

‘A compelling and deeply moving account of how profoundly our wellbeing can be affected through contact with gardening and the natural world … Read it’ Edmund de Waal

TALK: with Interior Designer Emily Todhunter

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Emily Todhunter founded the interior design company Todhunter Earle in 1988, with Kate Earle joining as her partner in 1998. Since then the business has expanded rapidly both in size and scope. Her projects range from classic English country houses to well-known restaurants, yachts, small boutique hotels, ski chalets and beautiful homes worldwide.

Todhunter Earle has been at the forefront of the international interior design industry for over 20 years. They are one of only a handful of leading designers to have been continuously included in House & Garden magazine’s Top 100 Interior Designers since the list first began in 1998.

Part of our autumn season of architectural events and exhibition.


ONLINE TALK: with choreographer Anthony Matsena

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Performance Associate Anthony Matsena talks to Messums Wiltshire about Co-directing, choreographing and performing in lock down alongside his brother Kel and his plans for creating a film and live performance coming to Messums Wiltshire this September.

It has been an incredible year for Anthony Matsena. Following his sell-out performances here at the barn gallery, Anthony has been busy working on projects for the National Dance Company Wales and a brand new piece commissioned by Messums Wiltshire in response to the Elisabeth Frink studio – in situ at the gallery from Saturday 4 July. As with all our events at this time, the dance will now be performed online but Anthony will be here to introduce it to us ahead of time via Zoom.

Anthony is a National Dance Company Wales Associate Artist and Co-Artistic Director of Matsena Performance Theatre.

All attendees will be emailed a Zoom link before the start of the talk.

Photo: Paul Nicholls

ONLINE PERFORMANCE with GOMMIE: In response to the Frink Studio


Friday 17 July 2020

We would like to invite you to view the first artworks to be created inside Elisabeth Frink’s historic studio since it’s resurrection.

Throughout the day of the 17th July, artist and poet – Gommie, will be creating work within the recreated Elisabeth Frink studio.

As an artist whose work is responsive to subtle and seismic changes in our national consciousness Gommie will be working within the physical working world of one of our most eminent British female artists. This day residency and evening performance will focus on a dialogue with his own practice and with the legacy of Elisabeth Frink, whose working world has become the centre of our programme for the next four months.

During this day residency Gommie will be creating artworks that correspond with spoken poems that will be performed at the end of the day at 6:30.

In attending the event you will be the first to see these artworks that will be released for sale the following week. 

ONLINE TALK: If you like you can just snog me & then drop me off at the hospital


Wednesday 3 June, 6:30pm, free event   POSTPONED

Register interest for details of Gommie’s upcoming exhibition

What does a travelling poet do during lockdown? Join us for a talk with Gommie and an introduction to his new body of work on the day his new online exhibition opens to the public.

“On Tuesday 17th of March 2020, I was in Llandudno Junction in North Wales. Boris had just shut the pubs and I realised that I could no longer morally roam from place to place the way I had been doing.”

Lockdown has affected us all and no more so than artist and travelling poet Gommie. Taking government sanctioned daily walks Gommie began mapping out the shape of our new way of life. Noting fragments of language coming to the fore and engaging more with life online.

“I had some beautiful and hilarious conversations with people from all over the world about their experiences of lockdown. I realised how romantic so many of us are. How funny and silly and poetic we all have the ability to remain during abrupt change.”

ONLINE TALK: with Landscape Artist Kurt Jackson


Wednesday 17 June 2020

Online talk and Q&A with the landscape artist Kurt Jackson during the week his new exhibition ‘Time & Tide: the Port Quin Paintings’ opened on our website.

The show consists of a series of 25 paintings positioned on a tideline, a point on the coast to engage with the idea of this shifting transient marker. For this collection Kurt chose Port Quin as his inspiration, a North Cornish cove he has known since childhood.

ONLINE TALK: Inuit Sculpture


Friday 29 May, 6:30pm, online via Zoom  Bookings

Join Inuit art specialist Pat Feheley for an online talk on Zoom as an introduction to our Inuit sculpture exhibition.

As part of our online programming, we are delighted to present a collection of significant Inuit sculpture from the mid to late twentieth century from a single owner collection. Beautiful objects in their own right and a lasting record of the Inuit culture past and present, Inuit sculpture also plays an important role in the development of Western art.

Gallery owner and Inuit art specialist, Pat Feheley will discuss the works in the exhibition on Zoom with a chance to ask questions afterwards.

All attendees will receive a link to join in the event.