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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Hauser and Wirth trip

On the 13 June, a minibus load of us went to visit Hauser and Wirth, near Bruton in Somerset which I've been wanting to visit ever since it opened in 2014.
 It's a pioneering world-class gallery and multi-purpose arts centre, which acts as a destination for experiencing art, architecture and the remarkable Somerset landscape through new and innovative exhibitions of contemporary art. A landscaped garden, designed for the gallery by internationally renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf, includes a 1.5 acre perennial meadow, which sits behind the gallery buildings.
We started by having lunch in the nearby allotments, and then met our guide, Leslie Glenn Damhus, who gave us a very comprehensive tour of H&W for 90 minutes.
 As Helen talked about the history of the gallery, and how it had changed Bruton, I looked round at the lovely buildings surrounding us, and then went indoors to have a look at the exhibition by Rashid Johnson has an exhibition occupying all 4 galleries. If you click on the link, it will explain all of the works. The first gallery was a bit like a floral bookshop, it was hard not to brush against the overhanging plants
 From there we went into a gallery with 4 pictures like this
 here's a close up:
 And then in the next gallery here's Leslie explaining the 'faces'
 and in the fourth gallery there are some large tropical collages:
To give you an idea of the scale of the beautiful gallery space, here are some of our party in the gallery:

 From the galleries, we walked into the garden, which is a delight.
 There is some grass which I'd forgotten about:
 But mostly riots of colour in the wonderful beds
 I loved this Penstemon Digitalis Husker red
 and after being shown around by Leslie, looked at individual beds, identifying plants wiht my Oudolf Field guide.

 There are paths leading up to the structure at the end of the garden
 You can just see the orange Eremurus tails in the breeze below

 At the entrance to the garden, these two Louise Bourgeois Eye Benches III 1996-1997 made from Black Zimbabwe Granite are fabulous, although very hot on that day.
 I loved this trough:
 and these raised veg beds.
I will also mention we had an exceptional cream tea before leaving.
It's also worth mentioning Bruton, we stopped there for coffee before arriving at H&W, I'd like to go back and have a proper look, but here are a few glimpses of what we saw:
 above glorious alleyways, and below Stephen Davy-Osborn suggested we visit At the Chapel for coffee and other refreshments. Checking out the website, I discover you can also stay there. It's worth having a look at the photos of the bedrooms.
 Here we are having coffee
 general views of the chapel

 There's also a river running through Bruton

 The remains of this building can be seen form H&W and from Bruton, so it must be easy to walk from the town to Hauser and Wirth.
 Wonderful day out.

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