What kind of a year has 2014 been for you?
This year has been incredible, and packed with so much activity that it 
feels like 10 years have been squeezed into one! In July we opened Hauser & Wirth Somerset to the public, which felt like a pinnacle 
moment after two years of intense planning and development. The build
 up to the opening was challenging, exciting and a rollercoaster of
 emotions – and that was just the beginning. Since our launch we have
 welcomed over 65,000 visitors (exceeding all expectations), and hosted
 a wealth of events, workshops, tours and group visits. It has been
 absolutely non-stop and I have loved it – a very rewarding and happy
 year, one that has been shared with so many artists, colleagues and

What has changed for the better and what, if anything, has changed for
 the worse?
In 2014 with the opening of the gallery, I finally saw so many elements
 that had been months (and even years) in the planning come to fruition,
 so being able to realise so many of my ambitions for Hauser & Wirth
 Somerset has been an incredibly positive experience.

What do you wish hadn’t happened this year?

Somerset was beset by some of the heaviest rainfall it has seen in
 decades at the start of the year and this proved extremely challenging 
for the contractors and the development of Durslade Farm. I’m pleased
 to say that despite the deluge, it didn’t stop us having the summer
 opening we had planned, but it did cause me more than a few sleepless

What do you wish had happened this year, but didn’t?
Beyond the site of Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Durslade is a working farm
 – much of the meat we serve in the Roth Bar & Grill comes from the 
farm. We had hoped to launch Durslade Farm Shop in the autumn of 2014, 
but it was just too much to get everything ready in time, so we will
 now open in spring 2015. A passion for good, honest food and a
 celebration of nature is profoundly connected to the gallery’s love of 
art and culture. The shop will sell a range of produce from the farm
 including meat, flowers and wool.

What would you characterise as your major achievement this year and why?
This one’s easy – the opening of Hauser & Wirth Somerset. But it’s not 
just my achievement and I must give credit to the team around me, in 
particular Iwan and Manuela Wirth, whose vision and determination have
 been an absolute driving force. Their passion not only for the arts, 
but also for people, families and the environment has been an absolute 
inspiration, and has ensured that the model for Hauser & Wirth Somerset
 has community at its very heart. Seeing over 65,000 visitors of all
 ages from all backgrounds walking though the doors of Hauser & Wirth
 Somerset is our proudest achievement – we really feel we are bringing
 contemporary art to new audiences.

Is there anything you’d like to have done this year but haven’t?
I wish I could have gone to Milan at the start of the year to see the 
exhibition, Dieter Roth. Björn Roth, at HangarBicocca. Björn is a close
 friend of the gallery and spent part of the year in Bruton, as part of
 our artist-in-residence programme, with his two sons. Together they
 built the bar, which forms the centre of the Roth Bar & Grill. The
 exhibition in Milan showed 100 works by Björn’s late father, acclaimed 
Swiss artist Dieter Roth, who is one of my favourite artists. Sadly, I 
was too busy to attend.

What would make 2015 a better year than 2014?
I’m excited to see Hauser & Wirth Somerset develop in 2015. We have an
impressive programme of exhibitions and events planned: in March, we
 are launching the Radic Pavilion (the 2014 Serpentine Pavilion) at
 Durslade Farm and we have programmed a wonderful series of talks and
 conferences on the theme of architecture, to celebrate its launch. We 
have some amazing exhibitions in the pipeline, including a painting
 show by acclaimed Chinese artist, Zhang Enli. 2014 has been such a phenomenal year and at the moment it feels like 
the gallery is going from strength to strength, so I just want to
 continue building upon that.


Follow the hwify2014 tag for more in the series

More on a-n.co.uk:

Hauser & Wirth opens new arts centre in Somerset – Julie McCalden reports