Oh we do like a day out at the seaside at Livingetc, especially with a bit of art thrown in. So on a recent trip to Hastings (see our June issue for more on the loveliest, most serene B&B in town, The Old Rectory), we popped into the newly opened Jerwood Gallery.

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It’s had a difficult start in life (not all locals were pleased at its conception, or location on the Stade), but we think it will grow into something much loved. We give it our vote as a great example of sensitive architecture that has redeveloping a bleak space for something far more enjoyable.

Where a concrete coach park once stood there’s now a gallery clad in lustrous black tiles, an open-space for events (in the meantime, toddlers scootering in circles) and a cool cafe.

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The gallery is on a manageable scale, and showcases a snapshot of 20th century British painters (from Nicholson, and Stanley Spencer to Ivon Hitchens and Maggi Hambling) mixed with the contemporary (the current exhibition showcases Rose Wylie’s large-scale creations, below).

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The architecture is interesting, but not intimidating…

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… and all the way around, you catch views of the jumbled streets of Hastings and the mish-mash of working fishing boats through vast windows, keeping the gallery grounded in the Hastings of here and now.

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And with great coffees with a sea view what’s not to like? 

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Jo, sub-editor

photographs HAT Projects © Ioana Marinescu and Alastair Whitson

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