It almost makes you want to move to Bruton in Somerset…..
Two previous Artists-in-Residence, Michael Day Jackson and Catherine Goodman, have been on show at Hauser & Wirth Somerset. I visited on a holiday weekend where Hauser & Wirth was awash with families, with children of all ages participating in art and science projects,, enjoying the gardens leading to the Radić Pavilion, designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radić, originally the Serpentine Gallery 2014 Pavilion, while their parents went off to explore the exhibitions. Hopefully some of these children will become inspired to become artists of the future
There was a real buzz and the farmstead setting of Hauser & Wirth Somerset is always a joy to visit, bringing international art to Bruton, with the original complex now supplemented with a further gallery in the town focussed on crafts, all of which shows how art can bring new perspectives and new activity to a perhaps unexpected location, one that is certainly different to Hauser & Wirth’s other galleries across the world.
Catherine Goodman’s exhibition ‘Eve’ seems to blend her interpretation of the rural landscape of Somerset with the story of Eve in the Bible. Goodman starts all her paintings by drawing from life and the children in the paintings are her own. In this series, Eve appears interwoven into the landscape as Goodman explores that point in time when we lose our innocence and are tempted by things that we attracted to, but ultimately are our downfall, just as Eve and Adam were thrown out of the Garden of Eden after eating the forbidden fruit.
Matthew Day Jackson’s ‘Pathetic Fallacy’ is, in contrast, more experimental, making use of materials such as Formica, poured lead, mirrors and AstroTurf as he comments on a society which looks backward rather than forward, and is careless with the natural world in its pursuit for wealth, trade and mass production, with humans apparently having no understanding or care for the damage that they have been doing, and continue to do, to the environment – until it is too late.