Laura Ford

Strawberry Hill House

20 June – 1 November 2015

£5.40 with a National Art Pass (standard entry £10.80)

National Art Pass lets you enjoy free entry to over 240 venues across the UK as well as 50% off major exhibitions.

Find out more

The first ever exhibition of contemporary art to be held at Horace Walpole's Gothic villa in Twickenham.

From the stone fretwork to the stained glass, Walpole was personally involved in the creation of every aspect of Strawberry Hill. He erected towers and battlements, designed elaborate patterns for the wall and ceilings and filled the house with antiquarian objects with the aim of creating an atmosphere of 'gloomth'. It had the desired effect – the property was used as source material for the first Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto. 

Sculptor Laura Ford has used Walpole's theatrical 18th-century villa as the inspiration for an intriguing series of work. Simultaneously entertaining and disturbing, her sculptures parallel its themes and eccentricities. Weeping Girls throw a tantrum in the Prior’s Garden, while a series of giant bronze cats pace through the grounds in various states of distress – a mirroring of Masaccio’s 15th-century fresco, The Expulsion from Eden. Meanwhile inside the house, further sculptures lurk in the shadows or peer down from bookcases, as if ghosts from Strawberry Hill's past. 

Don't miss

Ford recreates Joshua Reynolds’ elegant portrait of The Ladies Waldegrave, which originally hung in the house. Only this time, the sculptor has reimagined the ladies as poodles.

Venue information

Opening times

5th November 2017 until 26th February 2018

House: Sundays 11am until 4pm (last entry 3pm), Mondays 12noon until 4pm (last entry 3pm)

Café: 11am until 4pm on days house is open

Garden: 10am until 5pm, 7 days a week

The House & Garden will be closed 18th December until 8th January 2018

27th February until 29th September 2018

House: Sundays 11am until 5pm (last entry 4pm), Mondays, Tuesdays, & Wednesdays: 12noon until 4:30om (last entry 3:30pm)

Café: 11am until 4pm on days house is open

Garden: 10am until 5pm, 7 days a week

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)