The Jerwood Gallery   11 comments

The recently opened Jerwood Gallery in Hastings is part of the Jerwood Foundation, an organisation that has been created to house their collection of modern British Art. It has been built on the Stade, part of Hastings Old Town. The square in the foreground is used for special events such as the Seafood & Wine Festival, and the redevelopment included a new cafeteria and public toilets.

This site was previously a coach and lorry park, pictures of which can be seen here.

There was a determined campaign to prevent the construction of the gallery on the Stade. All of the arguments against it are outlined on this website, however the core of the argument appears to be that the removal of the coaches from the old town would impact on the numbers of tourists visiting the area. They argue that the gallery could have been built in a different part of the town.

The council were determined to have their way however, and it’s likely that if they had suggested a different site for the gallery the Jerwood Foundation would have pulled out of the deal and gone elsewhere. It is a prime location after all and the other suggested sites were well outside of the areas that tourists normally visit.

I think that the gallery and it’s surrounds are a far better use for the land than a bus park. It adds an additional attraction to the area and may even draw in a new audience of people. The council have set aside coach drop off points near to the Stade, and provided parking for the coaches a couple of miles away, which seems a reasonable solution to me. As for the building itself, I reckon that it fits in nicely with the surroundings, and the hand made ceramic tiles are particularly attractive. I haven’t been inside yet though. The £5 residents entry (£7 for ‘out of towners’) puts me off, especially when the art displayed inside isn’t really my thing. Perhaps that in itself says something!

I guess time will tell what economic effects of this redevelopment will have. Hastings needs all the income it can get at it is in the top 20 of the most deprived areas in England, so hopefully the impact will be a positive one. For some other interesting opinons and photographs on the Jerwood from people who visit Hastings I recommend this blog article by Sideways14 and this article in the Guardian. If anyone wants to add their own opinion, please do so below!

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11 responses to “The Jerwood Gallery

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  1. Hi Kieron, thanks for the pingback! Good to be appreciated (likes, comments and pingbacks are the best for the fragile creative ego!). I’ve been looking through your blog and your photos are indeed compelling! I’ll be revisiting often now that I’m following your blog. Thank you!

  2. Good pictures. I agree that the gallery is an asset to the town and a huge improvement on what was there before. Hastings old town has always been a draw for artists and so it is fitting that a proper art gallery is situated here. There is room for all kinds of attractions surely, not just the amusement and fish and chip shops for the day tripper? We have an excellent museum in the shipwreck centre already so I’ve never been able to see the point of the objectors.
    Incidentally, it’s only £2 for locals, not £5, and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of art on display.

    • £2 is a better fee, must have missed that when looking at the charges. Every seaside town has fish & chips and amusements, tourist destinations need something to make it stand out from the crowd – the gallery helps!

  3. Another for my ‘to do list’

  4. The first picture is especially interesting with the scenery and the contrast in architecture. Nice.

  5. Entry is also free to residents [on production of proof!] on certain Tuesdays after 4.30, worth checking with the gallery to see .

    I to believe that the gallery will be an asset to the town, drawing the “right class of people ” to view the art ,then to dine at the more expensive fish restaurants.

    The local traders are very concerned that the coaches are no longer able to park permanently in the area, they can put down and pick up only.

    I did hear that some coach companies, that do day trips have removed Hastings as a destination because of this.

    Only time will tell who is right, Jerwood/Council or the naysayers.

    By observation, the gallery has always been busy when ever I have walked by, and despite the ban on coaches, filthy weather AND no trains into Hastings over some of the easter weekend, the old town was packed, with the police at one point trying to bring order to the choatic traffic jams .

  6. Haven’t been to Hastings for some years now. This would be an added reason so must get there sometime even if I have to pay £7. I’ll time it for a good exhibition. Thanks for showing us!

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