Top 10 art exhibitions outside of London this summer
Pack your bags, grab your camera and head for the open road: these are the best exhibitions across the UK that may just tempt you on a mini-break.
It may be hard to believe, but one of Britain’s most compelling contemporary art venues is nestled in deepest rural Somerset.
The countryside home for powerhouse gallery Hauser & Wirth is at Durslade Farm in Bruton. Built within the shells of the old farm buildings, it is a strikingly modern space. With a roster of successful summer shows already under its belt, Hauser & Wirth Somerset draws crowds from all over the world.
This summer is be no different, as the gallery presents a major solo show of works by pioneering twentieth-century sculptor Alexander Calder. Known predominantly for his wire sculptures, standing mobiles and large outdoor works, Calder also made a large quantity of hand-crafted domestic object-sculptures, including jewellery, toasters and chess sets. With almost 100 pieces on display running across the five gallery spaces and gardens, this glorious exhibition showcases the integration of his artistic practice and the innovative genius of a modern master.
But there's more to Hauser & Wirth than the exhibition space. Make sure you spend time in the gorgeous gallery garden, devised by garden designer Piet Oudolf; his classic perennials and contoured beds sit among spectacular banks of magnolias leading up to the glorious hilltop vista with soothing views over the surrounding meadows. Check out the architectural splendour of the Radić Pavilion (the Serpentine Pavilion in 2014) and have a bite to eath in the Roth Bar and Grill, where all meals are made with Durslade Farm's own produce.
How far from London: It takes between one hour and forty-five minutes and two hours and forty-five minutes (depending on the time of day) to Gillingham from London Waterloo.
What to read on the train: The Madonna of the Mountains, Elise Valmorbida
The vistas and daily rhythms of rural Italy come to life with sumptuous detail in this story of one woman's strength through decades of war. As Maria's sleepy hometown in the Veneto region becomes a base for soldiers –Fascists and Communists in WWII – she must find a way to keep her family safe.