East Sussex Open 2016 – Open !

The Towner Art Gallery’s East Sussex Open Exhibition 2016 opens today. My work ‘All at Sea’ is part of this exhibition and I attended the private view summer party event last night. What a great evening – Thank you Towner Art Gallery for another splendid opening.

This year ‘East Sussex Open’ brings together a diverse range of works by 70 East Sussex Artists, which were selected by a judging panel consisting of by Jenni Lomax, Director, Camden Arts Centre, Brian Cass, Towners’ Head of Exhibitions and Melanie Manchot, Artist. For the first time the Exhibition is presented the Towners’ Second Floor Galleries. On the ground and first for galleries there are two other major exhibitions; ‘Some Are Nights Others Stars’ an international group show, in full Towner Art Gallery style and ‘David Bomberg: A Sense of Place’. All three Exhibitions are free entry. ‘David Bomberg: A Sense of Place continues until 11th September. ‘Some Are Nights Others Stars’ and East Sussex Open 2016 continue until 25th September.

For full details for a great day out at one of the South Easts’ most prestigious and inclusive art venues please visit http://townereastbourne.org.uk it is well worth the visit!

‘All at Sea’ is a site Specific work originally made for and exhibited on the Ross Tiger fishing Trawler, Grimsby in 2014 for The 62 Group of Textile Artists Exhibition ‘Ebb & Flow’. Being selected for the Towner’s Art Gallery’s ‘East Sussex Open’ 2016 gives the work its debut in a Gallery Context. Further information about this work is on this blog and at http://www.axisweb.org/artist/lucybrown

Brown,Lucy,All_at_Sea,detail2

Above – ‘All at Sea’ Detail. by Lucy Brown. Photographer credit; David Ramakalawon

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‘All at Sea’ in situ – on-board The Ross Tiger Trawler, Grimsby until 2nd November 2014

Vintage suits used; Navy wool and polyester St Michaels – Pale blue linen, wool mix Fox of London – Green cotton velvet Burtons – Pure wool tweed Hardy Amies.

All at Sea -  Hardy Amies All at Sea - Burtons tailorsAll at Sea - Fox of London TailorsAll at Sea - St.michealsAll at Sea -st.micheals from above

‘All at Sea’. 2014 Site specific work for The Ross Tiger Trawler, Grimsby.

‘All at Sea’ consists of four mock fishermen’s kit bags, reconstructed from men’s vintage suit jackets. These kits bags are placed on-board the Ross Tiger, within the fishermen’s sleeping quarters, below deck, using existing hooks and rails. The original construction of each suit jacket has been used as much as possible. Where this has not been possible reconstruction and re-stitching mimics’ original tailored jacket pattern construction and stitching.

In context, the kit bags act as links between the Grimsby fishermen’s very different shore and sea lives, drawing on the deckhands tradition of wearing their ‘coming on board’ and ‘going ashore’ suits. Grimsby fishermen’s Kit bags were taken on and off the trawlers after three days on land or three weeks at sea. Nicknamed the ‘three day millionaires’, Grimsby fishermen shopped in Freeman Street – known as Fishermen’s High Street – where there were tailors such as Gerald Baileys, John Collier, Alexanders and Burtons; and high street department shops like Marks and Spencer’s and Woolworths. ‘All at Sea’ uses vintage jackets from Burtons and Marks & Spencers, once in Freeman Street and also from tailors Fox and Hardy Amies, London, as the ‘three day millionaires’ would have been able to afford these brands. Like tailoring, fishing is a skilled job, just as working the ship is a skilled job.

Kit Bags carried personal items and up to four changes of clothing. As men were frequently unable to wash, a change of clothes was as good as it got. The amount of times they got changed depended on what type of trip it was. On a not so good trip, then as many times as they could – On a good trip, may not bother! Young lads hung around the quayside to carry the men’s kit bags from the taxi onto ship and from ship to taxi. The three weeks at sea and three days ashore could make for an unsettled existence. The kit bags become a metaphor for the ongoing fisherman’s transition between sea and land life.

The Ross Tiger herself holds and preserves the nostalgia for the Grimsby fishing industry.

All at Sea. A site specific work made for The Ross Tiger Trawler

A series of mock ‘sea bags’, reconstructed from men’s vintage suit jackets. In context placed around The Ross Tiger, the bags act as links between the Grimsby fishermen’s very different shore and sea lives, drawing on the deckhands tradition of wearing their ‘coming on board’ and ‘going ashore’ suits.

1. Brown,Lucy,All_at_Sea 2.Brown,Lucy,All_at_Sea,detail3

Materials used; Suit jackets; (including Burtons and Hardy Amies), eyelets. nylon cord.

techniques: unpicked, deconstructed, reconstructed, re-stitched, reclaimed.

Photographers credit – David Ramkalawon

All at Sea is currently in situ on the Tiger Ross. Part of Ebb and Flow, a 62 Group exhibition until 2nd November 2014