The final list of artists has been chosen for the prestigious regional art exhibition, East Sussex Open 2015, which runs at Towner, Eastbourne, from July 11 to September 20.
Judging this year’s applicants were guest selectors Jonathan Watkins, Director of Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, and award-winning London-based video artist Saskia Olde Wolbers, along with Towner Executive Director Emma Morris.
They selected 44 artists from a record number of entries - some 342 submissions - are Victoria Albuquerque, Eden Kotting, George Antoni, Alexander Johnson, Ian Baker, Mike Leale, Tom Banks, Chris Liddiard, Ben Browton, Alice Mara, Melissa Campbell, Maslen & Mehra in collaboration with Shuby and Delete, Philip Cole, Nicholas May, Alex Currie, Terry McCormack, David Rees Davis, David Muchmore, Brian Deighton, Danny Pockets, Alexandra Drawbridge, Guyan Porter, Gary Edwards, George Robertson, Gabrielle Farah, Scott Robertson, Ros Faram, Brian Rybolt, Gary Goodman, David Slack, Charlotte Lambert-Gorwyn, Mike Stoakes, Scanlon & Grivell, Wycliffe Stutchbury, Mick Hawksworth, Michael Tierney, Christopher Hoggins, Andrew Voyce, Ida Holbrook, Glen Walker, Chris Shaw Hughes, Lynn Weddle, Andrew Kotting and Jo Worth.
They hail from all parts of East Sussex including Lewes, Saltdean, St Leonards on Sea, Hastings, Hove, Brighton, Forest Row, Portslade, Hailsham, Ewhurst Green, Hassocks, Eastbournee, Seaford, Saltdean and Bexhill.
One of the artists, Wycliffe Stutchbury, will create a new art work fashioned from the damaged timber and materials from the Eastbourne Pier. He will be documenting the process of the creation of this new work.
He says: “Following the fire on Eastbourne Pier, I negotiated the retrieval of some damaged material including structural timber, flooring and various other components.
“The boards have recorded the history of the building, from dance floor through to amusement arcade. I will create a large piece approximately 5ft square from this haul that attempts to preserve this history right through to its untimely demise.
“The piece should draw you in from a distance, picking out details, the elements of the construction, then the scars, colour and texture that might inform us of the past. I would like the work to be a more positive affirmation of matter and its continuing narrative journey.”
Emma Morris, Executive Director, Towner, said: “I was delighted to work with Jonathan and Saskia as the guest judges on the fifth edition of East Sussex Open.
“We were given no other information than the artists’ names; we did not know if they were professionals, graduates or self taught; their age or profession.
“As Jonathan and Saskia are the first judges from outside the region, they also didn’t know if any of the artists had been in East Sussex Open before.
“I think the selection this year is particularly strong, and we are working with the most artists ever, demonstrating the extraordinary talent we have on our doorstep.”
East Sussex Open, July 11– September 20, Towner, Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne BN21 4JJ, free entry. Open Tuesday-Sunday, and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10am-5pm (closing hour changes to 6pm from 2 June). For more information, see townereastbourne.org.uk/exhibition/east-sussex-open-2015/