In Pictures: Eastbourne's new Towner Art Gallery

By Ben Miller | 03 April 2009

Eastbourne's long-awaited, snazzily-revamped Towner Art Gallery opened to the public on April 4 2009. Culture24 takes a look at the new building...

A picture of a concrete building

The entrance of the Art Gallery at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne, is designed to let light into the building. It includes a well-stocked shop inside the entrance, leading on to two downstairs galleries

A picture of doors outside a gallery

A public vote has decided the opening works in the People's Choice gallery, after locals were given a CD of potential candidates and asked to send in their votes. The results include an inflated mountain and an androgynous figure tottering over the edge of Beachy Head

A picture of people being shown around the inside of a building

Officials are optimistic that the building will connect with the local community following the £8.5 million rebuild, with an extensive programme of outreach work among their plans

A picture of the inside of a gallery

Situated to the right of the entrance, Lost Horizons is one of the opening shows on the ground floor, giving a heavy impetus to work with connections to Eastbourne

A picture of chairs inside a gallery

The lighting and environmental aspects of the building have been carefully planned, with significant trust placed in the talents of the architects

A picture of a man talking to a group of people

Chilean artist Ivan Navarro was on hand at the opening to introduce his exhibition on the upper floor. A coup for the gallery, Nowhere Man makes stunning use of lighting to create a series of illuminative figures and a tunnel-like structure of darkness and glowing light

A picture of an illuminated star against a black blackdrop

Navarro's collaboration with curators at the Towner comes ahead of his national representation at the next Venice Biennale. The sculptor has exhibited internationally since emerging in 2001

A picture of a man showing a group around a gallery

Lifts transport visitors to the People's Choice gallery and restaurant, on a floor where superb views over Eastbourne and Sussex can be enjoyed

A picure of a brick building

The Gallery is attached to Devonshire Park Theatre and contrasts with the Victorian and Edwardian buildings surrounding the area between Eastbourne Station and the urban centre of the town

A picture of the inside of a gallery

Towner Outreach and Inclusion Manager Richard Beales said that Towner’s outreach work "makes art accessible to everyone, irrespective of the social and economic challenges they face."

A picture of a gallery looking out towards doors

The Mayor of Eastbourne Councillor, Greg Szanto, officially unveiled the bespoke gallery at 10am on Saturday April 4 2009, before limited edition t-shirts were dished out to the first 100 visitors

A picture of people looking around a gallery

Arts Council England has aided the gallery with a £2 million funding boost. Director Sally Abbott said the building "offers a flexibility that will make more of its collection available to visitors than ever before."

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