This Sussex landmark looks like a cosy rural home, but inside it holds the radical art of its one-time residents – members of the Bloomsbury Group
Spotlight on... Hastings Contemporary
30 Jul 2022
Get to know this wonderful seaside gallery with our handy guide
Where is it? Nestled in the seaside town of Hastings on the south coast, Hastings Contemporary cuts a strikingly modern figure against a backdrop of Victorian architecture and overlooks the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe.
Why we love it: Formerly known as the Jerwood Gallery, this institution has long had a focus on modern painting, with a particular flair for all things sea related. The fantastic programme of temporary exhibitions often draws seafaring connections with artists as varied as Paula Rego, Maggi Hambling and Stanley Spencer. With an average of three shows presented at any one time, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.
Dennis Rodman by Lakwena Maciver
What should you see? The technicoloured creations of artist Lakwena Maciver are sure to make anyone smile. Best known for her powerful public art, full of graphic prints and hopeful messages, she now presents a new series of paintings that operate as abstract portraits of famed basketball stars. She says, ‘I like the notion of the basketball court as a platform or a stage where the players become almost like superheroes... I see these paintings as an opportunity to celebrate black power, joy and self-expression.’
Make a day of it: While it might be tempting to simply take in the view from the gallery café, be sure to take a stroll around Old Town, with its plethora of bars, restaurants and shops. Next, take the East Hill Lift, a stunning little funicular railway that takes riders up and over the cliff and into Hastings Country Park. The journey itself is a joy.
Fun fact: The unique, shimmery black façade of the gallery building is formed of 8,000 hand-glazed ceramic tiles. They are an homage to the black-clad netting shops that populate the nearby shoreline.
Get involved: The Arts Society Rother Valley meets regularly in Hastings, with Members from across Rye, Pevensey, Battle and more. Upcoming lectures include a talk on glass artist Dale Chihuly by Charles Hajdamach and a history of documentary film by Howard Smith.
About the Author
Holly Black is The Arts Society's Digital Editor
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST
Become an instant expert!
Find out more about the arts by becoming a Supporter of The Arts Society.
For just £20 a year you will receive invitations to exclusive member events and courses, special offers and concessions, our regular newsletter and our beautiful arts magazine, full of news, views, events and artist profiles.
FIND YOUR NEAREST SOCIETY
This year marks a milestone in the history of Egyptology: the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. The world was agog for its discovery and treasures, but the young king himself remains an enigma. Our expert, Lucia Gahlin, examines his story
Are you as fascinated by artists’ studios as we are? Then beat a path to Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, where a show of photographs of artists in their creative spaces is on now. Curator Amy Orrock gives us the story behind three of the images