The Lightbox

The Lightbox, Woking: Tickets, Tours, Hours, Address, The Lightbox Reviews: 4.5/5

The Lightbox
4.5
Art Galleries • Art Museums • History Museums
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The Lightbox is an award-winning charitable arts and heritage organisation with a social purpose to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of its community. We strongly believe that art has the power to make you feel good and we strive to ensure that this philosophy is at the heart of everything we do. Our diverse cultural programme includes exhibitions featuring world-renowned artists, local heritage, talks and tours, social events and arts and crafts workshops for all ages.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.5
245 reviews
Excellent
111
Very good
100
Average
26
Poor
5
Terrible
3

Auctionguys
London, UK93 contributions
A good provincial gallery with temporary exhibitions and a permanent selection of Modern British art
Jun 2021 • Family
A smart non-profit local gallery half an hour by train south of central London. Woking itself is a not especially interesting town but a load of regeneration money has made the centre a sociable place with plenty of independent shops and public spaces. The Lightbox is probably the best reason for strangers to visit the town and, though it’s not as stylish as the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet building next door, it’s a welcoming and family-friendly three storeys of exhibition and study space with a small cafe downstairs, of which more anon.

The top floor has periodic displays from the Ingram Collection of modern British works donated by a local entrepreneur and philanthropist. On show at the moment are a number of moderately interesting small works by artists such as (predictably) Dame Elizabeth Frink and (inescapably) Lynn Chadwick. However, the current star turn - on the second floor - is a good display of paintings and sculpture by Michael Ayrton, the not especially likeable but very talented mid-twentieth century artist who fell out of favour so quickly after his death that his last retrospective was almost fifty years ago. His table-top bronzes, generally around Classical Greek themes of the Minotaur and Icarus are very powerful, often threatening, and sometimes in-yer-face aggressive. His works on paper have echoes of his contemporaries, Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland, both of whom went on to much greater renown, and of his younger friend John Craxton, who would also have done so had his love letter to Ayrton not been rejected, a rejection followed shortly by Craxton’s suicide. Ayrton the artist deserves rehabilitation, even if Ayrton the husband doesn’t, and this exhibition has done a real service to the artist’s memory. You’ve only a few days left if you want to catch it though because it finishes in early August, to be replaced by a new exhibition.

By the way, don’t let your visit culminate in a meal in the little cafe downstairs. We aimed to have a light lunch and, from a modest menu, we chose soup of the day (something vegetable with copious amounts of ginger) with ciabatta, and a Brie and onion panini, plus two lattes. The lattes were luke warm; the soup needed dollops of salt, its accompanying ciabatta having been replaced by a soft white bread roll; and my Brie and onion panini had become a toastie of halloumi and tomato. With typical British reluctance to cause offence to waiters I told her it would be fine. It wasn’t. Not only was it nothing like what I’d ordered, but this “toastie” appeared to have been microwaved, so that it was soggy like a warm sponge.

On today’s showing The Lightbox deserves to succeed. Its cafe really doesn’t .
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dave Woking
United Kingdom87 contributions
Do Visit if Local
Jul 2021
We started off with coffee and croissant and banana cake ( a real wow!) and then viewed the two current exhibitions ,,,,,,,,,intereresting art designs from local school students.......but the other was not appealing.,,,,,rather dour.

It pays to be a member as admission prices steep.
Written July 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tony M
Dorking, UK3 contributions
great visit
May 2021
very calm atmosphere happy things are open up again... a must visit!! a good day out has been missed!!
Written June 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

futtock21
London, UK10,970 contributions
Michael Ayrton and so much more
May 2021 • Solo
Post-lockdown Woking’s Lightbox has re-opened with a multiplicity of exhibitions in addition to the permanent local history gallery on the first floor. It still has the row of sculptures in the ground floor lobby, a bookshop and cafe with an outside terrace, otherwise exhibition space. Local artists in the small room on the ground floor, the Ambassadors’ Room open on the first floor for the first time to display photographic works by UCA Farnham; on the top floor entrants to the Victoria Place Art Project; in the high ceilinged first floor gallery a major exhibition of the works of MIchael Ayrton (1931-75) who was equally comfortable as a painter of classically themed paintings as sculpture. There’s even a hardback guidebook produced especially for the exhibition. Pity I was, according to the sttendant, the only visitor he’d seen all day.
Written June 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michael D
Woking, United Kingdom19 contributions
Now become too expensive
Oct 2020
Lightbox has put on some good albeit small exhibitions in the past. It started with free access but then went to an annual charge, which was reasonable. However now they charge daily and at the same rate as the previous annual charge. This makes visits now unaffordable for many. Its a shame but at these current rates it isn't really worth it anymore.
Written October 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

UnicornIsland
London, UK182 contributions
Mapping the experience of Fine Arts #Raphael
Oct 2020 • Family
#Raphael it’s like getting a quiet education. Artists see things that art historians and other art professionals simply won’t see.

For me, art is a form of meditation. Nothing carries you away and clears your mind like visiting art galleries.
Written October 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dave Woking
United Kingdom87 contributions
Excellent Cafe Brunch
Aug 2020
Superior quality ingredients, friendly and efficient service, the excitement of the fire alarm (kitchen) and ok prices mean a class leader cafe in Woking .......large portions.

Good spacing etc
Written August 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

futtock21
London, UK10,970 contributions
Two impressive new exhibitions
Aug 2020 • Solo
Lucky the burghers of Woking to be the object of the philanthropy of business magnate and football club owner Chris Ingram in the shape of The Lightbox, a showcase for a museum devoted to both Woking’s history and Ingram’s rather remarkable collection of around 600 works of 20th century British art. So extensive is his collection that it can provide works for both of his current exhibitions, the smaller on the top floor of watercolours; the larger on the first floor of works by women artists. The watercolours are by many of the greats in British art, including several works by the likes of Edward Burra, John Minton and John Roberts. Some impressive nudes by Sir Robin Philipson and Jacob Epstein. Apart from some Elisabeth Frinks nothing I think by any female artist as these are reserved for the gallery downstairs dominated by a mobile of revolving legs. Nice to see a glorious Barbara Rae landscape amidst a rather geometric Barbara Hepworth and a couple of cartoonish Celia Pauls. As usual some gems along the external corridors including a newly acquired John Bellany, all of which have commentaries by visitors inspired by them. Elisabeth Frink sculptures still dominate the downstairs space near the small exhibition room currently displaying photographic records of local families in lockdown. A cafe and bookshop are also still functioning.
Written August 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lady J
6 contributions
Visited many times and still surprises us!
Feb 2020
We have been going to many of the art exhibitions and have thoroughly enjoyed them. The history of Woking is also well worth a visit which is on the top floor.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jivebanana
Coulsdon, UK540 contributions
Hockney exhibition
Feb 2020 • Couples
We had got a special deal to get into the Hockney exhibition. The cafe and shop area is nice and the exhibitions upstairs are great. I heard lots of people saying that it was good place to entertain children which is wonderful as it’s free. Lots of social history exhibits too. Nice staff too
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about The Lightbox

The Lightbox is open:
  • Sun - Sun 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Tue - Sat 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM


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