Yesterday our art course teacher organised a trip to the Towner gallery having pre-booked a viewing of the works held back in storage. I arrived in Eastbourne by train as I enjoy the journey along the South Downs Way culminating in the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head.
Outside a main road was being dug up and the noise of diggers was deafening.
There were no signs, no map in the station and pedestrianised access routes through the construction maze, so the gallery could only be found through local knowledge.
We saw Duncan Grants and and a Vanessa Bell who dwelled in nearby Charleston: a William Nicholson, the naive fisherman paintings of Alfred Wallis and two of Christopher Wood who died tragically young, all of the St Ives School: there was their most valuable item a Edward Burra whose works can now fetch £500,000.
The new curator Joe Hill was at the Batley Gallery which had a Francis Bacon. One can only speculate what treasures lie in museum racks.
It did nothing for me, nor did a silent film next door about the French Judiciary at work, hardly the stuff of Netflix!
In the absence of funding galleries like Towner have a tough challenge. Personally and perhaps controversially I would sell the Burra to fund the gallery. Here is a link to his life and works – Edward Burra
Walking back to the station I saw a bus going back to my destination.
Climbing aboard I went to the top level where at the front you had even more spectacular views of the sea and countryside. I could only conclude that nature does a better job than the Weather Garden when it comes to contemplating.