Towner unveils the East Sussex Open 2014 line-up

Gallit Shaltiel
Gallit Shaltiel

This summer sees the return of the popular East Sussex Open 2014, which opens to the public on July 4 at Towner in Eastbourne.

This year’s display will showcase original works by 34 East Sussex artists selected by Towner Exhibitions curator, Sanna Moore, and two guest selectors - Matthew Cornford, Professor of Fine Art, University of Brighton and one half of artist duo Cornford & Cross, and Hastings-based artist Becky Beasley.

Now in its fifth year, East Sussex Open showcases the best visual artists and makers from across the East Sussex region.

It was set up in 2009 when the Towner’s new building opened to offer talented local artists a chance to show their work on a national platform, as well as sell work and develop professional portfolios.

Artists selected for this competitive showcase include new and emerging artists such as third year Brighton University fine art student Anna Garcia Noguchi to more well-known artists such as British film director, writer and artist Andrew Kotting and his daughter, artist Eden Kotting, who have collaborated frequently in the past including film This is Our Life (2011).

Sanna Moore said, “As always the East Sussex Open contains a wide variety of work. There will be site specific pieces that respond to the space by Anny Evason and Anna Garcia Noguchi as well as a number of moving image works by artists like Toby Tatum and Lucinda Wells. There was a sharp rise in artists submitting proposals and film/video work this year, which I feel is reflected in the final selection.”

Judging for the Open was tougher than usual. Becky Beasley, said, “We were all very in synch with our selection, so in many ways our show chose itself. For me, it’s a show about worlds and world-building. Over two days I looked at nearly 300 artists’ slides. Selecting in this way is such a personal and instinctive thing.

“Our choices are inevitably as eccentric as the many types of work on view. I took great pleasure in the process and left the Towner feeling excited about art in all its many, many guises.”

Matthew Cornford said, “I hope this year’s exhibition reflects the quality and diversity of art across the region.

“Throughout the selection, I was struck by how many ambitious artists of all ages and backgrounds have decided to make East Sussex the base for their creative work and lives.

“Whether selected or not, every artist who entered is making a positive contribution to various art scenes now thriving across this region.”

• 2014 East Sussex Open artists: Trevor Abbot; Tom Banks; Sam Carvosso; Michael Chiswick; Michelle Cobbin; Susan Crossett; Alex Currie; David Rees Davies; Elisha Enfield; Anny Evason; Josephine Gallagher; Albert Geere; Mark Glassman; Anna Gonzalez Noguchi; Kate Graham; Pierre Hale; Mick Hartney; Ronald Hellen; David Jones; Eden Kotting; Andrew Kotting; Suzanne O’Haire; Wendy Pye; Katherine Reekie; Ella Robinson; Gallit Shaltiel; Sarah Shaw; Chris Shaw Hughes; Angela Smith; Toby Tatum; Joshua Uvieghara; Tom Walker; Lucinda Wells; and Tony Wilson.