England’s Creative Coast
The south coast is a vibrant cultural region with some of the most outstanding galleries, arts organisations, events and festivals in the UK, featuring work by the world’s foremost artists, in towns pulsating with creativity, and along a breath-taking stretch of coastline.
Towner Art Gallery are pleased to be a partner in a new initiative, England’s Creative Coast, which celebrates the area through a new series of commissioned artworks. In 2020, seven new outdoor artworks along the coast will be launched from Kent to West Sussex, including one in Eastbourne commissioned by Towner. The new works will be made by leading contemporary artists and will connect the creative locations. The world’s first ever art geocaching tour will launch to coincide with project.
You don’t need to wait until 2020 to experience the stunning coastline and all that it has to offer. Make a cultural adventure along this coastline now, using specially curated package itineraries featuring art, events, food, drink and accommodation offers which can be found here
East Sussex and the beautiful South Downs have inspired artists for centuries, from Eric Ravilious to John Constable and William Blake. At the beginning of the South Downs in Eastbourne is our award-winning Towner Art Gallery with three floors of galleries showcasing modern and contemporary art from a range of international artists. Find out more about what’s on this summer here, including our first ever outdoor commission.
Along the coast, Bexhill-on-Sea houses the iconic De La Warr Pavilion – a signature of modernist architectural design, presenting exhibitions of contemporary and 20th century British art, live performances, film and outdoor events. Further east you’ll find Jerwood Gallery with modern and contemporary British art, situated in Hastings just a few steps from the beach, and close to the Old Town where you can discover on artist studios, galleries and antiques
Kent boasts 350km of stunning coastline, with sandy beaches and chalk white cliffs, and is home to some of the UK’s most exciting cultural hotspots. The world-class Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate celebrates JMW Turner’s spirit of enquiry with a revolving programme of exhibitions showcasing contemporary and historic art and overlooks beautiful golden sands and the North Sea. In the quaint seaside town of Whitstable, famous for its oysters, the Biennale takes place every two years and transforms the town into a festival of performance and film with works by emerging and established artists. Nestled on the English Channel is creative Folkestone, where you’ll find historic buildings that have been turned into independent shops, cafes, artist studios and galleries. Also find a trail of outdoor Artworks to follow, created by some of the world’s most acclaimed living artists, and Folkestone Triennial, one of the biggest outdoor visual art exhibitions in the UK, which returns in 2020.
Further inland in Chichester and the surrounds, explore Pallant House Gallery’s collection of British Modern Art, find over 50 sculptures in 26 acres of woodland at Cass Sculpture Foundation, and take in the awe of Arundel Castle, with its beautiful gardens and exquisite architecture.
Rich in sites and scenery, Essex has a creative and coastal surprise waiting for you at every corner. In Southend-on-Sea, experience the world’s first digital art park, NetPark. Be immersed in the outdoors with 15 outdoor digital artworks and enjoy year-round events hosted by the art organisation Metal. Further along the coast is Clacton, Essex’s largest seaside town which runs along its sunshine coast and hosts an annual programme of extraordinary fetes, carnivals and air shows. Its diverse coastline features tidal inlets, estuarine islands and lonely saltmarshes showcasing its wild beauty and rich wildlife. The 86ft historical landmark, The Naze Tower, is situated in the charmingly traditional seaside town of Walton-on-the-Naze, offering a 360-degree panoramic view of coastal Essex and housing both a museum and art gallery.
Where will you visit on England’s Creative Coast? Share your trip with #CreativeCoast
England’s Creative Coast is led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent and aims to inspire visitors to the region. The project is principally funded by Arts Council England’s Cultural Destinations programme and Visit England / Visit Britain through the Discover England Fund, supported by South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), East Sussex County Council, Kent County Council, Essex County Council, Visit Essex, Southend Borough Council, Coastal West Sussex, Historic Dockyard Chatham and Southeastern and is in partnership with Creative Foundation, De La Warr Pavilion, Jerwood Gallery, Metal, Towner Art Gallery, Whitstable Biennale, Pallant House Gallery, Cass Sculpture Foundation and Arundel Castle.