Past exhibitions

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!


Annual Schools and Colleges Exhibition 2013

11 May – 9 June 2013 (free)

Over 1,000 children and young people from across Sussex have been inspired by People and Portraits to create their own original portraits, in a range of media. For the first time Towner’s education and outreach groups also contributed to the exhibition.


Fiona Rae: Maybe you can live on the moon in the next century

27 April – 23 June 2013 (free)

One of the original artists in Freeze, the 1988 Damien Hirst-curated group show which launched the Young British Artists, Fiona Rae has become one of the leading painters of her generation. Described by the Guardian as “a Jackson Pollock for the digital age”, her distinctive body of work – full of restless energy, humour and complexity – has set out to challenge the modern conventions of painting.


East Sussex Open 2013

9 March – 28 April 2013 (free)

This exhibition showcases the best of artists and makers from across the East Sussex region - from Rye to Brighton. With works in every medium, from scall scale paintings to large scale installations, the East Sussex Open never fails to delight and inspire!


Kelly Richardson: Legion

2 February - 14 April 2013 (free)

Kelly Richardson is known for her stunning large scale video installations of hyper-real landscapes. The theme of a dystopian post-apocalyptic Earth runs throughout, each work resonating with a delicate balance between the beautiful and the uneasy.


Bon hiver: A journey through a Winter Landscape

1 December 2012 - 3 March 2013 (free)

Modern and contemporary artists in the Towner Collection take you on a journey through the winter landscape – from the forest to the ice cap. Featuring The Forked Forest Path - a striking forest installation by Olafur Eliasson, whose artwork The Weather Project remains one of Tate’s most popular Turbine Hall installations.


People and Portraits

23 March – 13 October 13 (free)

Every portrait painting tells a story, connecting us to people across time and place. This collection display encompasses a variety of images and styles, including historical and formal portraiture, narrative scenes and self portraits. Key Towner Collection artists such as Edward Bawden, David Bomberg and Christopher Wood are represented, whilst some intriguing lesser known artists and works are also revealed.


Collective Observations: Folklore and Photography – from Benjamin Stone to Flickr

13 October 2012 - 13 January 2013 (free)

Since 1897, when Sir Benjamin Stone established the National Photographic Record Association (NPRA), photographers have had a fascination with the rites and rituals of Britain. This exhibition explores the complimentary relationship between photography and folklore practice - featuring contributions from Faye Claridge, Matthew Cowan, Doc Rowe, the Benjamin Stone Collection and more.