Coming Up

Our pick of forthcoming shows, across Sussex
Lothar Götz, Dance Diagonal, 2019. Photo by Jim Stephenson

Turner Prize

Towner Eastbourne, Sep 28-Jan 14, 2024

On April 27, Tate Britain announced the four artists who have been nominated on the shortlist to win the 2023 Turner Prize. Their work will be displayed at Towner Eastbourne this autumn in the run-up to the award ceremony on December 5, and beyond.

While Towner has, in recent years, periodically striven to showcase the work of experimental contemporary artists (Jananne Al-Ani comes to mind), this group show will be a far cry from the ModBrit fare we’ve come to expect on the gallery’s walls. Eric Ravilious, it certainly ain’t.

Jesse Darling is an artist who identifies as transmasculine, and explores themes of identity across different media. Ghislaine Jeung is a Swedish conceptualist who examines the socio-economic and spatial conditions of the art industry. Rory Pilgrim is a multidisciplinary artist and performer who is influenced by the origins of activist, feminist and socially engaged art. Barbara Walker is a figurative artist whose work looks at social, cultural and political realities in today’s multicultural Britain. One imagines a dinner party involving the four of them would be an interesting affair. The winner gets £25,000.

Good luck to all concerned, and congratulations on being shortlisted. Wherever you stand on the Turner Prize – as divisive a topic, it seems, as Brexit – we urge you to visit Towner Eastbourne while the show is up. The success of Towner’s bid to host the event has been a real coup for the gallery, and a shot in the arm for the status of the art world in Sussex.

Bobby Baker, Kitchen Show, 1991. Photo: Andrew Whittuck

Are You a Woman in Authority?

Phoenix Art Space, Sept 30-Nov 19

Broken Grey Wires presents an exhibition of work by artists who explore empowerment, gender and community. Looking at the rhetoric behind mental illness, class struggles, race, queerness and feminist discourse through photography, interactive installation, video and painting, it brings together work by both established and emerging artists. 

Look out for the inimitable Bobby Baker, plus Martha Rosler, Zanele Muholi, Jade Montserrat, Sarah Lucas, and Charlotte Prodger whose billboard-scale work you can currently see in Newhaven as part of the Ravilious trail.  

Join them for the exhibition opening on Friday, Sept 29, 6-8pm.

Dreamy Place

Various venues in Brighton + Crawley, Oct 12-22

What was Brighton Digital Festival has now become Dreamy Place and it launches its seven-day programme of art, creative tech and digital culture this October. There’ll be world-renowned films and installations by top artists shown alongside local talent, plus interactive events taking place across two sites over two weekends: Crawley Oct 12-14 and Brighton Oct 19-22.

Look out for: a Pop-up Arcade, where you can play multiplayer games and experiment with alternative controllers; the Oska Bright Film Festival and a film trail; a Motion Cap workshop; a Dreamscape club night; a workshop showing you how to write and develop successful funding applications for creative projects; a day of training for women working in digital, tech and creative industries; an exhibition of sound, video and light in a tunnel underneath Brighton Station; a collection of films by Chinese artists; a panel discussion about Performing Robots, and a Digital Dance Café!

See portrait (with headband), Lee Miller Studios Inc., New York, USA 1932 by Lee Miller. (c) Lee Miller Archives England 2023. All rights reserved.

Lee Miller: Dressed

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Oct 14-Feb 18

Coinciding with the release of the film Lee, starring Kate Winslet, Brighton celebrates this most glamorous of Sussex residents with an exhibition that examines her life and work through her clothing.

Lee Miller – photographer, surrealist, model, war correspondent, writer, traveller and cook – lived her many lives with passion and audacity. These lives are all reflected in her dress and style: high fashion from 1930s Europe and New York; jodhpurs, bathing wear and folk dress from travel and adventures in Egypt and Europe with surrealist friends and artists, military uniform and her work as a war correspondent, maternity dress, motherhood, and life in rural Sussex as a surrealist host.

Small Wonder Festival

Charleston, Oct 19-22

This celebration of the shortest forms of writing – from short stories to essays, song writing, poetry and journalism – brings us four days of discussions, workshops and family events, featuring leading and emerging voices across literature, journalism, the arts, environment, language, culture and more.

Names to look out for include William Boyd, Jeanette Winterson and linguist David Crystal.

Victoria Melody: Head Set

ACCA, Oct 24/25

★★★★ ‘Victoria Melody should be a national treasure’ – Time Out

★★★★ ‘A quirkiness and curiosity that is deeply appealing… and very funny’ – The Stage

★★★★ ‘A charisma that defies scientific classification’ – Financial Times

Selected as one of the best shows to see at the Edinburgh Fringe by Time Out, The Times and The Stage.

What if success doesn’t look like winning a Nobel Prize (or just managing to get a mortgage) but is more about becoming your true self? 

Sufficiently disillusioned with her theatre career that she shoved cake into a woman’s face (she deserved it, FYI), Victoria Melody turns to Plan B: stand-up comedy. But in her search for creative freedom, she finds constraints and rules that she struggles to fit herself to. 

Keen to succeed, Victoria finds speech and language specialists who, at the grand old age of 40, diagnose her as neurodivergent. Cue a hyper-focused dive into dopamine mining, teaming up with a neuroscientist and performing with a Faraday cage on her head to explore the potential of stand-up as self-medication for ADHD. 

Head Set is the chronicle of Victoria’s journey, a bonkers, hilarious and galvanising celebration of becoming your authentic self.

Book now:

John Craxton (1922-2009), Self-Portrait, 1946-7, Oil on Paper, Ömer Koç Collection. 
© estate of John Craxton. All rights reserved, DACS 2023

John Craxton: A Modern Odyssey

Pallant House, Oct 28-April 21

Celebrating the life and work of John Craxton, this exhibition will follow the artist’s career, from wartime Britain in the early 1940s, to the vibrant paintings and drawings inspired by his adopted homeland of Greece that he made from 1946 until his death. It will feature over 100 works including paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics, set designs and book-jacket designs.

Lucretia Dalt: ¡Ay!

ACCA, Nov 9

The Berlin-based Colombian experimental electronic musician, composer and sound artist Lucrecia Dalt performs from ¡Ay!, The Wire’s album of the year 2022.

‘…philosophically daring, technically ambitious, and a joy to experience.’  8.6/10 Pitchfork

‘A Stunning Sci-Fi Pop Opera.’ The Quietus

‘On ‘¡Ay!’, the tropical music of Lucrecia Dalt’s childhood becomes avant-garde sci-fi.’ NPR

Book now:

Hurvin Anderson, Flat Top, 2008. © Hurvin Anderson. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery. Photo: Hugh Kelly

Hurvin Anderson: Salon Paintings

Hastings Contemporary, Nov 14-March 3, 2024

Closely following its showing at the Hepworth Wakefield (May 26-Nov 5), is an exhibition featuring the work of Birmingham-born painter Hurvin Anderson. One of the recurring motifs in Anderson’s work is a Birmingham barber shop, a subject he first depicted in 2006, and has returned to regularly since, exploring different styles and techniques, drifting from figuration to abstraction and raising questions about memory, identity and nationhood. That series forms the mainstay of this show, and includes the work Is it OK to be black, which includes depictions of significant figures from the Civil Rights movement, and whose title stems from a mishearing of the classic barber’s refrain: ‘Is it OK at the back?’. Anderson was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2017. After Hastings, the show will travel to Kistefos Museum, Norway.

MADE Brighton

Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, Nov 24-26

Returning to Brighton Dome Corn Exchange after a 6-year break due to the renovation of the building, this much-loved national craft & design show brings the best makers in the country to the South Coast for an exciting, innovative, top-quality Christmas showcase.

Have we missed you out?

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