Home Time at Hauser & Wirth, Durslade Farm, Bruton, Somerset
I finally made it to Hauser & Wirth last weekend. I grew up in Somerset so every couple of months when I head back home, as a family we try and head somewhere for the day over the weekend. Well, Hauser hit the spot. What a place. Although the day started off as grey as you can see, after lunch at Roth, the sun broke through just in time for us to take a look around the Piet Oudolf gardens (he landscaped the NY Highline).
A pioneering world-class gallery and multi-purpose arts centre, Hauser & Wirth Somerset acts as a destination for experiencing art, architecture and the local 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. The place really is quite a sight.
The on site restaurant, the Roth Bar & Grill, serves seasonal, locally sourced produce, and includes a site-specific bar created by Björn and Oddur Roth, the son and grandson of artist Dieter Roth. The specially commissioned bar is a tribute to Björn’s late father and is comprised of scavenged materials, a central motif throughout Dieter Roth’s work. Open on a Friday night for dinner, the restaurant was packed the day we visited, and will probably continue to do so throughout the coming winter.
Above, Subodh Gupta’s ‘Untitled’ 2008, Stainless Steel
With free admission, you will walk first through the Threshing Barn, and into British Artist Phyllida Barlow’s exhibition, GIG.
Through to the workshop, and her works Stashhording and Holder…
Louise Bourgeois, Spider, 1994
Smoke Rings above
My favourite space, and a place to understand and view the work of Piet Oudolf. One of the most significant and acclaimed landscape designers in the world today. Hauser & Wirth have unveiled an exhibition of Oudolf’s drawings. Shown together for the first time, these designs reveal the creative processes and artistic vision behind some of Oudolf’s most influential and innovative projects in the UK and further afield, including commissions for The High Line in New York and the Serpentine Gallery in London, as well as his garden for Hauser & Wirth Somerset, which opened on the 14 September 2014.
Hand drawn, Oudolf’s planting designs are composed of layer upon layer of symbols, notation, blocks of colour and patchwork shadings, that each correspond to different plant combinations. Combining minimalism with ecology, this garden was conceived of as a series of interwoven elements that lead visitors along a richly planted path. Oudolf’s design emphasises the narrowness of the park, drawing people and plants closer together within an urban environment.
The Garden on the very grey day we visited…
Our sanctuary from the cold day by way of Roth Bar & Grill…
The Roth Bar & Grill combines great food with contemporary art, serving honest, simple and seasonal food. Beyond the gallery, Durslade is a working farm and the livestock born and bred there are served on-site in the Roth Bar & Grill. The chefs are committed to using entirely ethical British produce and almost all ingredients offered on the menu are sourced from a 5-mile radius, the butter is produced in the restaurant itself.
The distinctive architectural features of the former Cowshed are complemented by an intimate and highly personal salon-style hang of works based on the intertwining themes of food, cooking, animals and the countryside, incorporating Hauser & Wirth’s entire family of artists alongside works from the private collection of Iwan and Manuela Wirth. Works on show in the dining area range from Henry Moore’s fine drawing of lobster claws to vibrant neon chandeliers by the late Jason Rhoades, which hang from the ceiling illuminating the dining area.
Take it from us, everything is great, the classic burger, the Woolley Park Farm chicken and they make a mean Aperol Spritz.
The icing on the cake was arriving to find 2 of my wonderful friends had rented Durslade Farmhouse for the weekend so I was able to see the incredible design of the farmhouse with the ever so iconic Martin Creed neon sign below. More on here soon, because it’s most definitely deserving of it’s own story.
Hauser & Wirth Somerset is open with free admission to the public, six days per week, throughout the year.