Our Place: Annual Schools Exhibition 2015

Posted on 3/12/2014

Celebrating the built heritage of the South Downs

Exhibitions schedule
Towner Gallery: Friday 27 March – Sunday 31 May
Flora Twort Gallery: Tuesday 24 March – Sunday 19 April
Worthing Museum and Art Gallery: Saturday 23 May – Saturday 19 September

The South East’s most popular annual exhibition of art work created by schoolchildren has expanded its reach across Sussex with the addition of two new partner sites: Worthing Museum and Art Gallery, West Sussex and the Flora Twort Gallery Petersfield, Hampshire.

Working in partnership with the South Downs National Park, Towner and the two galleries will be engaging schools across Hampshire, West and East Sussex in a project that draws on the rich resources of the national park and local museums and galleries.

This year’s theme for the exhibition is Our Place: Celebrating the built heritage of the South Downs and invites school children to look at the built heritage of the South Downs – whether ancient or modern, domestic or industrial, places of worship or commemoration. The works chosen from the collections at the partner galleries will show school children how different artists have chosen to represent places that have meaning or interest for them.

The project will run from November 2014 to March 2015 and will culminate in exhibitions at the three galleries from March to September 2015. The exhibition will take the form of small scale buildings made by pupils, whose schools will be issued with a 1m2 ‘plot of land’ each.

A focus will be made on works from Towner’s Collections by Eric Ravilious, John Piper, Robert Tavener, William Nicholson, William Raine, Harold Mockford, and John R. Biggs. Amongst the works from the Towner’s Collection is an additional loaned work by locally based contemporary artist Wycliffe Stutchbury.

For the past five years, over 7,000 school pupils have had an opportunity to respond to Towner’s Collection and participate in an exciting exhibition in the South East’s largest contemporary art gallery.

Schoolchildren taking part in the Annual Schools Exhibition can gain an Arts Award and schools can achieve ArtsMark or Artsmark Gold.

Amanda Elmes, who leads on learning and outreach for the South Downs National Park Authority, said:

“The rolling chalk hills of the South Downs have been lived on and shaped by people from more than 500,000 years. We can trace this history through iron-age forts, Roman palaces, Saxon churches, medieval villages, Norman castles, Elizabethan manors, Georgian mansions, Victorian houses, 20th century war defenses and all the way to modern architecture. It’s exciting to be working with Towner, Worthing Museum and the Flora Twort Gallery to share this story with students from across Sussex and Hampshire. I can’t wait to see the results.”

Clare Halstead, Head of Learning at Towner, said: 

“This year’s Annual Schools Exhibition project is set to be one of the most exciting yet through our partnership with South Downs National Park Authority, Worthing Museum and the Flora Twort Gallery. We are lucky in the South East to have the South Downs on our doorstep, and what better way for school children to explore this rich natural heritage through arts and culture? We are looking forward to having even more schools and their pupils sign up and take part this year.”