opening times

11am – 4pm, Tuesday – Sunday during exhibitions 


get involved

The Gallery is partly staffed by volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering at Dartington please contact

Please note: where artwork is sold in the Gallery, Dartington will be selling on behalf on the Artist as an agent.

gallery programme

Rachel Nicholson

90th Year Retrospective Exhibition
24th February – 5th April 2024

Rachel Nicholson was born in 1934, one of triplets, to two titans of the Modern British Art movement, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. They were close friends of the Elmhirsts and Ben wrote to Dorothy two weeks later declaring…

 “Do you know Barbara Hepworth and I have not 1, not 2, but 3 babies arrived a fortnight ago. This looks promising for Dartington if they arrive in 3’s like this.”

 Rachel and her siblings attended Dartington Hall School in the 1940s and early 50s. But bar art classes, had no formal arts training. She only began painting later in the mid 1970s after her youngest child started school and her mother Barbara Hepworth had passed away.

​Rachel’s career started with still-life compositions. She inherited her love of these subjects from her father and he from his father, the artist William Nicholson. “The still life” she remarked “was more inbuilt, more inherited.”

 But soon Rachel would develop her work to add and interpret those cherished childhood landscapes, seascapes and personal interior exterior vistas that have freed her from the shadow of her parents’ careers and allowed her to create an unmistakable and distinctive style of her own.

 The works on display in this Retrospective, many of which are for sale, are drawn from Rachel’s Studio. And perhaps show a range of scale rarely seen or appreciated. Some of the works have never been exhibited outside of her family.

previous events

arts & place 2024

19th January – 28th January 2024

Arts and Place 2024 is a group show of major projects by students completing the MA Arts and Place programme at Dartington Arts School. The major project follows a series of residencies in which students re-examine relationships to place through field-based research. All works are a response to the complexities of ‘the field’ as a place of practice, exploring its imaginative as well as material processes.

Featured students: Rosie Baxter / Gavin Blench / Claudia Collins / Raman Feiz / Catherine Field / Liz Horn / Rosie May Jones / Heather Matthew 

Image by Rosie Baxter

Instagram: @arts_and_place

Sian Davey image

Siân Davey

The Garden
22 July – 10 September 2023

Siân Davey is a visual artist using photography as her medium. Her work is an investigation of the psychological landscapes of both herself and those around her, and is exhibited internationally and housed in major collections including the V & A, The French National Collection, and the Martin Parr collection. Davey is represented by The Michael Hoppen Gallery, London.

The Garden is a collaboration with Siân’s older son, Luke Davey, and is currently being created at her home on the Dartington estate.

Siân says: “The work is a pilgrimage, an intentional act to cultivate a space that is grounded in love: a reverential offering to humanity. We cleared our long-neglected garden, researched native flowers, soil, biodiversity; sourced organic local seeds, and sowed under the moon cycles. We offered prayers along the way. We invited the pollinators and nature spirits. Luke and I obsessively shared our dreams, our insights and visions. We invited our ancestors in to support and strengthen our vision. We collected stories from the people we met over the garden wall, which over time came to feel like an intimate, confessional space.

“The portraits here are the people we met over our garden wall and the friends in our community.”
Instagram: @siandavey1

Sian Davey image

Warps Wefts Whispers

Curated by Dominic Orr
8-13 July 2023

Dominic has been working with woven tribal art for over twenty years, and is now showcasing a collection of  antique artefacts, made by nomads using hand-spun wool gathered from their own animals. The wool is dyed from natural and locally sourced materials and woven to make rugs, carpets, and bags for personal use, often making up collections intended as a dowry for family use when the maker finds a husband and is married.

This exhibition explores the energy encapsulated in these items, their creation reflecting traditions and civilisations that date to the early nomads of Persia and Central Asia – such as the Scythians and Sogdians from 1000 BC – 1000 AD, who were the first known civilisations to domesticate animals and produce and trade in woven textiles. Visitors will have the chance to contribute to research that hopes to find answers to why these items are both graphically and materially powerful and have a capacity to reach out to the viewer on a personal level.

Dominic is a student on our MA Poetics of Imagination course.

warps wefts whispers

The Sculptural Archive Pictures

Sculpted and curated by Martha Benedict
30 June – 6 July 2023

An exhibition that explores the world of  Gilbert and George (then known as ‘The Sculptors’) via encounters, humorous collisions and miscellaneous meanderings through the archive of erstwhile Dartington Tutor Ivor Weeks.

The collection contains letters, books, artworks and memorabilia from the decades’ long friendship with The Sculptors.

Martha a student on our MA Poetics of Imagination course..

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

The Art & Craft of Block Printing with Natural Dyes
19 May – 24 June 2023

Sarah Burns has been at the forefront of the revival of local, sustainable textile production. This exhibition celebrates the simple beauty of fabrics hand made with natural dyes and colours.

The show will include lengths of hand made fabrics – block printed in Burns’ workshop on the South Downs, printing table and blocks, natural dyes and pastes, plants, fruits and leaves, indigo, resists and a short film (TBC) showcasing the process Burns has pioneered in Sussex along with her partner Alice Garner.

Sarah teaches at West Dean College of Art & Conservation, has written about pioneering block printers and natural dyers Phyllis Barron & Dorothy Larcher, and has been commissioned to design patterns for The Green Table café. At the heart of her practice is a mission to create regenerative textiles that restore the natural world and our relationship with it.
Instagram: @patternmakers

Sarah Burns

Emily Powell

‘Utopia, everyone’s invited’
18 February – 13 May 2023

For her debut show at Dartington, you are invited into Emily Powell’s vision of Utopia. Working in the grounds en plein air and in the studios to produce the works for this show, Powell’s evocative use of colour aims to open up the spirit and essence of Dartington for all to experience. Powell invites you into her world of whimsy and play, offering a view of the Dartington gardens seen through her eyes as an escape to Utopia. Focusing in on the emotional hold that ‘place’ can evoke in people’s souls, the works will hold the lusciousness of the landscape along with the other-worldliness of Dartington as a site.

Play is a central focus of Powell’s work, and key to her interpretation of Utopia. Though play is often associated with children, Powell presents the alternative; that play is a necessity for adults too. In doing so she asks how play and Utopia can be accessed in our own everyday lives. How can we shake off the worries that bind our lives, and concentrate on that which is most important? Her vision of Dartington begins to answer these questions, that joy can be found in our everyday place. This is Dartington in technicolour, and everyone is invited.

Powell’s work is bold and expressive, with an intensity of colour and sense of release. Based in Devon and exhibiting across the UK, her work spans across a range of subjects and media. With imagination and freedom playing a key role in her practice, Powell’s work knows no limits.
Instagram: @emilypowellstudio

utopia image

watch: about this exhibition

arts & place 2023

13 – 22 January 2023

Arts and Place 2023 is a group show of major projects by students completing the MA Arts and Place programme at Dartington Arts School. The major project follows a series of residencies in which students re-examine relationships to place through field-based research. All works are a response to the complexities of ‘the field’ as a place of practice, exploring its imaginative as well as material processes. 

The exhibition takes place both in the Granary Gallery and online. You can browse the online works via the button below.

Exhibition image showing distance between featured projects and exhibition space

Louise Rainbow

25 November 2022 – 7 January 2023

Louise Rainbow is a painter, writer and ceramicist. She studied Fine Art, Printmaking and Creative Writing at Bretton Hall College, Leeds University.

After graduating she spent two years writing, performing and touring comedy and performance poetry called ‘Not Very Lady Like’ with The Live Poets Society in Manchester.

In her early career as a painter she had her work selected for the Royal College of Art Hunting Prize and has exhibited Field Notes and Vivid exhibitions, and has been painting and making ceramics since then.

Louise says: “All of my work is about surfaces and layers, about hiding and finding. Poems, stories, glazes, slips, varnish, wax, paint, ink. I want my work to show my energy but I don’t really want you to see. Each piece is made up of a million unconscious decisions”.

Her work is concerned with a personal need to recall a sensual often lost moment in time, an emotionally charged memory fragment, a mark, a touch, a taste something to be reordered, transformed and recorded, pocketed as it simply moves away from us in time.

Louise is the Arts and Literature Short Course Producer at Dartington Trust.

evoke poster

Zoe Benbow

Woodland Walk, paintings
7 October – 20 November 2022

This autumn Zoe returns to Dartington to present a solo exhibition of her paintings, taking the subject of ‘trees’ as a starting point.

In recent times, when Covid restrictions have meant we have all had to stay closer to home, for city folk like Zoe the tree became a symbol of an accessible wilderness on our doorstep.

Often the paintings reference landscapes as remembered in fleeting moments, or recorded in photographs and drawings. By exploring the same motifs and images over a long period of time and through the medium of paint, the canvases do not aim to be a representation of a specific time and place, but rather to imply the sense of a landscape, to evoke a landscape of the mind’s eye.

In this way, Zoe alludes to the modernist tradition of abstraction, where the painting, exists between itself and its audience – forever in the present – creating a liminal space where we, the onlooker, become ‘the figure in the landscape’ and – like Mary Poppins jumping through the chalk drawing – hopefully we are visually able to enter the painting with a little reverie and magic.

Zoe Benbow is a studio based independent artist with many years’ professional experience and lives in Hackney with her teenage son.
Facebook: Studio Zoe Benbow
Instagram: @zoebenbow

Zoe Benbow - Trees on the Horizon

Arts & Ecology MA students

23 September – 2 October 2022

Navigating is an exhibition that forms part of Ferment Festival, brought to you by the current MA Arts & Ecology students. Ferment is a celebration of constant transformation and metamorphosis, and Navigating is an embodiment of existing within a state of change.

The MA Arts & Ecology is the setting of a journey in which arts practitioners pursue ways to develop the ecological underpinning of their work. We invite you to step into our present moment of flux within this endeavour and sample a collection of our works-in-progress that address themes such as migration, regeneration, interconnection, disruption, loss, equality, interdependency and negative space.

About our Arts and Ecology MA >

'Earthly Materials' by Rachel Wright

Jason Singh

Land:Scapes sound installation
21 July – 15 September 2022

Land:Scapes is a series of field recordings which explore the hidden sound worlds of the Dartington estate. These works will be presented as part of Jason Singh’s year-long residency which explores the Dartington site as a constantly changing sound world.

Using a range of specialist recording techniques, listeners will experience music derived from plants and trees, underwater recordings, and immersive sound works capturing the unique spaces here. This exhibition informs an on-going exploration of our relationship to land, nature, wildlife and ourselves through the medium of sound and music.
Instagram: @jasonsinghthing

Marianne de Trey at Dartington

65 years of ceramics at Dartington
27 May – 15 July 2022

A retrospective of the work of Marianne de Trey, showing the breadth of her talent and skill as a potter and artist through a collection of her work, from unique one off pieces to sets of tableware, and from stoneware to porcelain. Marianne was a pioneering female potter, resident and working on the estate at Dartington for 65 years, in a cabin near the Cider Press which was originally built for Bernard Leach. This exhibition not only shows a collection of Marianne’s work but also a view into her world and her life through excerpts from her diaries and letters. More about Marianne >

The Shippon Artists

Resident artist’s group show
31 March – 15 May 2022

The Shippon Artist are tenant creatives that work on the Dartington estate from The Shippon Artist studios (a creative hub immediately behind the Gallery). Alongside this exhibition, they will be showcasing what they do in ‘open studio’ events. Creative practices on show are stone sculpture, drawing, installation, painting and printmaking.

The artists:

Maria Moorhouse (
Anthony Garrett (
Oona Wagstaff*
Barton Hargreaves*

WATCH: Maria Moorhouse give us a tour of her studio, and discusses the upcoming exhibition in the Gallery:

*To enquire about the artist’s work please contact (Oona) / (Barton)

Shippon Artists artworks

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