Art and Horse Racing Gallery
Saint Wendred's, Hamilton Road, Newmarket, CB8 7JQ
There’s something incredibly joyful about seeing art in unexpected places. We are so used to viewing paintings hung on pristine white walls, in clinical spaces where visitors speak in hushed tones, but the Art and Horse Racing Gallery is the very antithesis of this.
Here, nestled within lush green countryside, you’ll find fine art beautifully displayed across three converted stables at a Newmarket racing yard, under the watchful eye of the resident thoroughbreds.
This unique gallery is the brainchild of Ilka Gansera-Leveque, a trainer and vet, who owns premier racehorse training stable St Wendred’s with French husband Stephane. German-born Ilka, who is a graduate of the vetschool of Hannover and has worked extensively in racing in the US and UK, has had a lifelong passion for art. She launched her destination gallery in April 2023, initially to offer a unique experience for racehorse owners visiting the yard. But it has already evolved to 100-plus pieces of original art and sculpture from regional, national and international artists.
Ilka handpicks pieces which are designed to ‘make you feel good’, celebrate nature and applaud hard work. Amongst the marvellous mix are limited edition bronzes, ethereal watercolours, equestrian paintings, dainty silver jewellery and glossy glass bees handblown in Rhode Island.
Stable stars include New York painter Diana Cook, renowned for her quintessentially English scenes; British folk artist Anna Pugh, who is in her mid-80s with failing eyesight, making her pieces exceedingly rare; textile designer Elizabeth Castell who features in the V&A; and Ukrainian street photographer Jean Kosse, whose black and white images immortalise startling everyday moments.
Open to the public seven days a week, by appointment, and with free parking (and incredible views across the Hamilton Road gallops) the Art and Horse Racing Gallery is a wonderful space to see uplifting art in inspiring surroundings.