Now reopened, we take a look at three of the exhibitions currently on at Towner Eastbourne.

Alan Davie and David Hockney: Early Works. – Until 20 SEP 2020

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 1948–1965. It will trace the parallel paths of these key figures, 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.

Labels in this exhibition contain some sexual references.

For further information and bookings, please visit: www.townereastbourne.org.uk


Lawrence Abu Hamdan: This whole time there were no landmines. – Until 18 SEP 2020

Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a Turner Prize-winning artist based in Beirut whose work looks into the political effects of listening, using various kinds of audio to explore its effects on human rights and law.

Recently acquired by Towner, This whole time there were no landmines (2017) is an eight-monitor installation with sound, that uses collected cell-phone-video footage from 2011 to document a ‘shouting valley’ that lies in the contested area of the Golan Heights, Syria.

This stretch of land became annexed by Israel from Syria following a ceasefire in 1967 and is dubbed ‘the shouting valley’, as the areas topography allows for an acoustic leak across the border. Subsequently, separated families have gathered on either side of the border in order to shout across the divide to each other and remain in contact.


BRINK: Caroline Lucas curates the Towner Collection. – Until 6 SEP 2020

Caroline Lucas MP – politician, cultural advocate and environmental campaigner – has taken on a new challenge: curating her first ever exhibition for a major UK gallery.

Caroline is an active campaigner on a range of issues and has consistently been voted the UK’s most ethical politician. A patron of various arts projects over the years, she currently supports Kollektiv Gallery, ONCA Gallery and Firecracker Theatre Company.

Selecting from the 5000 works in Towner’s permanent Collection, Caroline’s choices reflect and resonate with her passions and interests, from her environmental work, issues of climate change and effects on our landscape, to her love of living in Sussex.