Projects / The Land We Live In, The Land We Left Behind


Adam Sutherland was delighted, challenged and at times overwhelmed to be invited by Hauser & Wirth Somerset to curate a major survey of historic and contemporary rural cultures for their galleries at Durslade Farm in the small town of Bruton, in rural Somerset.

Each curated work or object was intricately connected to an overarching narrative demonstrating the complexity and richness of the countryside and its communities. Themes such as (Failed) Utopias and Food & Feasting were illustrated with both ephemera and major art works

The exhibition featured many artworks and objects from Grizedale Arts' & Lawson Park's collections, alongside content from present-day cultural projects Grizedale has admired such as Sweetwater Foundation's work in Chicago and Abbey Gardens & Phytology in east London. Also included were many historic artefacts ranging from a hand-worked English farmer's smock to a Korean moon vase.

'The Land We Live In, The Land We Left Behind' was an enormous popular and critical hit - attracting over 44,000 visitors and much press attention.

The show was Critic's Choice in the Daily Telegraph, whilst Jonathan Jones in The Guardian Guide called it,
"Meditations on the rural world by a dazzling array of artists. The only time you will see the outrageous Paul McCarthy exhibit beside the cute animals of Beatrix Potter"

Adrian Searle, also in The Guardian, said, "the most disturbing thing by far in the first gallery are the rows of jars of pickled eggs and gherkins"

The Times' Rachel Campbell-Johnson, said,
"Our rural environment, this show stresses... cannot be dismissed as some tourist brochure-style utopia. Successions of disillusioned idealists have shown that. Rather, our rural environment is a realm of precious, dynamic resources to which the people who work there must find fresh ways to connect. That is what this show says to its visitors. And that is the way, it suggests, to create a new world"

Events accompanied the show, ranging from a panel discussion with the producer of BBC cult comedy 'This Country' to truffle-hunting expeditions and goat milking.

Copies of Adam's personal Exhibition Guide - designed by Endless Supply are available free by mail from us here - drop us a line for your copy, (please send name and postal address) it's a great read for anyone who needs to know how Henry Moore connects to Otis Redding.