Press Releases week beginning 19 March 2018
Local views are at the heart of two new exhibitions at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery
Vincent Lines Memorial Exhibition (24 March - 24 June 2018) FREE
Hastings Museum and Art Gallery has a new exhibition which celebrates the life and work of an artist whose love of people and places was expressed through his drawings, prints, paintings and writings. With a particular interest in the countryside and rural traditions, his work captures gentler times and a bygone age.
Deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council councillor Kim Forward said, "Vincent Lines was an important figure in the artistic life of the town and is a familiar name to a lot of local people. We're delighted that we have been able to work with his family to celebrate his life and work in this wonderful memorial exhibition, which we're sure will be very popular with museum visitors. As ever, entrance to the museum and all exhibitions is free!"
Lines studied at the Central School of Arts & Crafts and the Royal College of Art, gaining professional recognition throughout the 1930s. He was elected an associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1939, a full member in 1945 and also exhibition with the New English Art Club. A teacher for over 35 years, he was Principal of the Hastings School of Art from 1945-68, where he created a cheerful atmosphere of artistic tolerance.
His sudden death cut short a career that was continuing to develop and embrace new opportunities. The exhibition shows a wide range of his work, from his student days to the 1960s, all of which show his skill across a range of media. A full colour catalogue, with essays by Anna King, his niece, and Michael McLeod, artist, art historian and former student of Lines, is available in the museum shop.
The Vincent Lines Prize is still awarded each year to a student in the Art Department of (what is now) South Coast College Hastings. To mark the special place Lines has in the history of the department, current students will be creating new work in response to one of his paintings of Pett Level. Results of this exciting project will be displayed at Hastings Museum from 12 May - 24 June.
Join us for a special event to mark the opening of the exhibition from 2-3.30pm on Saturday 24 March, where you can also make your own prints using Vincent Lines' original printing blocks with artist Ed Boxall! Free, all welcome.
Make Your Mark / 10 April / 10am-3pm / FREE - come along and enjoy a print themed family activity day. We will also have artist Ed Boxall helping you make and print your own masterpieces inspired by our new exhibition.
Evacustes A Phipson: Artist & Anarchist (until 6 May 2018) FREE
The paintings of Evacustes A Phipson (1854-1931) seem traditional in the extreme. He was a prolific artist, and made his living from selling hundreds of watercolour views of towns and villages around Britain to local museum and library collections. They show main streets as well as back alleys, and their architectural precision makes them valuable for research. But they give no indication of the radical freethinking attitudes of the man who created them.
The exhibition uncovers details of his extraordinary life, from experiments with communal living and radical writings to his interest in language and ancient buildings. Hastings Museum has 73 views of Hastings, St Leonards and other Sussex locations, which were commissioned around 1915 by the then curator, William Ruskin Butterfield.
Grotbusters Spring Clean
Hastings Borough Council's deputy leader Cllr Kim Forward and the enforcement manager have led a series of grotbusting walks in prominent areas of Hastings and St Leonards. Areas visited include the seafront, central St Leonards, the town centre, the old town and the Bohemia area. They saw the positive impact that the council's enforcement action has had on these areas and were reminded that since the grotbuster campaign was launched 842 properties and places have been significantly improved.
During the walkabouts sixty properties were spotted that are in need of attention as they are having a negative impact on the environment. All the owners of the identified premises will receive letters asking them to make the necessary improvements.
Cllr Forward said:
"It is so important that our town looks attractive; last year we worked to improve fifty properties and after our walkabouts we have added sixty more to our list. We aim to work with owners to transform rundown properties and most of them understand our approach and the need to be responsible and maintain their property. We will use enforcement notices and prosecutions for those property owners who ignore our communications."
She added, "Sometimes progress can be slower than we would like because of difficulties around establishing ownership and legal processes but we do everything in our power to deliver results as quickly as possible."
1066 Country of Origin
Tourism providers from across 1066 country attended a workshop on Thursday 15 March at the Kino cinema in Rye. Over fifty people heard about new initiatives for promoting themselves, their town and the whole of 1066 Country.
Partners will be given a 'toolkit' to market themselves, ensuring that the value of their business is maximised, so benefitting the local economy even more. Included is a '1066 Country of Origin' marque, which can be used to show that the product is truly authentic to the area.
The initiative will encourage more visitors to spend more money here by inspiring experiences, themes and itineraries with the nostalgic and familiar appeal of the coast, while providing a consistent tone of voice and fresh visual imagery. The four themes of People, Places, Texture and Talk will enable many more providers to use the 1066 country of Origin marque to enhance their events, products, attraction, accommodation and experiences.
Stewart Drew, Chair of 1066 Country and Director and CEO of the De La Warr Pavilion remarked, "I continue to be excited about being Chair of 1066 Country and the real potential of the fantastic public / private partnership. 1066 is a significant catalyst in the region, bringing in both domestic and international visitors into the south east, creating a very attractive image of the region, and in turn creating jobs. It also has brilliant research and data to help build the case for investment. I'd like to thank the public funders (Hastings Borough Council, Rother and Wealden District Councils) for having faith in the development of new strategy and to the 1066 team for commissioning such a forward looking piece of work. Moving 1066 forward is critical to not only its own resilience, but also to that of the region in challenging economic times. "
English Tourism Week is 17-25 March 2018.
Hastings hosts housing conference for East Sussex
Hastings Borough Council has hosted a conference for housing professionals from across the county.
Cllr Andy Batsford, lead member for housing at the council, explained :- "Lack of housing is a problem in many places, but in East Sussex, Hastings has a particular problem. So when housing providers were looking for a place to hold a senior level meeting they asked to hold it here in Hastings.
"The focus of the meeting was to highlight the impact on the services of local authorities around housing provision. Subjects discussed included the delivery of new homes and affordable homes, community led housing initiatives, local housing companies, and the Homeless Reduction Act."
All authorities in East Sussex contributed towards the event, as well as representatives from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Homes England, the National Housing Federation, Harmony Homes, Action in Rural Sussex, Trowers & Hamlins, the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government and Optivo Housing Association.
New Chair is ambitious for Hastings and Rother
Liz Gilmore, Director of the Jerwood Gallery is the new chair of the Hastings and Rother cultural leaders group. Hastings Borough Council first convened the group in 2013.
The group is made up of individuals and representatives of organisations operating at a strategic level within the cultural environment and within regeneration at a local, regional or national level who have/can influence and/or invest in the cultural environment of the area.
Leader of Hastings Borough Council, Councillor Peter Chowney said, "The Cultural Leaders Group is a huge support for the work of the council's culture team, bringing together key stakeholders to discuss the development of the sector at a strategic level. We look forward to working closely with Liz and the rest of the members to continue to promote and develop the fantastic cultural offer in Hastings and Rother."
Arts consultant Paul Barnett, outgoing chair commented that, 'It has been a real privilege to Chair this group for the past two years. It was established by Jeremy Birch when Hastings bid to be UK City of Culture, and while we didn't beat Hull to that, few would argue that this is now a real cultural jewel. Liz Gilmore will undoubtedly bring her vision and passion to taking culture in Hastings and Rother to the next level."
In April 2018 the Jerwood will become the first Hastings venue to receive regular funding from Arts Council England with many ambitions to develop its work in and with the local community, so it is a perfect time for Liz to take up the baton. Liz commented that, "Hastings and Rother is a vibrant and nationally significant cultural hub. I'm very pleased to support its evolution by chairing the cultural leaders group and working with such a committed group of peers.