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Townscape 2016 – History Reframed

Eight artists from local contemporary art group, ‘Example’ have initiated another community art project and are working with twelve young people and other town folk over this Summer.

Example Contemporary Art Group
Example Contemporary Art Group

Townscape 2016 comprises of two exhibitions showing simultaneously in town centre venues and the exhibition includes sculpture, printmaking, photography, painting and stitch. The artists were shown a range of artefacts by East Grinstead Museum curator Jessica Hadfield, including a Jurassic footprint and a key to a local convent. Each artist picked something from the collection that intrigued them and began sketching. Artists then went into schools and asked teachers to select students who would benefit from some professional monitoring. Students were invited to participate in Saturday workshops and a ‘night at the museum’, which has led to students generating their own images that reflect aspects of local history. The resulting work is currently on display at the town library.

‘Example’ began talking about the project as far back as 2014, when two of the artists involved in the Townscape project worked with curator, Jessica Hadfield.

Jessica said, “I am delighted to be working with Example on this project to find new ways to use and interpret the Museum’s varied collection. Working with the artists and students, whether they have chosen an item from our Museum Store behind the scenes or an item on display, has provided us with a valuable opportunity to revisit and find new meaning in our collections. Each item the
artist has worked with as part of this project will be displayed as part of the Townscape 2016 giving us a wonderful opportunity to showcase the item and interpret it in a new light by means of the artist’s response to it.”

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carpet sweeper, Harriet Brigdale
carpet sweeper, Harriet Brigdale
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Square phone
Square phone
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Hannah Buckley, Artist and Visual Art Educator told me, “She was extremely supportive of the project and discussed the possibility of basing the next Townscape around the Museum collection. It was an opportunity for each artist to choose something in the collection that they were drawn to. We wanted to see the collection through the eyes of an artist rather than from a curatorial point of view. My own artwork is based on Museum drawings by Molly Letaigne, who worked as an artist for McIndoe, illustrating his surgical procedures. I have been reading about the WWII pilots and the injuries they received to their hands from burns or frost-bite if they were not wearing gloves.”

‘Example’ had already worked with Sackville School on previous projects, creating the subway artwork with support from MSDC and subsequently Hannah has joined the art department at the school as a teacher. Imberhorne students are also involved in the new project.

Sackville student, Ellen Stocken said, ‘It’s a great way of getting submerged in the history of the town, exploring qualities that serve as an inspiration.’

The main exhibition launched in May and June and family and adult workshops will follow on, allowing more members of the public to reframe history, through drawing objects from the collection.

“Our aim is to deliver high quality visual arts to our community.

We are a small town and not everyone can get up to London and visit the big galleries but we want to inspire the younger generation of artists by providing role models and helping them to develop their skills.”

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The exhibition is open to the public in two separate venues.

East Grinstead Museum, Cantulupe Rd, 01342 302233 Wednesday May 25 – Saturday September 4 (Wed – Sun)

East Grinstead Library, West St, 01342 410121 Friday June 3 – Saturday September 3 (Mon – Sat)

For further information:

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