Last Saturday was a very sunny day so I decided it was time to visit the new art exhibition space of Hauser and Wirth Somerset. This is a new departure for an art gallery which has bases in Zurich, New York and London. This new site is already a very popular destination - the large car parking area was practically full when we arrived, and there were large numbers of visitors.
The new Somerset gallery is sited on a farm on the edge of Bruton. It has gardens, galleries, classroom space and a restaurant. The artworks are inside and outside the galleries. You are not allowed to take photographs inside the galleries, but you are free to take photos outside.
The main exhibition was by Phyllida Barlow. This is a view through one of the windows of a room full of giant pompoms made from all sorts of fabrics - recycled I assume - in gorgeous colours. It was like a forest, with the pompoms and thick cords attached to them, hanging from the ceiling. You were supposed to walk through that 'forest' without touching the artworks! In the middle of the room was some sort of staircase made from giant slabs, spiralling right up to the high ceiling. Not allowed to go up at all, of course! It's not meant to be interactive art.
This is a relatively clear view of one of the pompoms - notice the coils of rope attached to it - and a bit of a view of the staircase.
This view shows the pompom less clearly because of the reflections of the garden on the window.
I loved the long narrow window, fortress style, in one of the stone walls - this is a section of it.
This enormous bucket, as tall as a three-storey building, was one of the outdoor art pieces.
The restaurant and bars were also full of art pieces - I liked their original design - I had a look, but did not stay to eat. The prices are pretty reasonable. The above is a view of the edge of the restaurant taken through one of the windows. The reflections are very interesting.
Well, it's quite a place, worth a visit, especially on a nice sunny day, and maybe stay for lunch or tea. Whether you like the very modern art is a very personal opinion - my husband's comment was "Give me Rembrandt any day"!!!
However, I shall be back at some point - will keep an eye on their programme…