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We're excited to announce the gallery's 2017 programme which includes the biggest and most ambitious project of brand new art ever undertaken by Sir Quentin Blake and previously unseen studio wall drawings by Turner Prize Winner Keith Tyson.

Kicking off the 2017 season, Keith Tyson: Turn Back Now (28 January - 4 June) explores some of the most fundamental preoccupations of our shared human experience in his work, taking the universe and our place in it as his subject.

This exhibition showcases 20 years of Tyson's Studio Wall Drawings, more than 360 works that chart, in Tyson’s words, ‘a kind of emotional headline of the day.’ Many have never been publically exhibited before. Shown together for the first time, these drawings form not only a record of the passing time but also provide a unique insight into the working practices of an artist.   

An undoubted national treasure, Quentin Blake is passionate about Hastings, and that is why he has chosen Jerwood Gallery as the venue for his biggest and most ambitious show to date. Probably best known as an illustrator working with the likes of Roald Dahl, his exhibition The Only Way to Travel (14June– 15 October) will show a completely different – and to many totally unknown – facet of Quentin’s work. New paintings, many monumental in size, will investigate topical themes including the refugee crisis and the current political climate in the unique, life affirming, Blake style. The show will also explore subjects that are close to Quentin’s heart, mental health issues amongst the young, and the lack of creativity in schools.    

Eileen Agar was one of the greatest UK based artists of the last century, and the most prominent female member of the British Surrealist movement. Known for experimenting with new techniques and materials, such as photographs, found objects and collages, her art appears in many prominent international collections. Eileen Agar- Bride of the Sea (15 March – 4 June 2017) part of the gallery’s ‘In Focus’ series, takes as its starting point a key work within the Jerwood Collection, Agar's 1969 painting Pigeon Post. This one-room display features major loans of Agar’s Surrealist paintings from significant national institutions, displayed alongside archive photographs of the artist from Tate.

Following the acclaimed 2016 Jerwood Gallery exhibition of crowd-sourced works by John Bratby in 2016, Jean Cooke: Delight in the Thing Seen (24 May – 10 September) is a one-room display that explores the work of Bratby’s first wife and subject of many of his early portraits, the artist Jean Cooke, RA. This exhibition creates the opportunity for Cooke’s voice to be heard, and for visitors to explore her unique artistic vision in a display that features many works that have never before been on public view.  

Kath Thompson: Yesterday and Tomorrow (10 June – 10 September) puts the spotlight on up and coming artist Kath Thompson, showcasing some of her latest work. Talking about her artistic practice and inspiration, Thompson says “My work is about things, people and places in the world. I am influenced by painting from the ancient past as well as the present. Anything visual, as well as things said or read that conjure visual excitement can be interesting to me for making paintings.”  The title of this exhibition comes from Thompson’s painting Yesterday and Tomorrow; characteristic of Thompson’s brightly coloured, fluidly painted works, this image of a lion facing a row of statues encapsulates the joy and spirit of this exciting artist’s practice.

We're also hosting two installations in the gallery courtyard next year, starting with Heywood & Condie: Head Land (10 March– 3 September)Tony Heywood and Alison Condie describe their work as 'horticultural installation art'. Their area of interest principally concerns new ways of engaging with and representing landscape and nature.

This courtyard installation takes the form of a magical-realist landscape portrait of Hastings. The artistic duo will create a fantastical, hybrid world where sculpted, cartoonesque land and seascapes collide with a carefully constructed botanical ecosystem. Their gardens are a strange collaboration with nature where the real and the synthetic collide, revealing a hybrid landscape of visual excess.

In the autumn we welcome Stephen Turner’s Exbury Egg (15 September – 15 October). This installation addresses the meaning of place at a time of great environmental change. In the guise of The Beaulieu Beadle, Turner has worked on, in and around the Exbury Egg, a 40ft self-sustaining giant wooden pod, in multiple locations around the country, including occupying the Egg on the River Beaulieu in Hampshire for a year in 2013.  

From October 2017 – January 2018, the gallery will display new work by a critically acclaimed international artist. More details soon.

To celebrate the gallery’s 5th birthday, Jerwood Collection Curator, Lara Wardle, is putting together a People’s Choice display of favourite collection works. Throughout the year, and in chronological order, the permanent collection will showcase decades of Modern British art: pre-1930s (winter/spring), 1930s & 40s (summer) and 1950s & 60s (autumn).  

Director, Liz Gilmore said: “The gallery’s 5th birthday year commences with a major exhibition of international artist Keith Tyson.  Our continued interest in showing key female painters is affirmed by the presentation of Eileen Agar, Kath Thompson and Jean Cooke. We also have an important outreach project asserting creativity back into the curriculum championed by Quentin Blake, himself a Hastings resident.  The programme as a whole exploits the gallery’s unique focus on painting.”

Image: Quentin Blake, The Only Way to Travel, 2016 © the artist.