Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm.

Wessex Airscapes: Elevating Wiltshire

A collaborative exhibition between aerial photographer Hedley Thorne and landscape painter Anna Dillon, exploring aerial landscapes. Their respective art forms offer a complementary and contemporary take on the landscape of Wessex.

This is Anna and Hedley's second ‘Airscapes’ exhibition.  The first, at Radley College in 2021, showcased Oxfordshire and Berkshire landscapes.  The Wiltshire work continues Hedley and Anna’s ongoing project of exploring aerial landscapes.  For this exhibition they are joined by Anna’s father, Patrick Dillon, who has written the exhibition book, along with contributing a small display of artefacts and documents.

Aerial photography has a distinguished history in Wiltshire.  One of its earliest pioneers was Major George Allen (1891-1940) who flew his De Havilland aeroplane over Southern England in the 1930s photographing landscape features.

O.G.S. Crawford (1886–1957) was an archaeologist who saw service in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War.  He became an archaeological officer for the Ordnance Survey.  Through their aerial photography, both men made important contributions to archaeology in Wiltshire.

Hedley Thorne works with drone technology* which creates new possibilities for aerial photography.  Drones operate at much lower altitude and generate higher resolution imagery over smaller areas.  Hedley utilises the interplay of low altitude, camera angles, light conditions, shadow, and colour, to produce images of stunning clarity and visual interest.

Anna Dillon is an established landscape painter.  She has exhibited widely and her work features as illustrations in several books. Anna’s landscape paintings capture the timeless spatial character of place, its topographical essence.  They are immediately recognisable to people who know the places.  She has a special affinity with Wiltshire, having lived near Avebury and attended the village school.

Hedley and Anna have each selected sites that have personal significance to them.  In their respective media, they offer a contemporary take on the landscape.  Spatial character and specific detail complement each other in the two art forms.

The paintings simplify complexity and offer an essence of place.

The photographs open up the detail and remind the viewer that every place has a unique character as well as a timeless presence.

The result is an exhibition that is wide-ranging in both geographical and subject coverage, whilst retaining a focus on landscape as a cultural-historical artefact.

Liddington Castle, Swindon by Hedley Thorne

Above Tan Hill by Anna Dillon

Avebury by Anna Dillon

Artworks in the exhibition will be available to purchase.

The exhibition runs at Wiltshire Museum from Saturday 8 July to Sunday 15 October 2023. 

Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sundays 11am to 3pm.

Before making your journey, please check the Visit Us page for details of potential changes to these times, e.g. Bank Holidays.

Entry to the exhibition is included in your admission ticket - book online.  Tickets cost from £7.50 (concessions available).  Free for under 18s.

Image: Liddington Castle, Swindon (c) Hedley Thorne

Exhibition Catalogue

A catalogue to accompany the exhibition is available and can be purchased from the Museum shop, or online.

Use of Drones

* Hedley has both a current CAA license (comprising Operator ID and Flyer ID) and the advanced A2 certificate for flying his drone, and always flies in compliance with the latest iteration of CAP722.

He has never flown over Stonehenge and doesn’t have any real intention to as there are already so many aerial shots of the monument.

Skip to content