Eastbourne’s gallery launches innovative show

EASTBOURNE’S art gallery will be launching its latest exhibition this weekend, The People’s Republic of Towner – a co-production between the Towner and CRI Lift House, a drug treatment service concerned with the treatment and care of vulnerable adults.

The People’s Republic of Towner will open this Saturday and run until January 29.

It has been developed over a number of weeks with the Towner’s outreach team working closely with the staff and clients of CRI Lift House.

The project has explored how the value of accessible, secure and decent housing aids a sustainable recovery from substance and alcohol addiction.

Central to the exhibition is the construction of a life-size ‘dwelling’ in the Towner’s industrial scale Exhibition Halls, which has been made almost entirely from recycled materials.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure Cllr Neil Stanley said, “We are delighted to launch The People’s Republic of Towner, the latest exhibition to have been developed through the valuable outreach work carried out at the Towner.

“For many years the Towner has been working at what might be considered the frontline of community development within Eastbourne and beyond, and this latest exhibition continues to look at key social issues in our community.”

Visitors will be able to enter the ‘dwelling’ and explore a parallel world of ultra violet squats and sofa surfing show homes, with the interior consisting of fixtures and fittings mostly recovered from skips, house refurbishments or objects donated by local businesses.

The exhibition will also feature the Black Museum, designed by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, containing items recovered from house fires to highlight the importance of safe and secure housing.

All of the participants have at one time or another experienced housing-related issues and the project has been developed in consultation with housing and advice agencies across Eastbourne.