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The Shatwell Summer Party

Sunday 14 July 2019, 15:49
By Kendra Johnson-Matchett

The Shatwell Summer Party venue and poster

Sitting in a small valley between Castle Cary and Wincanton, Shatwell Farm is a working collection of architecture, both drawn and built. It is the home of the architectural drawings collection of Niall Hobhouse and the activities of the Drawing Matter Trust, as well as a place where architecture and agriculture convene daily. Grain silos and concrete barns sit alongside projects by Peter Smithson and Álvaro Siza, container libraries by Cedric Price and buildings by Hugh Strange, Stephen Taylor and Skene Catling de la Pena architects.

Following the sell-out staging of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas last September in the cowshed turned opera house (read David Kohn’s review for the Architects’ Journal here), this summer brings another event at Shatwell Farm which combines art, architecture and food in the Somerset countryside.

Drawing Matter has teamed up with curators matchett & page to invite the Belgian architects Traumnovelle (curators of the Belgian Pavilion at the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture) to devise the programme for a Summer Party at Shatwell Farm on Saturday 27th July, 3pm-7pm.

The Shatwell Summer Party agricultural architecture

Traumnovelle have conceived a fiction titled Picnic in the Aftermath which imagines a future return to Shatwell after a life-altering global event. The title plays on the disquieting connotations of the word ‘aftermath’ and its regenerative agricultural definition while also referring to the science fiction novel Roadside Picnic (1972) by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.

The Summer Party will take the form of a winding descent into the valley from the roadside through its built and unbuilt spaces and culminate, with a feast by Lucas Hollweg using locally-sourced ingredients and delicious botanical concoctions by Gimlet Bar made from their Somerset-grown soft fruits and plantings. While we feast in the afternoon sun, Bristol-based musicians Three Cane Whale, will perform acoustic sets that resonate with the valley.

For tickets and more information go to

See also @matchettandpage and @drawing.matter on instagram for updates and related content.


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