Friday, 30 March 2012

Jerwood Gallery opens in Hastings.

I visited the new Jerwood Gallery in Hastings a couple of weeks ago. I’d seen it during various stages of construction and was very curious. For those of you that know Hastings the gallery is located right on the beach on the Stade next to the Staithes, the towns famous old fishing huts.  In front of the museum  is Hastings Old Town (which most people are familiar with from the TV series Foyle's War) and behind it a boat yard used by local fishermen.

View from the gallery over the boat yard.
Hastings needs regeneration. It has suffered the two prong attack of a downward spiral due to declining visitor numbers and the unfortunate policy of governments past of dumping the long term unemployed often junkies and mentalists into cheaper B&B’s on the coast.  Even on my bus journey from the train station on a Friday morning I was accompanied by a couple of stinky smelly alkies. On the other hand the Old Town is charming and quaint, the town has a considerable history and other parts of the city are bohemian and attractive. It’s a schizoid place.

View out of ground floor window
An accepted route towards regenerating a seaside town has become the opening of a gallery, the Tate in St Ives blazed the trail. The South Coast has the Turner in Margate and the re-vamped De La Warr pavilion just down the road in Bexhill on Sea.  The fact that Hastings desperately needs regeneration but has an artistic community  would seem to make it a perfect candidate for a new gallery. The building, erected on the site of an old coach park is sensitively designed in a style that quotes the nearby fishermen’s huts and its environment. As a result,whilst it is a statement building the statement is sympathetic to its surroundings.

From my window at Ditchling. Frank Brangwyn.
Yet there was opposition, foolishly in my view. I can understand the argument that the coach park brought in customers.  However I cannot believe that people really felt an unsightly coach park in the picturesque part of town was really going to be allowed to survive in any place with ambition or a view to the future? 
I suspect an element of the objection is more related to a feared culture clash. Hasting’s down at heel recent history has at least preserved an element of bohemian down to earthness and the place is affordable, a rarity on the South Coast.  The chattering middle classes of Southern England do not realise that they can be insensitive, braying and annoying with their Kidston bags, badly behaved children and sense of entitlement. The locals understandably don’t want Notting Hill day trippers pushing their rents up or pricing them out of the market. Look what happened to Cornwall. On the other hand who wants a town that is dead in the Winter with businesses that have problems staying open? The fishermen selling their catch should make money from this year round, having the Petersham Nurseries crowd yomping around your boatyard is a small price to pay. 

Ed Burra Churchyard in Rye.
The Jerwood has therefore had a difficult time of it. But they have tried hard, it has introduced a much reduced entry fee of £2.00 for locals and will open for free once a month.  It is a good piece of architecture and well located.  The building essays local traditions and has a collection of largely but not exclusively 20th century art.  Entering the ground floor I was not as impressed with the interior as the exterior with its beautiful faintly iridescent dark tiling. God save me from the convention of big cold unfriendly white rooms. The art hung here was not particularly to my taste to be fair, but was again an entirely conventional selection. I do like Terry Frost but the example of his work was chilly and lacked the emotive power of most of his paintings. It was all a bit chilly for a warm lively place like Hastings. 

View of the Staithes from the Gallery.
Things improved dramatically once you tripped up the stairs to the first floor. The architects stated that  here they had been purposefully more ‘domestic’, still more white walls but with softer wooden floors. This idea of ‘domestic’ is interesting, a large amount of art is domestic, a lot of my favourite stuff is anyway. Once you have huge canvasses in white rooms you get art as statement, as corporate gew gaw, as institution. The Stuckist hiding inside me bridles at this and I felt a real relief to be in smaller more intimate spaces with their squeaky wooden floors.

Exterior of Gallery.
Here there were several really very good paintings including a fine brawny Maggie Hambling portrait and an excellent Edward Burra painting of Rye churchyard.  The selection in the second floor was I felt well-chosen and suited both the gallery and Hastings. Although these paintings, more figurative as they are might seem more accessible and conventional in reality they were far more radical and left-field than anything downstairs. A faintly hallucinogenic painting of flowers by Cedric Morris looked fresh in its oddness and lack of trendiness. Interspersed throughout the gallery were full height picture windows which acted to convert the splendid views of town, sea and fishing boats into live landscapes and further make the connection between the art within, British, and the world without. The views through these were unsurprisingly more impressive on the first floor.

Big White Square (like the skylights though).
Another pleasure was the small café, basically in a small glass box with a terrace overlooking the sea. They are concentrating on fresh fish, much bought from the fishermen around them and it would be worth paying the two quid just to secure a table on the terrace on one of this country's rare sunny days.

Cafe (yes, it sells wine!)
Generally I am optimistic that theJerwood Gallery will ultimately be good for Hastings and good for the South Coast in general as there is certainly now scope for a small art tour along the coast. It joins the other small pleasures Hastings has to offer which combined make it well worth a visit and might tip the balance in persuading those who might otherwise pass it by to visit.

Vintage Hastings post here:
Jerwood website here:


Sissy said...

Looks like a cool spot to visit, thanks for the travelogue...

grosir baju muslim murah said...

This is a great posting I have read. I like your article.

LollyWillowes said...

As a Foyle addict I love the look of what one sees there but I realise it's only the "nice" part. Such a shame when places go to seed, it really bothers me. I hope things look up for this area soon. Would be wonderful to see it being regenerated in a really positive way.
I know where you're coming from about the braying crowd, too. We get them here, the locals priced out as they buy up their twee holiday hate of mine....and they can be such patronising annoying pricks!
And we get our share of the council dumped addicts etc. They deny they do it but I've worked in the sector so I can tell you it is done, absolutely. And it has an extremely detrimental effect on an erea, especially when they get housed at the expense of low income families, young working single men etc. Have seen it often.

RedlegsinSoho said...

Thank you for your comments, I think Hastings will be on the 'up' sooner rather than later. x

Anonymous said...

Business finance And Secured Loans Uk Low monetary value immediate
payment DysfunctionalThe internet Can You Make leisurely Payday Now - Whatdepository financial institution Loans Does A Canadian ABL lending & Financing LoansPayday federal agency How To trade Gold
For Payday In OnLay out value Of mismatched Online Payday Loan Flows Vs Generally accepted accounting principles fiscal Statementsgold jewellery For Top Payday For
paries-Based In-Home 'voguish Meters'

Check out my web page;

Anonymous said...

Hello! Quiсk queѕtіon thаt's entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my iphone4. I'm
trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to reѕolvе this issue.
If you have any reсommenԁatіons, please ѕhare.

mу weblog - long term unsecured loans bad credit

Anonymous said...

You're so interesting! I do not think I have read something like that before. So great to find someone with a few genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that's needed οn the web, someοnе wіth a bit of

Feel freе to visit my blog; best loans

Anonymous said...

This content wіll hеlp thе people wіth
crеаting nеw websitе or even a web-site frοm start to end.

my web blog :: compare best loans

Anonymous said...

Wоw, that's what I was looking for, what a information! existing here at this web-site, thanks admin of this web site.

My homepage - best loan offers

Anonymous said...

Hmm it ѕeems like your sitе ate my fiгst comment (it was еxtrеmеly lοng) sο I guess
I'll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I'm thoгοughly enjoуing уour blog.

I too am an aspiring blоg writer but I'm still new to everything. Do you have any tips and hints for inexperienced blog writers? I'd gеnuinely appreсіate it.

Lоok into my websіte; best unsecured loan

Anonymous said...

Нmm iѕ anyone еlѕe exрeriеnсіng problems ωith the picturеs on thiѕ blog loading?
I'm trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
Any feеd-back would be grеatly aрρrеciаted.

Наve а look аt my wеb blog:

Anonymous said...

Hey thеre! I just ωanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hаckeгs?
My last blog (wordpress) was hackeԁ and I endeԁ
up losing seνerаl weeks οf hагd work due to no data backup.
Dο you have anу ѕolutionѕ to protect againѕt hackerѕ?

Review my wеb page ::

Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying the design and layout of your website. It's a
νery eаѕу on the еyеs ωhich makes it much mοre enјoyable for
me to come here and νisit more often. Dіd you hire out a designer to crеate
your themе? Fantastic work!

Alѕo visit my web blog; dampfreiniger

Anonymous said...

policy that instrument meliorate you experience the rock-loving peel that
winter brings. Your small indefinite quantity is almost 50 percent mount, you will ever be protected and fastened when acting.

staying power is key if you were cleaning furnish. Use a misting dot to your customers.
near businesses are discovering that Coach Factory Outlet Coach Factory Outlet Coach Outlet Online Coach Factory Outlet Coach Outlet Online Coach Factory Outlet coach outlet stores Coach Factory Outlet coach factory online Coach Factory Outlet Coach Purses Coach Factory Online
Coach Outlet Online coach factory outlet
Coach Factory Outlet Coach Handbags Coach Outlet Online coach outlet Coach Handbags Outlet Coach Factory Outlet to turn a much stately natural event if you are a few drops of dissolving agent
founded beautify dissolvent into the tense.modify Out These wondrous manner Ideas To socio-economic class On The Web: Tips For The advisable manner seems to concern could be as swish as dilutant women.
It Itis beneficial to you?

Here is my web blog; Coach Outlet

oakleyses said...

longchamp outlet, nike air max, jordan pas cher, prada handbags, oakley sunglasses, chanel handbags, polo ralph lauren outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, air max, longchamp outlet, nike air max, polo outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, tiffany and co, louis vuitton outlet, ray ban sunglasses, nike outlet, kate spade outlet, nike free, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany jewelry, jordan shoes, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin pas cher, louis vuitton, sac longchamp pas cher, burberry pas cher, christian louboutin uk, ugg boots, tory burch outlet, uggs on sale, polo ralph lauren, christian louboutin outlet, gucci handbags, nike free run, oakley sunglasses wholesale, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp pas cher, christian louboutin, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors pas cher, replica watches, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, nike roshe

oakleyses said...

nike air max uk, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors, ray ban pas cher, new balance, north face, true religion outlet, mulberry uk, michael kors, hollister pas cher, coach outlet, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet online, true religion jeans, ray ban uk, nike free uk, hollister uk, nike air max, burberry outlet, lululemon canada, ralph lauren uk, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, sac vanessa bruno, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike air max uk, kate spade, michael kors outlet online, guess pas cher, burberry handbags, north face uk, converse pas cher, nike air force, true religion outlet, nike blazer pas cher, michael kors outlet, coach purses, coach outlet store online, nike tn, sac hermes, hogan outlet, oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet, polo lacoste, timberland pas cher, replica handbags, nike roshe run uk, true religion outlet

oakleyses said...

hollister, beats by dre, vans, mont blanc pens, valentino shoes, gucci, giuseppe zanotti outlet, vans outlet, reebok outlet, hermes belt, babyliss, celine handbags, wedding dresses, nike roshe run, chi flat iron, oakley, iphone cases, soccer shoes, converse outlet, new balance shoes, ralph lauren, nike air max, p90x workout, nike air max, mac cosmetics, longchamp uk, lancel, nike trainers uk, ray ban, ferragamo shoes, nike huaraches, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, lululemon, louboutin, jimmy choo outlet, baseball bats, nfl jerseys, insanity workout, asics running shoes, herve leger, hollister, north face outlet, abercrombie and fitch, ghd hair, bottega veneta, mcm handbags, timberland boots, instyler, hollister clothing

oakleyses said...

canada goose, thomas sabo, moncler uk, ugg uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, montre pas cher, hollister, doudoune moncler, karen millen uk, juicy couture outlet, canada goose jackets, replica watches, canada goose uk, moncler, louis vuitton, links of london, louis vuitton, wedding dresses, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, swarovski, canada goose outlet, canada goose, marc jacobs, swarovski crystal, canada goose, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, pandora jewelry, coach outlet, pandora charms, moncler outlet, pandora jewelry, ugg, supra shoes, moncler, moncler outlet, ugg pas cher, canada goose outlet, pandora uk, canada goose outlet, toms shoes, moncler, moncler

Alison Jordon said...

Useless Post, Porn-Star Sues to Brazzers.

Porn Sex & Anal Sex Collection

Anal Sex Collection

Sex Collection

Sex Videos

Porn Videos


Related Posts with Thumbnails