Hampshire Cultural Trust

Welcome to Hampshire

This map pinpoints some of the most exciting cultural venues in Hampshire.

We will showcase, connect and empower its creative economy


A Creative Day Out

On 18 August the West End Centre hosted A Creative Day Out. This day of arts and crafts saw young people take part in pottery, collage, t-shirt printing and copper ring making classes. The day was a great success with the young people commenting: “The day was great and I am glad I did it. The people are so kind.” and “It was amazing and enjoyable.” This event was funded through the Hampshire Local Cultural Education Partnership, in order to give young people a positive and creative experience but also to ask their opinions about the emerging themes of Hampshire LCEP which are: Health & Wellbeing, Aspiration, Employability.


HarFest At Bursledon Windmill

Bursledon Windmill, Hampshire's only working windmill, is holding a Harvest Festival weekend on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September.

The weekend will be a nostalgic look back at harvest time during the windmill’s heyday in the nineteenth century, and will feature vintage agricultural machinery and other farming bygones from the collections cared for by the trust, as well as children’s hands-on activities, dressing-up, a nature trail, harvest displays, crafts to make and take and live folk music from The Oak Set. Entry to the site and activities are free, with the usual admission charge for those wanting a windmill tour. Activities are from 10:00am to 4:00pm on both days, with last entry at 3:00pm.

Visitors can enjoy a pig in a bun for breakfast or lunch from Hog Roast Hampshire as well as a pint of real ale from Fallen Acorn Brewery (vegetarian and non-alcoholic alternatives are available)! There is, of course, a charge for food and drink and there will also be local produce and crafts for sale (cash only).

It promises to be a fun and fascinating day out for the whole family, and with the large threshing barn on site it will go ahead whatever the weather.

Hampshire Cultural Trust received funding from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme for the windmill’s summer programme. Tesco have kindly agreed for Harvest Weekend visitors to use their car park, 5 minutes’ walk from the windmill, as the windmill car park will be housing the farming machinery and will only have disabled parking spaces available.

Army Joins Up with Dance Company to Present Acclaimed 5 SOLDIERS in Aldershot Barracks

Community project to see young people create brand new curtain raiser

The five-star award-winning dance production 5 SOLDIERS – The Body is the Frontline will come to Aldershot this September. Audiences will have the chance to get ‘behind the wire’ and experience this thrilling show up close in a real Army barracks.

Fresh from its sell out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and performances in London in association with Sadler’s Wells, this powerful portrayal of military life by Rosie Kay Dance Company will be staged at the Canada House Boxing Centre, Rawlinson Road, Aldershot, on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 September. It is being presented in partnership with The West End Centre & Hampshire Cultural Trust.

The project also involves an eight-week tailor-made outreach programme to build new links between the military, the arts and local communities that will result in a brand new dance piece by local young people. There are still a few spaces left for young people who want to take part.

Both performances of 5 SOLDIERS will be followed by a panel discussion where the choreographer, dancers and local military will answer audience questions.

Aldershot Garrison Commander, Lt Col Nigel Macgregor, said: “If you’ve ever wanted to know who the men and women of today’s armed forces are, this show is for you. Rosie Kay, the talented choreographer of 5 SOLDIERS, has done her homework. The performance follows a group of soldiers through their basic training and operational deployment to tell a story that is fair, accurate and brutally honest in its depiction of this group’s rollercoaster journey. A professional dancer, Rosie’s commitment to her craft and her own experience with personal injury and the pain of recovery is clearly evident in this powerful performance. One not to be missed.”

The community outreach project will see locally-based freelance professional dance practitioner Hayley Barker to work with Rosie Kay Dance Company and then link up with young people in Aldershot to create a community performance that responds to the themes of 5 SOLDIERS. Participants will also receive Army drill training from the local regiment as part of their preparation for the performance.

Hayley said: “I love Rosie Kay’s work so really wanted to get involved with this. It’s a brilliant way to get young people interacting with the arts as part of a really unusual dance project.

“We will be making a piece inspired by the themes in 5 SOLDIERS – which is a story all about the people behind the uniforms. It’s really appropriate for Aldershot because this area has such a strong military tradition.”

The young people will put on their performance as a curtain raiser for 5 SOLDIERS on the Saturday evening.

5 SOLDIERS is a gritty, honest and acutely observed dance work that follows four young men and one woman as they are trained and then deployed in a war zone. It is a visceral tour de force with a powerful physicality, moments of humour and is full of honesty – all inspired by input from serving and former soldiers. 

Military audiences have applauded how well it reflects their experiences, their passion for their work and the risks they face. It weaves a story of physical transformation, helping us to appreciate what makes a soldier and how warfare affects those who put their life on the line.

5 SOLDIERS is in Aldershot during a national tour which is part of a broader initiative by the Army to engage with the public through the arts.

Major Jo Young, the Army’s officer for the arts has organised a range of festivals, photographic exhibitions and performance to build networks between the service community and the wider population.

She said: “Many people simply don’t have connections with the Army in the way they used to. The arts are a way we can engage in new and different conversations with those who rarely meet soldiers in their day-to-day life. Through initiatives like the 5 SOLDIERS tour, we can talk to them about issues we are all interested in like diversity and inclusiveness. We firmly believe that as society’s army we should reflect the society we serve.”

5 SOLDIERS was first toured in 2010-11 and was created by choreographer Rosie Kay after intensive research, including spending time with The 4th Battalion The Rifles. All the cast have experienced military training as part of their research and to prepare for this dynamic interpretation of Army life.

Kay said: “We are thrilled to be bringing 5 SOLDIERS to Aldershot with the support of the Army. It has been a labour of love over several years for me and the cast, gaining access, insight and experience; giving us a unique understanding that helps us portray the extraordinary lives of people in the military.

“We really try to humanise their story; we want the audience to empathise and to feel a visceral connection to our characters. We’ve been struck by how this work directly communicates with soldiers, officers and military families, but also with people who have no connection to the military, and even with peace activists. This is truly a humanistic portrayal of war; complex, nuanced, uncomfortable-yes, but overall, impassioned and truthful.

“Just as important is that the Army recognising that the arts are an effective way to build links with sections of the community and open up discussions about its role in today’s world.” 


Turner and the Sun

Turner and the Sun

5 August – 15 October 2017, The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre

In the weeks prior to his death, J.M.W. Turner is said to have declared (to John Ruskin) ‘The Sun is God’ what he meant by this, no-one really knows, but what is not in any doubt is the central role that the sun played in Turner’s lifelong obsession with light and how to paint it.

Turner and the Sun, an exhibition curated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, will be the first ever to be devoted solely to the artist’s lifelong obsession with the sun. Whether it is the soft light of dawn, the uncompromising brilliance of midday or the technicolour vibrancy of sunset, his light-drenched landscapes bear testimony to the central role that the sun assumed in Turner’s art. Through twelve generous loans from Tate Britain – the majority of which are rarely on public display – this focused exhibition will consider how the artist repeatedly explored the transformative effects of sunlight and sought to capture its vivid hues in paint.

The sun appears in many different guises in Turner’s work. Sometimes it is something very natural and elemental, at others it is more mysterious and mystical. Turner was working in an era when the sun - what it was, what it was made of and the source of its power - was still a source of mystery and wonder. The Royal Society was housed in the same building as the Royal Academy, and it is known that Turner attended lectures and was acquainted with scientists such as Faraday and Somerville. It is therefore possible that he was influenced by new scientific theories about the sun when he tried to depict it. Certainly, Turner’s own Eclipse Sketchbook of 1804 – which will be featured in the exhibition - shows him recording visual data of an atmospheric effect on the spot.   

Turner also mined ancient mythology for inspiration. The tale of Regulus, the Roman general punished by having his eyelids cut off and thus made to stare at the sun, is echoed by the artist replicating the effect of solar glare in paint, while the stories of Apollo and the Python and Chryses both feature the Greek sun god, Apollo.

Given his place in the vanguard of Romanticism, Turner was also interested in poetry and wrote his own pastoral verse. He would often acclaim the life-giving energy of the sun and bemoan its absence during Winter: ‘The long-lost Sun below the horizon drawn, ‘Tis twilight dim no crimson blush of morn’ and ‘as wild Thyme sweet on sunny bank, that morn’s first ray delighted drank.’

Highlights of Turner and the Sun include Sun Setting over a Lake (c 1840, Tate) an unfinished but highly vivid depiction of a sunset. At first, the viewer tries to discern behind what is, possibly, Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, but what soon becomes evident, is that the principal subject of the painting is the light and the way it is reflected in the water and gilds the sky and clouds above.

A charming example of Turner painting rays of sunlight emanating from the centre of the composition can be seen inThe Lake, Petworth, Sunset; Sample Study (c.1827-8, Tate), which is one of a series of six sample studies made for the four finished canvases for Petworth House.

The popularity of the Grand Tour and the enduring appeal of Venice created a lucrative and artistically important opportunity for Turner in his late career. In Going to the Ball (San Martino) (exhibited 1846, Tate), we see boats taking Venetian revellers to a masque ball against the backdrop of a golden cityscape. This was Turner’s last painting of Venice and was in his studio at the time of his death in 1851.

Some of Turner’s most acutely observed images of the sun are his informal, private exercises in watercolour and experiments with wash and colour. Swiftly executed, sometimes in batches, they capture transient effects where the sky is utterly dominated by the effects of the sun. A selection of these will be seen in the exhibition, and they are normally only viewed by appointment.

Exhibition curator Nicola Moorby said: “We all know that Turner is the great painter of the sun, but what is particularly interesting is trying to analyse why.”

She continues: “One of the reasons he is such an exciting and inspirational painter is because he has a very experimental approach to technique.  In order to try and replicate the effects of the sun in paint, he uses a whole range of visual tricks and devices. For example, we often seen him juxtaposing the lightest area of a composition with something very dark to heighten the contrast. He uses arcs, orbs, radiating circles of colour, broken brushstrokes, textured oil paint, seamless watercolour wash – sometimes he depicts sunlight as something very solid and physical, at other times it is a dazzling glare that we can’t properly see.  Turner doesn’t just try to paint the sun. He seems to want to actually try and replicate its energy and light so that it shines out of his pictures.”

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, says: “By combining naturalistic observation with imaginative flights of fancy, Turner’s light-drenched landscapes encapsulate the elemental force of his art and remain as dazzling today as they were for a contemporary audience. We are thrilled to be able to shine a spotlight on them here in Hampshire.”

Image N00544_10 Going to the Ball (San Martino) , exhibited 1864, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851). Tate: Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photo © Tate, London 2017.


HRH The Earl Of Wessex Officially Opens Landmark Jane Austen Exhibition

The Mysterious Miss Austen, a landmark exhibition exploring the author’s life, work and relationship to Hampshire, was officially opened on Thursday 18 May by HRH The Earl of Wessex at The Gallery in Winchester Discovery Centre.

During his visit to The Gallery, the Earl was given a guided tour of the exhibition by staff from Hampshire Cultural Trust, who are staging the exhibition and coordinating Jane Austen 200, a year-long, county-wide series of events commemorating the 200th anniversary of the author’s death.

At the centre of The Mysterious Miss Austen are six portraits of the author, all together under one roof for the very first time. Included in these is a rarely seen 1869 watercolour portrait of Jane Austen by James Andrews. The work is currently in a private collection, and the likeness that will feature on the new £10 note from July 2017 is based on this portrait. The exhibition also includes around 50 items all generously loaned from private and public collections in the UK and abroad, as well as Austen’s silk pelisse coat, one of a handful of items that survive today which actually belonged to Jane and can be traced directly back to her.

As well as officially opening the exhibition by signing a visitor book, The Earl announced the winners of the Jane Austen 200 Short Story Competition. The competition, launched in October of last year, invited entrants to write a short story of up to 2017 words based on a quote from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, ‘Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure.’ Over 281 entries were received from all over the world, and the winning story was penned by Sally Tissington, who teaches creative writing modules at the University of Warwick. Both Sally’s story, and that by runner-up, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, can be read in full at www.janeausten200.co.uk.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented:

‘We are both thrilled and honoured to have had the opportunity to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex to open our The Mysterious Miss Austen exhibition. We are especially delighted that the visitor book signed by him will be available at The Gallery for visitors to sign and leave their own comments on this landmark exhibition celebrating the creativity and talent of Hampshire’s own Jane Austen.’

The Earl also visited Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Jane’s Winchester: Malady and Medicine exhibition in City Space at Winchester Discovery Centre. This show offers a vivid snapshot of Winchester in 1817, the year that Jane travelled to the city to receive treatment for what would be her final illness. Key objects on display include a rare surviving sedan chair used by patients attending the Winchester hospitals, a set of apothecary’s drawers of the period and other Regency medical equipment from pill pots to surgical instruments. It also looks at her depiction of illness and treatment in her books.

Eloise Appleby, Assistant Director (Economy and Communities) at Winchester City Council, said:

‘Jane Austen has enduring appeal, and is still one of the most important elements in our flourishing visitor economy.  We have thrown ourselves into the bicentenary celebrations, notably with our innovative Rain Jane visitor trail of inspiring quotations. We are delighted at the royal recognition of the exhibitions, which would probably have surprised Jane if she had been here today: congratulations to the Trust for an excellent programme of events in 2017.’

At the end of his visit, The Earl was presented with a copy of Jane Austen, Writer in the World a book by Dr Kathryn Sutherland of Oxford University, who co-curated The Mysterious Miss Austen with Louise West, formerly curator of Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton.

The Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: ‘We are immensely proud of Jane Austen’s Hampshire heritage. She lived in the county for much of her life and wrote many of her world famous novels here including Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Sense and Sensibility – revealing intriguing insights into what life was like in Hampshire two centuries ago.

‘This is a landmark exhibition at Winchester Discovery Centre, and we’ve been delighted to work closely with Jane Austen 200 partners, including Hampshire Cultural Trust, to host a number of bicentenary celebrations so that visitors from around the world can enjoy exploring Jane Austen’s life and times.’  

The Mysterious Miss Austen runs until 24 July, the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s funeral and burial at Winchester Cathedral.


Funding Received For Innovative New Project For Young People, Arts and Mental Health

Major funding has been received by Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) for a new, innovative project working with health, youth and arts partners across the county. The ICE Project, a £200,000 programme, will run for three years and will work with young people who are served by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), as well as groups who are identified as being at risk of developing mental health issues.

“The aims of the project are to reduce stigma around mental health, help young people to process their emotions and to live creative, engaged and positive lives. We are looking forward to this exciting work developing,” commented Janet Owen, HCT Chief Executive.

Artswork, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the Coles-Medlock Foundation have co-invested a total of £70k in the first year of The ICE Project, which is being developed and led by HCT and CAMHS for young people in Hampshire, who have formed a new partnership to deliver the project.

“This project is an exciting collaboration between the arts sector and the NHS, and I am looking forward to the huge potential that the arts can have on young people’s mental health and wellbeing” said Helen Dove,  Innovation & Participation Lead for Sussex Partnership’s CAMHS in Hampshire.

Jane Bryant, Artswork Chief Executive, said ‘At Artswork we see first-hand how valuable high-quality arts and cultural experiences can be for the mental health and wellbeing of young people. We are very pleased to have been able to co-invest in the  ICE Programme over the next three years, and can’t wait to see how the programme develops.’

ICE - Inspire // Create // Exchange - aims to address and explore important mental health issues in young people using high-quality arts and culture. The project will measure impact and share positive outcomes, and in doing so will seek to influence organisational change. For each phase or project group, there will be three stages:  Inspire - an inspiration point, such as a trip to a cultural venue; Create - a participation phase such as regular workshops with professional artists, musicians or cultural practitioners; and finally, Exchange - showcasing opportunities, such as performance, exhibitions or online sharing of work created.

There will be core target groups of young people directly engaged in project work, specifically the Inspire and Create stages with artists, as well as a wider group of young people across Hampshire who will be reached and affected by the messages and artwork shared through the Exchange phase.

Through engaging in high quality arts and cultural programmes, the partners aim to promote positive mental health, build young people’s emotional resilience and, more specifically, bring to the attention of all the issue and impact of youth suicide and self-harm. This programme will primarily engage young people in Hampshire who have a high level of need but are unlikely to access arts and culture without the partners reaching out to them and creating targeted opportunities. The impact of this programme will be wide ranging, but the specific groups of young people who will benefit include: young carers, young offenders, looked-after children, those who identify with GID or LGBTQ, those who have been bereaved and those with autism or mental health difficulties.

Jack Poole - OUR Local Hero!

Jack Poole has been a volunteer at SEARCH - a hands-on centre for history and natural sciences - in Gosport for many years, helping with family events and inspiring younger museum visitors. 

Jack was a huge hit at SEARCH’s recent Museums at Night event where he posed for over two hours as a museum mannequin, standing still then giving visitors a fright by suddenly moving. Not an easy task for a 90 year old! 

Last year,SEARCH manager Wendy Redman nominated Jack for the Local Hero category of the Churchill Awards, a special awards scheme which honours the work and achievements of the over 65s in all areas of society in the UK. The Local Hero award was voted for by listeners to Wave FM, and Jack was their winner.

On Tuesday 14 March, Jack and Wendy attended a celebratory lunch at The Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park, where they rubbed shoulders with other award winners. These included Dame Barbara Windsor, Julian Lloyd Webber, Angela Rippon, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Barry Cryer, amongst others.

Many congratulations to Jack for winning this incredible award and a big thank you from everyone at Hampshire Culutral Trust for your years of dedication and commitment to volunteering.

Healthwatch Week

Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Better Life Chances team have been working in partnership with Healthwatch Hampshire to capture the stories of people with dementia and their carers around their experience of local health care services. Over 50 people took part in poetry making sessions, at three adult day care centres run by Age Concern Hampshire.  These stories were brought together as poems by Portsmouth based poet, Maggie Sawkins and have been published into an anthology.

During Healthwatch Week, which takes place between 20 and 24 March, you will be able to enjoy a selection of these poems as we share them through a short film within some of our venues across the county. The film will be shown at Ashcroft Arts Centre, Eastleigh Museum, Forest Arts Centre, Red House Museum, West End Centre and Andover Museum throughout the week. There will also be a limited number of anthologies available to take away for a small donation.



Young crime-fighters have the chance to stop a fiendish plot to steal the Crown Jewels at a brand new, all-action exhibition at Milestones Museum.

Around the World Brick Adventure, which opened at the Basingstoke museum earlier this month, is a fantastic, live-action LEGO® challenge, where The Tiger Club – an international crime-fighting club just for children – has discovered a plot to steal the Crown Jewels.

100 incredible LEGO models have been built by Bright Bricks, the UK-based professional LEGO building company, including scale models of world-famous landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building and Sydney Opera House, as well as exotic animals and fabulous treasures. There are also fantastic life-size models of a pouncing tiger, a kangaroo family, and king of the sands, Tutankhamun.

Hidden in amongst the models is a trail of clues left behind by the Tiger Club, which globetrotters can use along with their very own Around the World Brick Adventure map to stop the thieves and save the Crown Jewels. Historic objects from the collections cared for by Hampshire Cultural Trust will be displayed alongside the LEGO models to complement the exhibition theme.

As well as being able to solve the main, live-action plot, there are many other LEGO brick activities to enjoy. Visitors are invited to come along to Milestones on Sundays in February and March, as well as Hampshire half term, 20-24 February, to live-build a 5 metre model of Big Ben. There are also LEGO play tables with a world map, a free play area, a LEGO graffiti wall, a LEGO Minifigure™ make-and-take, a LEGO mosaic activity at weekends and during school holidays, plus a fabulous Tiger Club LEGO badge to make and take home.

Janet Owen, CEO of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: ‘We are delighted to be welcoming a LEGO exhibition back to Milestones, this year with another exciting adventure challenge for LEGO fans of all ages to enjoy. Around the World Brick Adventure follows on the huge success of Quest for the Brick Kingdom in 2016, which saw us breaking visitor records at Milestones, and I have no doubt that this year’s LEGO spectacular will be just as big a success.’

Around the World Brick Adventure runs until 23 April. Entry is included in the normal admission price, and there is a 20% discount when tickets are pre-booked online. Full details and opening times can be found at www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk.

Mayor’s Choice

Mayor of Winchester Cllr Jane Rutter hosted a private view at City Space in Winchester Discovery Centre on 9 February to celebrate Mayor’s Choice, her personal selection from the collections at Hampshire Cultural Trust. The Mayor toured the stores with Sam Butcher, Ross Turle and Helen Rees from the collections team to select works of art and interesting artefacts, and then Sam curated the exhibition and worked with Mark Barden, City Space exhibition co-ordinator and the venue team to install the exhibition.


Mayor’s Choice is an annual exhibition which puts the collections on display for the public to see and enjoy. The exhibition continues until 26 February. There are fascinating watercolours showing local landscapes and buildings as they appeared before the age of photography, and lots of family-friendly activities for half term visitors.


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