Past exhibitions

2014 Jarman Award

11 October - 2 November (free)

A selection of single screen film works by the 10 artists shortlisted for this year's prestigious Jarman Award.


East Sussex Open 2014

4 July - 14 September (free)

The return of our popular open exhibition showcasing the exceptional breadth of artistic talent on our doorstep. This exhibition showcases the best of artists and makers from across the East Sussex region - from Rye to Brighton and Hove.


Mouth and Foot Painting Artists exhibition

Tues 20 - Sun 26 October

The British MFPA will hold their annual exhibition and artists conference at Towner, displaying 60 original images by 20 MFPA artists, as well as a range of prints.


Simon Roberts: Eastbourne Pier

10 July - 10 September (free)

Photographer Simon Roberts has spent the last three years travelling the coastline of Britain photographing the last remaining pleasure piers. One work from the project, Eastbourne Pier, is on display at Towner. Pierdom is a national touring exhibition and monograph, to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the construction of Ryde Pier in the Isle of Wight (the first of the British piers).


Land and Sea

13 September 2014 – 25 January 2015 (free)

A selection of new acquisitions merge with works already within our permanent collection to demonstrate depictions of seas and landscapes using film and photography.



2 November 2013 - 26 January 2014 (free)

Inspired by Chiharu Shiota’s exhibition in the Exhibition Gallery, this display drew on works in the collection that explore themes of space and architecture. Many of the pieces contain elements of surprise or subversion within them, or explore the way in which people try to control and simplify natural and physical environments. The display included Ceal Floyer’s Door, 1995, Derek Boshier’s Vista City, 1964, and Test of Courage, 2000 by Rut Blees Luxemburg.


Chiharu Shiota: Other Side

11 October 2013 - 5 January 2014 (free)

Chiharu Shiota is a Japanese performance and installation artist best known for creating monumental yet delicate environments. Towner commissioned Shiota to create an ambitious, immersive installation to pervade our entire gallery space. Visitors were able to walk around the installation and inside it, entering a dense other-wordly woven labyrinth...


Dependent Rational Animals

13 July – 22 September 2013 (free)

A collaboration between Sally Underwood and Roxy Walsh, Dependent Rational Animals began in 2011 with a conversation about how sculpture might make a home for painting and how painting might hold the interior of a sculpture. This exhibition included wall painting and large-scale architectural sculptures alongside smaller works.


The Lyons Teashops Lithographs: Art in a time of Austerity

13 July – 22 September 2013

In the post-war years, catering giant J. Lyons & Co. commissioned three series of lithographs from some of Britain’s most popular artists – including Edward Bawden, John Piper, David Gentleman, John Minton, William Scott and John Nash – to combat a wartime decline in the interior decoration of their famous teashops. Through the company’s enterprising approach to arts patronage, the cream of modern British art was for the first time accessible to a wider public in Lyons Teashops across the nation. This exhibition celebrates our collection of the complete set of 40 lithographs, shown alongside some of the original paintings and working drawings. Step back in time to experience a Great British institution at a time when great art overcame austerity!