Towner Eastbourne

Towner building
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Collecting and exhibiting contemporary art for nearly 100 years, Towner Eastbourne presents an ambitious and high quality programme of historic, modern and contemporary art through temporary and collection based exhibitions, talks, events and creative activities for as many as 160,000 visitors each year. Founded in 1923 as the result of a bequest by Alderman John Chisholm Towner to create ‘an art gallery for the people’, this founding ethos remains at the heart of Towner’s mission.

Towner’s Collection is best known for its modern British art, including the largest and most significant body of work by Eric Ravilious (1903–1942), and a growing collection of international contemporary art including works by Dineo Seshee Bopape, John Akomfrah, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Tacita Dean, Grayson Perry and Wolfgang Tillmans.

Towner is a free and welcoming community space providing places for study and relaxation including a Sensory Room, Collection Library and a Cinema screening a regular programme of films including new releases, documentaries, classics, family film and more. The Art School programme offers creative activities for everyone, children and young people to adults; including drawing, making, designing and film making.

A professional development programme for artists of all levels offers artist residencies, mentoring and opportunities for collaboration and showcasing.

The award-winning gallery designed by Rick Mather Architects sits in the Eastbourne’s cultural centre, the Devonshire Quarter. The building, which opened in April 2009, is the largest purpose built gallery in the South East.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Museum

Opening hours

Tue-Sun 10.00-17.00
Bank Holiday Mondays 10.00-17.00

Admission charges

Free entry to gallery and most exhibitions.
Many events are free - please see event details for information.

Getting there

There are excellent public transport links to Towner, including direct rail links from London, Brighton and the rest of the South East.

Towner is a 10 minute walk (or 5 minute taxi ride) from the station. Follow Gildredge Road to the end, then cross over South Street and Furness Road to College Road. Towner is situated at the end of the road on the left, at the junction between College and Carlisle Roads.

Driving from London, take the A23 from London, A27 to Eastbourne and then A2270 towards the town centre & seafront. At the roundabout on Upperton Road (which the A2270 turns into), take the second exit on to Grove Road. At the end of Grove Road take a left down South Street; turn right and immediately left on to College Road. Towner is at the end of College Road.

See our website for rail and bus links.

Additional info

Towner has a gift shop, a cafe bar with balcony and stunning views over the South Downs and an 80-seat cinema.

Towner is accessible to all - please visit our website to see how we can help meet your access requirements.

Towner houses an internationally renowned Collection of around 4,500 works. The Towner Collection is best known for its modern British art – including the broadest and most significant body of work by Eric Ravilious (1903-1942).

We are also known for our emerging collection of international contemporary art , which grew from 2007-2012 thanks to Art Fund International and Contemporary Art Society.

Rotating displays from the Collection are on show in our dedicated first floor Gallery.

The Collection now features a cross-section of important 20th century British artists including: Christopher Wood, Edward Bawden, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, Victor Pasmore, Alfred Wallis and Duncan Grant. It also boasts a major body of work by Eric Ravilious.

Contemporary artists represented in the Towner Collection include: Olafur Eliasson, Wolfgang Tillmans, Anya Gallaccio, Julian Opie, Tacita Dean and Grayson Perry.

We are working on getting the entire Towner Collection online so that it can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, even if you can’t make it to the gallery. We do our best to ensure our Collection is, as Alderman Towner envisioned, a public resource for all.

Collection details

Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Film and Media, Design

Key artists and exhibits

  • Eric Ravilious - extensive holdings - watercolours (including Cuckmere Haven, Downs in Winter), woodcuts & ceramics
  • Duncan Grant - Berwick Church designs
  • Vanessa Bell - Berwick Church designs
  • 20th century British artists including Christopher Wood; Edward Bawden; Henry Moore; Paul Nash; Victor Pasmore; Alfred Wallis; David Bomberg
  • William Nicholson - Judd's Farm
  • William Gear - various holdings
  • Picasso etchings
  • International contemporary artists including Julian Opie; Olafur Eliasson; Tacita Dean; Anya Gallaccio; Wolfgang Tillmans; Grayson Perry
  • Olafur Eliassion - The Forked Forest Path
  • Tacita Dean - The Green Ray
  • Wolfgang Tillmans - End of Land I
  • Grayson Perry - Map of Nowhere
  • Anya Gallaccio - Preserve
  • Historic artists - Albrecht Durer; Joseph Wright of Derby; Thomas Sydney Cooper; Joseph van Aken; Thomas Jones
  • Isaac Julien - Ten Thousand Waves
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Lothar Götz, Dance Diagonal, Brewers Towner Commission. Towner Eastbourne, 2019. Photo by Eva Eastman

Brewers Towner Commission: Dance Diagonal

  • 15 June 2019 — 31 May 2020 *on now

Götz, who is based in the U.K., was chosen from 60 artists and designers in an open call for the Brewers Towner Commission to create an artwork to mark the tenth anniversary of the gallery’s move from its original home in Eastbourne’s Old Town.

The Brewers Towner Commission is part of a year-long programme celebrating ten years in the Towner building, which opened in 2009 after the gallery moved from its original home in Eastbourne’s Old Town.

The Brewers Towner Commission is a painted commission that encompasses all rendered facades of the award-winning building, which was designed by Rick Mather Architects. This exciting public artwork has been made possible with the support of Brewers Decorator Centres, with the company aiming to spark conversation and support artistic practice in Eastbourne, where the company is based, and beyond.

Drawing on its unique architecture, angles and exterior recesses and alcoves, Götz’s mural – his largest to date – envelops the length and width of three sides of the award-winning building.

Götz’s work – typically large-scale paintings, drawings and installations that respond to existing architectural structures – has included commissions for South Bank Centre, London (2014) and Leeds Art Gallery (2017). Dance Diagonal is his first major commission on the south coast and the first time an artist has been commissioned to create an artwork for Towner’s exterior.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.townereastbourne.org.uk/exhibition/brewers-towner-commission

David Hockney, Arizona, 1964

Alan Davie and David Hockney: Early Works

  • 16 February — 31 May 2020 *on now

Towner are pleased to present a major exhibition Alan Davie (1920–2014) and David Hockney (b. 1937) that will explore the convergence between these two major figures of post-war British painting.

Organised by Hepworth Wakefield, Early Works will bring together around 45 paintings, collages and drawings by Davie and Hockney, spanning from 1948-1965. It will trace the parallel paths of these key figures of post-war British painting and reveal shared preoccupations with passion, love, sex and poetry as their work oscillated between figuration and abstraction. Early Works at Towner is the first major display of works by both artists on the South Coast.

Early Works includes figurative works made by both artists at the start of their careers, including self-portraits produced when Hockney and Davie were both 16 years old. Self-portraits and photographs throughout the exhibition will show the development of each artist’s public persona at a time when contemporary art was becoming a central part of popular culture – artists appeared in films, were interviewed on television and featured in the new colour Sunday supplements. Both artists cultivated distinctive looks, exploring differing but connected notions of masculinity and identity. Both shrugged off labels, Davie refusing to be dubbed an ‘Abstract Expressionist’, and Hockney similarly eschewing the term ‘Pop artist’.

Themes of poetry, love and eroticism explored by both artists will be examined through paintings including Hockney’s celebrated We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961) and Davie’s Glory (1957). The visitor will see how both artists pushed and tested the painted surface, often incorporating coded symbolic text and abstracted figures to create new visual languages and passionate painterly expressions. The exhibition will also explore work from the 1960s when both artists combined interests in non-western culture with contemporary influences including American abstract painting and advertising.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

FREE for Towner Members & Under 18s
Standard Ticket: £10

Standard Ticket + Gift Aid: £11

Concessionary Ticket: £9

Concessionary Ticket + Gift Aid: £10

Art Fund Member: £5

Art Fund Member + Gift Aid: £6

Booking Recommended

Website

https://www.townereastbourne.org.uk/exhibition/alan-davie-and-david-hockney-early-works/

Getting there

There are excellent public transport links to Towner, including direct rail links from London, Brighton and the rest of the South East.

Towner is a 10 minute walk (or 5 minute taxi ride) from the station. Follow Gildredge Road to the end, then cross over South Street and Furness Road to College Road. Towner is situated at the end of the road on the left, at the junction between College and Carlisle Roads.

Driving from London, take the A23 from London, A27 to Eastbourne and then A2270 towards the town centre & seafront. At the roundabout on Upperton Road (which the A2270 turns into), take the second exit on to Grove Road. At the end of Grove Road take a left down South Street; turn right and immediately left on to College Road. Towner is at the end of College Road.

See our website for rail and bus links.

Towner Eastbourne
Devonshire Park
College Road
Eastbourne
East Sussex
BN21 4JJ
England

Website

Towner Eastbourne website

http://www.townereastbourne.org.uk

E-mail

General Enquiries

towner@townereastbourne.org.uk

Telephone

Front Desk: General Enquiries & Event Bookings

01323 434670

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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