Editor: The continuing adventures of David Smith during his week in Brighton…
‘Cultural tourism’ is on everyone’s lips in the south-east: ‘Turner Contemporary’ in Margate, ‘The Towner’ in Eastbourne, ‘De La Warr Pavilion’ in Bexhill and ‘Jerwood’ in Hastings. The role of the arts in social and economic regeneration continues to have credence. Well, it was ‘The Jerwood’ for me. My first time in Hastings.
£8 to get in seemed a touch on the expensive side especially when one of my party only wanted clean toilets whilst the other some lunch. So we started with lunch – fresh crab salad and sandwiches left everyone in good mood especially as I had paid for everything so far. How refreshing too to visit a gallery with huge panoramic windows letting in the outside. Two huge pieces by Quentin Blake of artists on the beach drawn especially for Jerwood held the attention of all the diners.
In the gallery Quentin Blake, who lives just round the corner, had been asked to respond to 10 pictures he has chosen from the collection. More than that, he concentrates on each of the artists showing them at work on the beach by Jerwood in a way that you makes you smile as you explore them – Stanley Spencer with his pram! Alongside each drawing he has included a piece of text he has written for each piece. I only knew of Stanley Spencer; so it was a fascinating introduction to a number of artists whose work I didn’t know: from Edward Burra to Prunella Clough. It was also a way into seeing the part of the Jerwood collection on display which focuses on modern British art.
As a Salford boy, it was great to stumble on Lowry’s, Canal Bridge, which I hadn’t seen before.
Coming back to ‘Cultural Tourism’ and regeneration: it’s great to think that Mid Pennine Arts has been making its own significant contribution in our region since 2003 with Panopticons, Land and now the LANDMARKS programme in the Forest of Bowland. They are all worth visiting or revisiting.