St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery

Open Tues-Sat: 10am-4pm

01590 676969

Open Artist 2021 Submissions

Open Artist 2021 Submissions

Starts: March 19 - 9:00am
Ends: April 9 - 11:58pm

Online submissions for the St Barbe Open start on Friday 19 March at 9am - CLICK HERE FOR SUBMISSION FORM 

We welcome paintings, drawings, prints, textiles, sculpture and ceramics

Before you submit your artwork please make sure you have read our Information for Artists and our Terms and Conditions 

Online submissions end on 9 April at midnight - artists that are selected to be in the exhibition will be published here on Thursday 22 April!

Young Artist’s Open - no need to submit online, bring your artwork (up to A3 - 297 x 420mm landscape or portrait - mounted on card) to St Barbe on 10 or 11 May with an completed form. More information here

Thank you to everyone entering the St Barbe Open, we really appreciate your support and love looking at ALL the fabulous artwork!

2021 PRIZES - with grateful thanks to our sponsors

The Lymington Business Centre People’s Choice Award (£250)

The Mary and John Symons Memorial Award for best print (£250)

The Coastal Gallery Award for best contemporary abstract work (£100)

The Ted Marsh Memorial Award for best work by an artist aged 18-21 (£100)

The Beaulieu Fine Arts Award for best work by a non-professional artist (£100 of framing)

Young Artists Prizes:

Ted Marsh Memorial Award for Under 7s  Artists materials worth £25

Ted Marsh Memorial Award for 7 – 11s      Artists materials worth £50

Ted Marsh Memorial Award for 12-17        £75 cash prize

The Young Artist’s prizes are given as a tribute to Ted Marsh, first Chairman of Lymington Museum Trust, who started the project for a museum and art gallery in Lymington. These are generously provided by Mr Gordon Young.

If you have any queries please email but keep in mind that we are on part-time furlough… we will get back to you!

IMAGE: Liz Magee, Chips! Successful St Barbe Open 2020 artist

Scene through Wood - A century of Wood Engraving

Scene through Wood - A century of Wood Engraving

Starts: January 16 - 10:00am
Ends: February 13 - 4:00pm


Exhibition Organised by the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

‘Scene Through Wood’ celebrates one of the most astonishingly skilful and richly creative forms of visual art. Curated by Anne Desmet RA, currently the only engraver elected to the Royal Academy of Arts, the exhibition marks 100 years since the founding of the Society of Wood Engravers in 1920. It includes 120 works from the Ashmolean’s outstanding collection of prints, plus loans from private collections, by leading artist-engravers from the 1790s right up to the present. They range over Romanticism, modernism and abstraction, to extraordinary photo-realistic works that defy belief. It demonstrates the endless versatility of the medium which has been used to depict the whole ‘theatre of life’, from work and play, war and hardship, designs for industry and typography, to natural landscapes and dazzling scenes of inner cities. Included are well-known names such as William Blake, Samuel Palmer, M. C. Escher and Peter Blake; and many women artists including Gertrude Hermes RA, Gwen Raverat and Edwina Ellis whose outstanding works deserve to be better known.

Wood engraving, as opposed to the broader technique of wood-cutting, involves detailed drawing with tools on end-grain hard wood blocks, traditionally boxwood. It is one of the few art practices to have originated in England. The technique was developed by Thomas Bewick (1753–1828) in the late-18th century. Bewick influenced virtually every artist-engraver that came after him, including William Blake, Samuel Palmer and Edward Calvert, all of whom are represented in the exhibition.

The Society of Wood Engravers was founded in 1920 partly to distinguish wood engraving as an independent art form and early members included Lucien Pissarro, Eric Gill, Gwen Raverat and John Nash. Their initial aim was simply to hold exhibitions devoted solely to wood engraving. Much of the Society’s early visual language is strikingly progressive. We find bold lines and deceptively simple designs that will resonate with graphic novel fans. Among the key engravers of the 1930s were Clare Leighton, Joan Hassall, Gwen Raverat, Agnes Miller Parker and Gertrude Hermes. Later in the century war artists like Henry Moore and Paul Nash and civilian artists, Rachel Reckitt and Hermes, used their experiences of the conflict to create profound images in both figurative and abstract prints.

Our own familiarity with wood engraving is probably greater than we realise. Many people instantly recognise M.C. Escher’s (1898–1972) mindbending patterns. Other intricate designs flit through our consciousness in postage stamps, logos and heraldic crests. Anyone travelling through Charing Cross tube station will see David Gentleman’s engravings, a tableau of the 13th-century workmen who erected the original Charing Cross. The cover of Philip Pullman’s world-wide best-seller, The Book of Dust featured a dramatic wood engraving by Chris Wormell. Other engravings are rightly celebrated like Edwina Ellis’s posters for TFL Art on the Underground (1996); and her recent designs for the Royal Mint which include the new 50p coin (2019) commemorating Stephen Hawking.

Anne Desmet RA is only the third artist-engraver ever elected to the Royal Academy. She makes traditional wood engravings and innovative mixed media wood engraved collages that combine monochrome and colour prints with drawings and other materials like gold leaf or sections of maps. Her work frequently features architecture and the built environment in evocations of well-known structures and architectural fantasies which reflect on the passage of time, human aspiration, endurance and change.

Desmet says: ‘In curating this exhibition, I have chosen works that moved me: engravings that drew me in, demanded attention and lingered long in the mind. Scene Through Wood offers a visual feast of some of the finest wood engravings of the last 100 years and celebrates the extraordinary artists who made them. We aim to show the fantastic diversity of wood engraved prints in Britain over the last century, while also highlighting artist-engravers from Europe, Russia, Canada, the USA, China, Japan and Australia whose work has influenced British engravers past and present.’

IMAGE: Monica Mary Poole - Dead Trees Sheppey

The Seasons: Art of the Unfolding Year

The Seasons: Art of the Unfolding Year

Starts: September 11 - 10:00am
Ends: January 9 - 4:00pm

This autumn sees the opening of a unique exhibition celebrating seasonal change as portrayed by British artists over the last 100 years. The seasonal cycle has long been a source of inspiration for artists, writers and musicians but in recent times our mainly urban and digitally-focused society has become increasingly remote from the natural rhythms of the year. At a time when nature is threatened by climate change, pollution, development and declining fertility this exhibition serves as a timely reminder of the joys and critical importance of nature’s cycle. It will also resonate with those for whom lockdown provided an unexpected opportunity to connect once again with the onset of spring.

Drawn from private and public collections including Tate, British Council and the UK Government Art Collection the exhibition explores changes in the landscape, plants that leaf, flower and fruit at particular times, wildlife that is prominent in different seasons, customs and folklore, the farming calendar, weather and gardens. It also touches on the way changes in farming practices, urban development and climate change are affecting how we experience seasonality today.

Artists featured include John Nash, Eric Ravilious, Clare Leighton, Gertrude Hermes, Graham Sutherland, Alan Reynolds, Laura Knight, Duncan Grant, Charles Tunnicliffe, John Minton, Kurt Jackson, Keith Grant, Carry Akroyd, Annie Ovenden and James Lynch. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue written by curators Steve Marshall and Gill Clarke, published by Sansom & Company. This beautiful catalogue with its stunning images and thoughtful prose makes a great Christmas present! Available to post - catalogue is £20 plus £5 postage in UK.

Image: James Lynch, Ted’s Greenhouse - Summer (detail)  / banner Howard Phipps - Winkelbury Hillford (detail)

Here are the captions - in seasons - from the exhibition:





St Barbe Open Exhibition 2020

St Barbe Open Exhibition 2020

Starts: July 7 - 10:00am
Ends: August 29 - 4:00pm

The St Barbe Open returns for its 20th year and is now firmly established as one of the highlights of the local arts calendar, attracting artists from Hampshire, Dorset and beyond. 

The exhibition includes textiles as well as paintings, prints, drawings and three-dimensional works.

Artists have been working throughout the lockdown, come and see how this experience is reflected in their work.

The exhibition includes the Young Artists Open to which we are still accepting entries. Ask at our Welcome Desk for an artboard (£1) and the artwork will be added to our display…. plus the chance to win a prize. (Last entry date is 15 August)

IMAGE: Autumn in the New Forest by Jane Andrews

St Barbe Events

St Barbe Events

Starts: March 20 - 2:00pm
Ends: July 6 - 8:00pm

Fingers crossed….

We are hoping we will ge the go ahead to reopen on Tuesday 7 July!

Jeremy Gardiner - Gallery talk

Jeremy Gardiner - Gallery talk

Starts: March 10 - 12:00pm
Ends: March 10 - 12:30pm

Artist Jeremy Gardiner will be giving a short guided tour of our current exhibition ‘South by Southwest, Coastal Landscapes’

An insight into the work behind the artwork and his inspiration.

DROP-IN | Talk included in entry - donations welcome

Jeremy Gardiner - South by Southwest

Jeremy Gardiner - South by Southwest

Starts: January 24 - 10:00am
Ends: March 22 - 4:00pm

Coastal Landscapes

Jeremy Gardiner has spent the last five years exploring locations on Britain’s south coast. This seaside odyssey has resulted in a new body of work that captures coastal landscapes from Kent to Cornwall. Gardiner has taken his inspiration not only from the natural world but from popular views of the coastal landscape in travel posters, guide books, postcards and ViewMaster reels which will also be featured in the exhibition.

Gardiner’s work reflects a deep interest in the geology of landscape and how it is shaped by the forces of nature. His working method involves creating distinct layers of colour by building accretions of paint, collaging, scouring and sanding down in an attempt to emulate on the surface of the paintings, the effects of geological time on the terrain.

CLICK HERE  to see Jeremy Gardiner talking about one of his paintings from the exhibition.

Exhibition text in large print click here

Image: Jeremy Gardiner - South Foreland Lighthouse, Kent (detail)



Starts: November 15 - 10:00am
Ends: January 19 - 4:00pm


Following on from the Neo-Romantic Art, Romantics opens on Friday 15 November exploring what romantic art might look like at the beginning of the 21st century. We have invited a diverse group of artists who see themselves as continuing this great tradition in British art. The exhibition weaves together themes of nature, expressive landscape, sprit of place, the human figure, drama and angst. Romantic art has always been broad-brush in its approach and embraces a range of subject and treatment and this exhibition will demonstrate that the Romantic sensibility is still a vital and relevant force in today’s dangerous world where anxiety and uncertainty dominate our lives.

We are delighted that the artists include Christopher Le Brun who is the current president of the Royal Academy, he will be exhibiting at St Barbe for the first time. George Shaw is a Turner Prize nominee known for painting in Humbrol enamel paints and has recently completed a spell as artist in residence at the National Gallery. Greg Gilbert is a Southampton based artist who also found fame as a member of the band The Delays. Julian Opie’s instantly recognisable style is in much demand and reached a huge audience through his album cover ‘The Best of Blur’ album. Alice Kettle is one of the most sought-after textile artists working in the UK, known in Hampshire for the massive commissioned piece at Winchester Discovery Centre Looking Forwards to the Past.

Other artists taking part will be: Peter Archer, Graham Arnold, Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis, Chris Bucklow, Jeffery Camp, Julian Cooper, Alex Faulkner, Sarah Harding, David Inshaw, Ffiona Lewis, Fiona McIntyre, Annie Ovenden, Julian Perry, Alan Rankle, George Rowlett, and David Tress.

It promises to be a thought-provoking exhibition, challenging the visitor to think about their own ideas of Romantic art.

Image: Julian Opie, River 4. 2017. Inkjet face mounted on acrylic. 

Banner image: Artists & guest curator Tim Craven

Wellworthy (Gallery 3)

Wellworthy (Gallery 3)

Starts: September 6 - 10:00am
Ends: November 10 - 4:00pm


One hundred years ago, John Howlett changed the name of his engineering company to Wellworthy Ltd. By the 1970s, Wellworthy employed 1,800 people in Lymington and had 5,000 employees overall working in factories in Lymington, Ringwood, Salisbury, Weymouth and Bridgwater. 

This exhibition celebrates that anniversary, exploring the history and impact of the company through objects, photographs and oral history interviews collected from past employees.

Neo-Romantic Art: the McDowall Collection

Neo-Romantic Art: the McDowall Collection

Starts: September 6 - 10:00am
Ends: November 10 - 4:00pm


Neo-Romantic art flourished in Britain from the 1920s to the 1950s. It was inspired by a particularly British strain of Romantic art that looked back to Turner, Blake and Samuel Palmer.

This exhibition is drawn from a remarkable private collection developed by Nicolas and Frances McDowall since the 1950s. It will feature around 60 works by artists associated with the movement including Paul Nash, John Piper, Graham Sutherland and Henry Moore.

Image: Rigby Graham, Figures with Boat, Brittany. Courtesy of Goldmark Gallery.