Eastbourne News April 2020

Eastbourne News April 2020

3 Apr 2020 - 19:01 BY Vivienne Lester

FROM THE CHAIR                             Dorothy Watson

This is the last time I shall be writing to you as Chair, as at the AGM I shall hand over to Judith Furner who will take the Society forward.  I am sure you will make her as welcome and supported as I have felt in the role, and I know she is very much looking forward to getting to know you all.

The past three years have been some of the most fulfilling in my life. I’ve had the privilege of working with superb teams who have moved the Society on in lots of positive ways.  In addition to our valued Teas, Signing- in, and Church Recording Teams we have recruited our Meet and Greet volunteers who make sure everyone gets a warm welcome to lecture afternoons; our visits are now  organised by a team of three which helps to spread the workload; three Society holidays have been eagerly supported (and another is planned for 2021); Special Interest Days have been revived, and our charitable activities for Young Arts projects have gone from strength to strength thanks to your generous support of our monthly Raffle.

Of course any job has its ‘moments’ and the national rebranding exercise which led to our name change presented many challenges, especially getting to grips with the IT demands which accompanied it.  However, we got through thanks to a particularly tech-savvy Society member who came to our aid - and the committee’s unfailing sense of humour!

My good wishes to you all for an enjoyable summer break.


LECTURE PROGRAMME                       Chris Pulling

As the year moves forward, thoughts are now turning towards next season and I am delighted to announce the following lectures.

September – The Emperor Qianlong; Ultimate Renaissance Ruler & Fine Art Collector – David Rosier

October – The Genius of Beethoven – Peter Medhurst

November – The Cultural Heritage of the Huguenots – Sue Jackson

December – The Journey of the Magi – Origins, Myths & Reality – Leslie Primo

Several lectures for this season are member’s requests. Full details of our new programme will be on The Arts Society Eastbourne website.

Your time taken to complete the Lecture Evaluation forms, is much appreciated.


YOUNG ARTS                                                 Patrica Ollivere  

Young Arts have many exciting projects underway in 2020.

We will as usual give support to a student at West Dean College. We will also be supporting : -

The Towner Art Gallery who are holding a month long event in August which will include an artist in residence and drop in art and crafts sessions for the children.

Also Parklands School with their Art Therapy club culminating in an exhibition at National Trust Birling Gap starting on Wednesday 10th June at 11am with a prize- giving – all welcome.

Preliminary talks are also underway with Seaford Primary School about the possibility of Magic Lantern (an arts educational charity) coming into the school for a day of workshops sometime in the summer term.

At an Area Information Day recently we were delighted to hear that Sussex Societies gave a generous £24,000 last year to various Young Arts projects throughout the county. Our society played no small part in this marvellous achievement and we are  very grateful for your generous support of our raffles.

Florian Schweizer our Chief Executive wrote in the Spring 2020 Art Society Magazine about “enriching lives through the Arts” what better way to start than with the children.


SUMMER LUNCH                           Teresa Sibley / Maggie Clive- Matthews

A date for you diary! It may seem a little early to be thinking about the summer but we are already planning our annual Summer Lunch. Following the success of last year's Lunch, held at The PowderMills Hotel, Battle, we will be holding the Lunch there again this year on Thursday 18th June at 12.30pm for 1.00pm. The cost will be £29.00 for a three course meal to include coffee and gratuities. We do hope you will be able to join us and enjoy the excellent menu and extensive grounds around the hotel, on what we hope will be a sunny summer day!

If you would like to attend, please fill in your menu choices on the booking forms available at lectures and on the website and return to Teresa Sibley at the address indicated together with your cheque. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


SPECIAL INTEREST  DAY                       Nick Clive- Matthews

A true spring day and forty five TASE members gathered at the East Dean Village Hall for coffee, tea and biscuits with eager anticipation. Following coffee we settled down in the small hall for our first lecture of the day and Chris introduced us to Viv Lawes, our expert speaker. This lecture took us through the origins of Art Nouveau in the late 1880s, its links to the Arts and Crafts movement, Japanese art and its deliberate passage away from imitative historical 19th century art to a completely new style. We realised immediately that Chris had found us an outstanding lecturer as Viv’s presentation was clear, knowledgeable, amusing and always keen to involve and engage with her audience from the start.

The first lecture passed all too quickly and by the time it finished we had been through all the defining features of Art Nouveau; its characteristic asymmetric curves, its incorporation of natural forms, its use in illustrative art, architecture, furniture and jewellery. We then took a short break to stretch our legs and many of us went outside to enjoy the warm sunshine.

Our second lecture took us from the end of Art Nouveau in 1914 to the early years of the Art Deco period in the early 1920s; the effects World War I had on this transition, as well as the influences of other early 20th century art movements, especially Cubism, Fauvism and the Bauhaus. Another superb lecture, leaving us all with much to discuss over lunch. We then cleared the hall and set up the tables for a light but delicious lunch of sandwiches, cake and fruit. Thanks to Chris for organising it and to Doris, Patricia and Rosie for all their help on the day, also to all of those who helped with setting up the tables, clearing away and washing up.

 Our final lecture took us into the 1930s and the later Art Deco period when the vertically orientated, classically influenced and more individual designs of the 1920s gave way to the streamlined, horizontal lines of the age of speed and mass production. It was again amazing how much content Viv managed to fit into the lecture and it seemed that no time had passed before Chris stood up to thank her for such an interesting and informative day.

This was the first time we had tried this format for a Special Interest Day and everyone agreed that it had been an outstanding success. Well done and thank you Chris and of course Derek and Stuart for their technical expertise, in making it both possible and memorable.

News from The Arts Society                          Dorothy Watson

As many of you know our Society has a proud history of Church Recording, producing the most exquisitely detailed Records of all the contents of a church at a particular point in time. The Records have made an invaluable contribution to the well-being of local people and communities: for example the recent Recording of Piddinghoe Church resulted in the Church re-opening as a functioning place of worship.  The enthusiasm of our Church Recording teams and their dedication to meticulous standards of work is highly valued by all those coming in contact with them.

In December last year The Arts Society undertook a Volunteering Impact Survey, which looked at all the voluntary work currently being performed by individual Societies, and their benefits to recipients. One of the outcomes of this survey was to cease central funding of Church Recording in 2021, but recording will continue as a volunteering activity under Heritage projects.  In addition, all volunteering activities will come under the umbrella name of Arts Volunteers to include Young Arts, so that our Society’s charitable giving could, should we so wish, reach beyond current boundaries to support projects with the disabled, dementia sufferers, and other worthwhile causes.

Our Society generously supports local Young Arts projects and we will continue to do so under the Young Arts name but any suggestions about new projects that you would like to have considered alongside our work with young people, please do let any Committee member know.

FUTURE VISITS                                  Team Visits

Helen Gillott has arranged a visit to Leeds Castle on Thursday 16th April 2020. This  wonderful trip has unfortunately had to be cancelled.

Keep the Date! Portsmouth Dock Yard which hopefully will go ahead on Thursday 24th September

STOP PRESS                                      Dorothy Watson                

The current Government emergency measures have meant that sadly all lectures up to May 2020 have been cancelled, as has our visit to Leeds Castle on the 16th April.  This also means that our AGM has been postponed until further notice. Please rest assured that we will keep you up to date regarding the Yorkshire holiday and the Summer Lunch as soon as possible.

I’m delighted to tell you that work is going on behind the scenes to help us to keep in touch with each other over this difficult period.  You should be receiving an email from Florian, our Chief Executive at the beginning of April, and there are also initiatives being discussed at Area level. We’ll be in touch to get your feedback. Please do feel free to contact of any of us on the Committee if you have any questions or you have bright ideas of your own to add to the mix – as you know we’re a Society that genuinely welcomes members’ input and acts on them.

With warmest wishes to you all, Dorothy and Vivienne




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