Hampshire Cultural Trust

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Image: Alan Titchmarsh at the formal opening of the exhibition on 31 March.
L-R: Alan Lovell, Chair of Trustees, Hampshire Cultural Trust; Gilly Drummond OBE VMH DL, Hampshire Gardens Trust Ambassador and Chair of the Capability Brown Festival 2016; Alan Titchmarsh, MBE VMH DL; Janet Owen, Chief Executive Hampshire Cultural Trust

Capability Brown: Master of the Landscape, an exhibition celebrating the pioneering eighteenth-century landscape designer, is drawing the crowds to The Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre.

The exhibition was formally opened by much-loved television presenter and writer Alan Titchmarsh, a great admirer of Brown's work, on 31 March. Gilly Drummond, Ambassador for Hampshire Gardens Trust and Chair of the Capability Brown Festival 2016, also spoke at the opening.

2016 marks 300 years since the birth of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, England's most famous landscape designer. He recreated the natural landscape on a grand scale for many estate owners, and is associated with a number of estates in Hampshire, including Highclere Castle - famously the setting for Downton Abbey - and Broadlands near Romsey.

Since opening just three weeks ago, over 4000 people have visited the exhibition from all over the country, while more than 2500 visitors have enjoyed the accompanying exhibition, Capability Brown: Making the Landscape, also at Winchester Discovery Centre.

Admission to Capability Brown: Master of the Landscape is free of charge, and opening hours are Monday-Friday 9:00am-7:00pm, Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm, and Sunday 11:00am-3:00pm. The exhibition will be at The Gallery at the Winchester Discovery Centre until 12 June, before moving to The Sainsbury Gallery at The Willis Museum in Basingstoke on 18 June.




Image: ‘It Stood, Abandoned, Against the Yellow Skies’ © Anouk Mercier

DRAWN: Innovative approaches to drawing arrives at the Sainsbury Gallery at The Willis Museum in Basingstoke this week, opening on Saturday 23 April.

DRAWN is an exciting exhibition of some of the recent works of two emerging contemporary artists, Anouk Mercier and Greg Gilbert. Both artists use fragments of images, photographs or existing artwork as inspiration and material in their drawing.

The exhibition at the Willis Museum is the first time Gilbert’s detailed biro and pencil miniatures and Mercier’s fictional, melancholic worlds have been exhibited together. Although both artists share a love for the ready-made image, their end results are contrasting due to the distinct materials and techniques they each use to create their work.

Image: ‘Spoils' © Greg Gilbert

Gilbert, who was born, lives and works in Southampton, will be exhibiting at the Winchester Poetry Festival this October, and has recently been confirmed as one of the artists in residence at Southampton arts and heritage venue, Gods House Tower.

Mercier studied classical drawing at the Beaux Arts in Paris, and her 2015 work Route des Lindarets – Une Cascade, was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize and is currently part of the Prize’s national touring exhibition.

Janet Owen, chief executive of the Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented:

“We are very excited to be bringing this inspirational exhibition from two such talented and innovative artists to one of the Hampshire Cultural Trust’s flagship venues, the Willis Museum.

“Both Gilbert and Mercier are nationally-acclaimed artists, and we are very proud, once again, to be able showcase world-class art in our county.”

Admission to the exhibition is free, and it runs until 9 June 2016.



Hampshire Cultural Trust is working in partnership with the Winchester Poetry Festival to support the inaugural Winchester Poetry Prize.

With a first prize of £1000, the aim of this prestigious new award is to give recognition to the successful poets, who will be invited to read their winning poems at a presentation at the Festival on Sunday 9 October. Winning and commended poems will also be published in a competition anthology to be launched at the Festival, which runs from 7 -9 October.

The prize will be judged by Mimi Khalvati, whose most recent collection, The Weather Wheel, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and Book of the Year in the Independent. Mimi Khalvati is the sole judge, and, as well as reading all entered poems, will also be present at the prize-giving event.

Angela Hicken, Literature Officer for the Hampshire Cultural Trust, has been closely involved with the Winchester Poetry Festival since it was first devised in 2014, and now acts as an advisor to its Board.

The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over, and entries may be on any subject in any form or style but no longer than 40 lines. Entry fee is £5.00 for the first poem and £4.00 for each subsequent entry. The closing date is 31 July 2016, and full details are available on the Winchester Poetry Festival website.


A book of poetry written with the help of people with dementia has been published by Lymington's St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery.

The Sharing Shorelines anthology was created as part of the Sharing Shorelines community engagement project, which was sponsored by care home provider Colten Care.

The project ran alongside the art exhibition Shorelines: Artists of the South Coast.

This major exhibition took place at St. Barbe gallery between September 2015 and January 2016 and featured artists from the 18th century to the present day who have drawn inspiration from the cliffs, harbours and beaches of southern England.

St. Barbe invited local people affected by dementia, including Colten Care home residents, to visit the exhibition and take part in a series of 'conversations' about some of the paintings with poet and storyteller Chris Bennett.

Chris then recorded their observations, interpretations and feelings about the artwork.

He said: "At the beginning of this project we had no idea how people with dementia would respond to the paintings.

"But people from throughout the community, with varying stages of dementia came along, and we just took things slowly, looked at the art and chatted about what we saw."

He continued: "The participants' reactions and observations were very interesting, sometimes giving glimpses of their memories, including holidays they'd spent by the sea.

"I then simply took those memories and observations and moulded them into poems."

Laura Bullivant, the community engagement and learning officer for Hampshire Cultural Trust and co-ordinator of the Sharing Shorelines project said: "We gave people the chance to share their ideas, opinions and responses to major artwork and develop their own creativity through language.

"This has given people with dementia an opportunity to socialise and keep mind active, as well as the chance to enjoy a new learning experience."

Residents from Colten Care's Linden House in Lymington and Kingfishers Care Home in New Milton, attended some of the gallery conversations and contributed ideas which inspired poems.

Linden House resident Frances Evans helped to write two of the poems in the Sharing Shorelines anthology.

Her daughter Sara Shelton said: "When I heard my mother was going to be involved in writing poetry I was intrigued.

"When a loved one has dementia you often feel that who they once were is now lost.

"But just from looking at the paintings with Chris, Mum talked about what she saw and linked them to her own memories - of her love of the sea - even her passion for spring cleaning!

"The resulting poems have the very essence of mum within them, which is wonderful to see."

Tim Wookey, Colten Care's Marketing Director, said: "The Sharing Shorelines project has been a huge success across the community and we were very proud to sponsor it as part of our overall commitment to community initiatives around our homes.

"I attended some of the sessions at the gallery and saw for myself the inspiring way in which local people with dementia responded to the paintings.

"We were also very pleased to host the St. Barbe team at Linden House, for a celebration to mark the finale of the project."

Exceprts from the gallery sessions can be viewed here, and copies of the Sharing Shorelines poetry anthology are available from St. Barbe Museum & Art Gallery and Linden House. An online version can also be seen at http://www.coltencare.co.uk/ and http://sharingshorelines.org/.


Image: The Sealed Knot Re-enactment Society


Hampshire Cultural Trust is travelling back in time this year to explore the battle for power throughout Hampshire’s long and illustrious royal history.

From April, Royal Blood: The fight for power in Hampshire will bring to life reigns of rampaging royals, transporting curious kids and history buffs alike to the heart of battles, terrifying sieges and opulent banquets through riveting re-enactments, exhibitions, performances and workshops across the county.

Hampshire is rich in royal power, having hosted many crucial events in English history, and Royal Blood blasts off on 9 April with a live re-enactment of the Civil War siege and storming of Basing House by The Sealed Knot, the nationally-renowned re-enactment society. The highly interactive events and exhibitions programme, organised by Hampshire Cultural Trust as part of its ongoing mission to bring world-class art and culture to people’s doorsteps, will draw to a close on 11 March, 2017.

Gallery exhibits will allow visitors a close-up look at priceless objects dating back to 400BC and through the Iron Age, Roman, Saxon, Norman, Angevin, Tudor and Stuart periods. There will also be a rare opportunity for visitors to view items on loan from the British Museum, including The Winchester Hoard, a unique collection of gold jewellery which has been described as the most important discovery of Iron Age gold objects in Britain since 1950.

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

“Last year’s DINOFEST2015 was a gigantic success. Thousands of visitors from across the country stormed into Hampshire for a year-long series of roarsome events and exhibitions.

“We are thrilled to be bringing Royal Blood to the county this year with such an exciting, informative and interactive series of events, exhibitions and performances to enjoy.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Hampshire and beyond to travel back in time with us and be part of this countywide celebration of our rich and royal heritage.”

The Royal Blood programme of events and exhibitions includes:

Sealed Knot Civil War Re-enactment
Basing House, Basingstoke, 9 – 10 April 2016

Take a step back in time and witness the turmoil of the English Civil War as the Sealed Knot society re-enacts the siege and storming of Basing House. The smell of gunpowder, clash of swords and battle cries will combine to evoke the stirring atmosphere of this attack on one of the great Royalist strongholds. A great way for the whole family to experience living history.

Heads and Tales

Andover Museum, 7 May – 9 July
Westbury Manor Museum, Fareham, 14 May – 16 July
Aldershot Military Museum, 21 May – 24 July
Curtis Museum, Alton, 16 July – 17 September
Red House Museum and Gardens, Christchurch, 23 July – 17 September
Eastleigh Museum, 30 July – 24 September

This exhibition explores the Kings and Queens who have ruled our county over the last 2400 years through the coins of their eras, precious objects carefully preserved from their reigns and a special Royal Bloop family trail that highlights their humorous but horrible history. Visitors will gain an invaluable insight into the royals’ lives and loves, battles and deaths, and will be able to delve deeper into their local history.

The Mystery of the Vanishing Queen
Milestones Museum Basingstoke, 19 July – 30 October 2016

The Queen is coming to Milestones Museum’s cobbled streets and the citizens are excitedly preparing for her royal pageant – but some have other ideas. A kidnap plot has emerged, so get dressed up in your Victorian best, follow the clues to reveal the conspiracy and be sure to telegram the police. This brand new, interactive experience is perfect for curious kids, and for older history buffs, the latest Victorian-themed Escape Room challenge will get hearts and minds racing.

Births, Battles and Beheadings

The Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre, 5 November – 8 January 2017
Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke, 3 September – 29 October 2016
The Gallery at Gosport Discovery Centre, 14 January – 11 March 2017

Explore the past 2000 years of English Royalty through objects and images that highlight the fascinating and bloody history of Kings and Queens. The show tells key royal stories, including tales of resolution and revolution, dignity and despair. At the heart of this fascinating exhibition are pieces from two Hampshire Iron Age treasure troves, the Winchester Hoard and the Alton Hoard, both on loan from the British Museum.

To find out more about Royal Blood visit: www.royalbloodhants.com

Hampshire Cultural Trust would like to thank the following for their invaluable contributions to Royal Blood exhibitions and events:

Arts University, Bournemouth
The British Museum
Winchester Cathedral
Winchester College


Quest for the Brick Kingdom at Milestones in Basingstoke extended to 24 April 2016

Image: Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Milestones Museum, Basingstoke, is extending its Brick Kingdom LEGO® Challenge.

The all-action Quest for the Brick Kingdom LEGO® Challenge at Milestones Museum in Basingstoke has been extended until Sunday 24 April.

With over 11,000 eager visitors in just its first ten days of opening, the live action LEGO® Brick Challenge has proved to be a huge hit with families across Hampshire and beyond.

Taking place on the cobbled streets of Milestones, visitors can embark on a quest to help defeat the evil Wizard Zapp, and return Princess Orra to her home, the Brick Kingdom. The exciting adventure unfolds as young heroes take on challenges and solve clues to complete their Quest Logbooks, meeting life-size LEGO® models of a griffin, unicorn, princess and wizard, as well as a fearsome 2.5 metre dragon, along the way. Children can also build their own versions of the Brick Kingdom at the LEGO® play tables.

Milestones have worked closely with Bright Bricks, the UK-based professional LEGO® building company, to bring this fresh and exciting experience for everyone to enjoy to Basingstoke. Bright Bricks built an impressive castle gatehouse from the large scale LEGO® bricks that visitors made during February and March. Serving as additional inspiration for budding builders, this will also be on display until 24 April.

Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “It is a great privilege to be hosting this popular event at Milestones Museum and to be able to extend the experience, allowing even more visitors to get involved with the LEGO® quest and activities.

“The live action LEGO® Challenge and the model building have already proved a great success and we look forward to welcoming more families over the coming weeks into the Brick Kingdom. Don’t miss this great opportunity to join in and have fun with your family this spring”.

Normal admission includes entry to Quest for the Brick Kingdom, with additional charges applicable for certain activities. Click here for more information.

In addition, would-be record breakers can pit their wits against Ed Diment, the official Guinness World Record holder for LEGO® speed building. Taking place from 11:00-4:00pm on both 16 and 17 April, children will have great fun competing against friends, family and other visitors to set a Milestones LEGO® speed building record.



Horizon 20:20 programme to engage hard-to-reach young people in Hampshire through arts and culture


Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) is to head up an exciting new programme that will see local young people explore different art forms through a series of workshops, including printing, pottery, drama, music and poetry.

The young people, deemed to be ‘at risk of social exclusion’, will have the chance to work with professional artists and enjoy cultural visits to locations including Milestones Museum, Basingstoke, and the Tate Modern, in London.

Following a successful pilot programme, the Trust has been awarded £350,000 in funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. This will enable it to offer the programme to 700 participants at seven local Educational Centres (EC) over the next four years:

  • Andover EC, Andover

  • The Bridge, Eastleigh

  • Forest EC, Dibden

  • Linden EC, Farnborough

  • Woodlands EC, Havant

  • The Key, Gosport

  • Ashwood Academy, Basingstoke

Janet Owen, chief executive at Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “This funding will make a significant difference to how we engage with and change the motivation of those young people who are at risk of social exclusion. It will provide the cornerstone in our Better Life Chances Programme and allow us to realise the possibilities that arts, cultural and heritage can offer young people, to help them define their futures in a meaningful way.”


Dominic Coburn, headteacher of Greenwood School, Dibden, said: “We are so pleased that Horizon 20:20 will continue. In the first project, we saw a transformation in the way that young people learn creatively, value themselves and perceive their future opportunities. We have been able to display work from the last project in the centre – giving them the chance to feel pride in their achievements.”


Artswork, the South East Bridge organisation funded by Arts Council England, supported the initial pilot programme, through a co-investment of £25,000. The pilot ran across four Educational Centres and delivered artist-led workshops to hard-to-reach young people once a week. Cultural visits and the incorporation of Bronze Arts Award boosted participants’ self-esteem and motivated them to learn, whilst helping the young people to develop positive relationships with those around them and broaden their horizons.

Jane Bryant, chief executive of Artwork, said: “Artswork's co-investment in Horizon 2020 supported an innovative and ground-breaking pilot programme – one with the potential to make a meaningful difference. It provided fantastic opportunities for disengaged young people to build confidence, leadership and self-esteem through participating in great arts and culture. We look forward to sharing the learning from this over the next four years.”

To find out more about the work Hampshire Cultural Trust do, visit: www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk

Visit www.artswork.org.uk to find out more about Artswork, the South East Bridge organisation, funded by Arts Council England.




Rising star plays the Blues at West End Centre

Rising star plays the Blues at West End Centre















Image: Up and coming blues musician Laurence Jones is coming to the West End Centre, Aldershot.

British Blues Awards winner Laurence Jones will be rocking his fans with tracks from his new album when he performs in Aldershot next month.

The rising young Blues star is currently touring to promote ‘What’s It Gonna Be’ and stops off at the Hampshire Cultural Trust’s West End Centre venue on Thursday 28 April.

Described by BBC Radio Two as "Exciting and full of energy”, Laurence won Young Artist of the Year at the British Blues Awards in 2014 and 2015, and was named Best Guitarist at the 2015 European Blues Awards.

The 23-year-old Merseyside musician supported the legendary Van Morrison on his tour last year and Buddy Guy at the Albert Hall in London at the end of February.

Blues guitarist Walter Trout describes Laurence as "A cross between Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy - he is a genius”.

This is Laurence’s third album and has already received much praise from the music press. He is supported by Black Circles on this tour.

Barney Jeavons, centre director, said: “We are thrilled to have Laurence Jones play in Aldershot next month. He has already received great acclaim for his music and is a rising Blues talent.

“Don’t miss this opportunity to see him play in the West End Centre.”

Tickets are currently on sale priced from £10 to £12.

Contact the West End Centre box office on 01252 330040 or book online through Hampshire Cultural Trust’s website at http://www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/west-end-centre

To find out more about Hampshire Cultural Trust events visit www.hampshirecultural.trust.org.uk

Stand up for a night of comedy with Dane Baptiste

Image: Comedian Dane Baptiste is coming to the West End Centre, Aldershot

Stand-up comedy fans may know him from his appearances on BBC1’s Live at the Apollo, but now you have the chance to catch Dane Baptiste live in Aldershot.

The quick-witted comedian brings his own fast-paced brand of humour to the West End Centre, in Aldershot, on Friday 15 April.

He stops off at Hampshire Cultural Trust’s venue for one night only with his show ‘Reasonable Doubts’. Tickets are now on sale, priced at £12, and £10 for concessions.

Dane, named the Independent’s Face to Watch in 2015, and now starring in his own BBC3 sitcom Sunny D, is on his first UK tour which has already been met with sold-out audiences and huge critical acclaim at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Nominated for Best Newcomer in both the 2014 Foster’s Comedy Awards in 2014 and the Chortle Awards in 2015, Dane is being hailed as one of the most exciting acts to emerge in recent years.

Edinburgh Festival Magazine reviewed Reasonable Doubts: “It’s not hard to see why he is being praised as the next big thing. Whilst good comedians follow the formulae of stereotypical stand-up, Dane Baptiste ignores it and makes up his own rules – if you want to see something genuine and exceptional, Reasonable Doubts should be at the top of your list.”

Barney Jeavons, centre director, said: “This is a real coup for the West End Centre. Be sure to book early for tickets to see Dane live in action - you’re assured of a laughter-filled evening with this excellent stand-up comedian.”

Contact the West End Centre box office on 01252 330040 or book online through Hampshire Cultural Trust’s website http://www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/west-end-centre

To find out more about Hampshire Cultural Trust events visit www.hampshirecultural.trust.org.uk


Bunnies and Lambs at Bursleden Mill this Easter

Image: Miller’s Ark Baby Bunnies

Baby bunnies, lambs, ducklings and chicks from Miller’s Ark will be making their way to Bursledon Windmill for a fun packed family day this Easter Sunday.

There couldn’t be a more enjoyable and seasonal Easter Sunday outing than going to the beautiful windmill site to meet the Easter animals and taking a tour around the windmill itself.

Open from 10am to 4pm, there is no need to book, and for an extra £1 on top of the windmill entry fee, visitors will be able to meet and pet the animals.

As some of the larger animals will be in the car park, visitors will need to park off site and walk up Windmill Lane (they can phone 023 80 40 4999 if they have a mobility issue).

Image: Miller’s Ark Lambs



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