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CWB 2 24c Artist Sketching at Hestercombe by J Eagles 1834 web

Artists and the Garden: New Perspectives Conference 26th September - 27th September 2022

‘Artists and the Garden: New Perspectives’ will explore the relationship between cultural production and the garden, across creative disciplines and media, from the 18th century until the present day.'

Conference Details

This international conference will take place at Hestercombe – a unique estate with four period gardens, which has been decisively influenced and shaped by artists and creative practitioners. Starting with Coplestone Warre Bampfylde, artist, architect, landscape designer, and one of the most distinct, yet overlooked cultural figures of 18th-century Britain, to whom Hestercombe largely owes its unique identity. Then, in the 19th century, Rev John Eagles, a founder member of the Bristol School, created many artworks at Hestercombe.

In the early 1900s, Gertrude Jekyll, an artist before becoming a horticulturist, constructed the estate’s world-famous Edwardian garden with Sir Edwin Lutyens. And today, Hestercombe Gallery delivers a programme of new indoor and outdoor commissions, and contemporary art exhibitions, which are inspired by the estate and its gardens.

In this historical setting, ‘Artists and the Garden: New Perspectives’ draws together artists, art historians, critics and curators who reflect on the multifaceted web of relations and influences between cultural creativity and the garden. Illustrated papers will explore the historical, contemporary and experiential role of the garden through disciplines as diverse as painting, interior architecture, installation art, literature, garden design and drawing.

Conference keynote

The conference keynote is a lecture by Philip White MBE, founder and chief executive of the Hestercombe Gardens Trust, and expert in the life and work of Coplestone Warre Bampfylde (1720-1791), whose 300th anniversary was the impetus for this conference. Philip’s lecture ‘Laying out ground’ C.W. Bampfylde; artist and place maker’ will focus on Bampfylde’s artistic development culminating in his being elected an honorary exhibitor at the Royal Academy; together with a description of the creation and the subsequent restoration of probably his greatest work, Hestercombe’s landscape garden developed over a period of forty years.


For non-speaking attendees, there will be a £120 registration fee, which will cover the following:

  • Tea and coffee breaks with biscuits or cake
  • Buffet lunch on Monday 26th September
  • Drinks reception with canapés on Monday 26th September
  • Buffet lunch on Tuesday 27th September
  • Exhibition and garden tour
  • Complete conference pack

Optional 2 Course Conference Dinner on 27th September with glass of wine and coffee: £30 (this must be added to your basket when you book your tickets for the conference).


The conference ‘Artists and the Garden: New Perspectives’ is co-organised by Hestercombe Gardens Trust and Kingston University, London, and takes place on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th September 2021 at Hestercombe Gardens, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8LG.

The conference starts at 10am.

Registrations for the conference are now open - please visit the Hestercombe website to view the full conference programme and to purchase tickets.