£4 million Jerwood Gallery to become pearl of Hastings

By Culture24 Reporter | 28 February 2012 | Updated: 01 March 2012
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A computer-generated image of a modern outside gallery on a coast
The design of the front of the Jerwood Gallery, which is about to become the pride of Hastings, East Sussex
© Jerwood Gallery, Hastings. HAT Projects
Twenty-one years after his death, John Jerwood, the international pearl dealer who created arts funding body the Jerwood Foundation in 1977, would be proud of the terminology afforded to the latest part of his legacy.

When the Jerwood Gallery opens on the edge of the Hastings fishing shore in March it will become part of a south coast dynasty poetically coined the “string of pearls” by planners, joining a line of outstanding galleries across the coast including the Turner Contemporary in Margate, Eastbourne’s Towner, the magnificent De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill and Chichester’s much-loved Pallant House, as well as established events such as the Folkestone Triennial, Whitstable Biennale and the Brighton Photo Biennial.

In common with most of its illustrious neighbours, the Jerwood is seen as a likely font for regeneration in Hastings, forming a £4 million part of the £9 million redevelopment of the Stade, an ancient area of the Old Town which holds claim to Europe’s largest beach-launched fishing fleet.

But the curators inside the spaces – which will range from “intimate rooms” to a 180-metre square central gallery for temporary exhibitions – could lay claim to the most enviable collection in the region, housing the Foundation’s huge collection of 20th and 21st century paintings. Stanley Spencer, Maggi Hambling, Patrick Caulfield and former winners of the various annual Jerwood painting and drawing prizes are among the contributors.

“This is the culmination of the initiative to make a new home for the collection and place it in the public domain for the first time,” says Alan Grieve, the Chairman of the Jerwood Foundation.

“Hastings is linked with a number of artists featured in the collection. With its rich history and strong, ever-expanding artistic community we felt that Hastings was the perfect location for the Gallery.”

Rose Wylie, the Kent artist whose vivacious paintings have seen her earn international adoration in recent years, is the first visiting exhibitor in a gallery expected to host six new shows a year.

“Rose sets the direction for all our future exhibitions,” believes Liz Gilmore, the Director of the gallery, who says she is “delighted” with the retrospective.

“We want to recognise creative talent and nurture what is most significant and important to both artists and visitors. The contemporary programme will complement Jerwood’s Collection of Modern British Art, which itself is live and growing and a source of inspiration for artists today.”

  • The Jerwood Gallery opens on March 17 2012.

More pictures:
A computer-generated image of a modern museum facing a fishing backdrop
LS Lowry and Augustus John are among the artists featured inside the new gallery© Jerwood Gallery, Hastings. HAT Projects
An image of a painting of a small bird
Rose Wylie's works provide the first temporary exhibition
An image of an oil painting of a woman sunbathing by the sea
Christopher Wood's The Bather (circa 1925-6) is one of the collection pieces to look out for
An image of an oil painting of various vases on a window overlooking a pastoral view
Sir Frank Brangwyn, Out of my Window at Ditchling© David Brangwyn
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