Materiality: Provisional States


‘But nothing is “common” in the sense of base or unworthy if it is rightly used’ Gertrude Jekyll, Colour in the Flower Garden, Country Life Ltd. And George Newnes Ltd, 1908.

The exhibition Materiality Provisional States with artists Sarah Bennett, Megan Calver and Philippa Lawrence took place at Hestercombe Gallery 10.11.18 – 24.02.19. It was the culmination of an extensive period of site- based research that began in Hestercombe’s archive and extended to its grounds. The catalogue essay for the exhibition by Cherry Smyth can be read here.


‘This exhibition, unlike many, began life as a proposal to give three artists unlimited access to Hestercombe’s landscapes, buildings and archives to ‘see what happens’. No exhibition was promised, just the agreement of sharing thoughts, ideas and art through five sessions with an invited list of participants. Disclosures and Dialogues, as these sessions became known, took shape under the coordination of curator Kate Best, and delivered fascinating insights into Hestercombe and future possibilities.

Sessions were entitled Island Gracing; Not Quite This or That; being Here and Being There: Pulling Threads; Tripping (over things); Observations.

The sessions led to two things: the commissioning of the exhibition; and secondly further understanding how artists can contribute, not only by showing work (as important as that is), but also by engaging with different types of people: from staff in a rapidly changing organisation, volunteers who want to be part of the journey, children who happen on something, to those people that, knowingly or not, walk into a gallery space and encounter something unusual’.

Extract from catalogue introduction by Director Tim Martin.