Nathan Coley Lights Up Sussex Modern Summer Programme

Nathan Coley, Sussex Modern

Turner Prize shortlisted artist Nathan Coley has installed a series of large-scale outdoor light sculptures at six spectacular locations across East Sussex as part of Sussex Modern.

Tentative Words Change Everything is the largest exhibition of Coley’s outdoor works and features some of the artist’s most important works in site-specific locations. Scottish-born Coley’s text sculptures have been exhibited worldwide over the last 20 years. Constructed out of scaffolding and illuminated light bulbs, the text sculptures each proclaim a found message that resonates with the artist and challenges the viewer to look at the world around us. The texts range from quotes from plays, newspaper articles, novels, song lyrics to graffiti.

A major new commission is situated at Charleston, the former country home of Bloomsbury artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. The words read I Don’t Have Another Land taken from a piece of graffiti found on a wall in Jerusalem in 2005. In 1916 during WWI, Duncan Grant and his lover David Garnett were conscientious objectors, and their relationship was criminalised. At this time, they moved to Charleston along with the artist Vanessa Bell. Over the following six decades, the farmhouse became the rural home of the Bloomsbury Group, transformed by Grant and Bell into a modernist work of art. Coley’s words can be interpreted as a specific reference to the inhabitants of Charleston as well as a reference to global and domestic politics.

A Place Beyond Belief sits above the Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston. The words relate to a young woman’s story of travelling on the New York subway some weeks after 9/11. A Sikh man, a Black woman with a baby and a train full of fearful commuters, are involved in a confluence which stretches their collective sense of perception, trust and humanity. At that moment, the woman realises that for New York to get past the attack, to move on and rebuild itself, it has to think anew. It has to look again. It has to get to a place beyond belief.

Other locations for Coley’s installations include Lewes Castle, West Beach in Newhaven, next to the Trevor family estate in Glynde and a car park next to Eastbourne station.

Sussex Modern is a pioneering partnership that brings together some of the region’s leading cultural organisations and vineyards in the distinctive landscape of the South Downs National Park. Conceived by Culture East Sussex, it brings together unique art, landscape and wine experiences across Sussex and celebrates the county’s contribution to modern culture.

Langland & Bell, Charleston
Langland & Bell, attic at Charleston ©Artlyst

Charleston is also showing two exhibitions curated by BAFTA award-winning, and Turner-Prize shortlisted artist duo Langlands & Bell, along with a new installation in the house’s previously off-limits attic.

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Other exhibitions on show this summer as part of the Sussex Modern programme include the first major exhibiton of British artist Glyn Philpot RA (1884-1937) in almost 40 years at Pallant House Gallery until 12 October.

Maggi Hambling at Glyndebourne featuring a new series of diptychs and ink drawings until 28 August

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Lucy Wertheim, Towner Eastbourne
Lucy Wertheim, Towner Eastbourne ©Artlyst

A Life in Art Lucy Wertheim – Patron, Collector & Gallerist & Reuniting the Twenties Group: From Barbara Hepworth to Victor Pasmore until 25 September is the largest ever celebration of Britain’s pioneering gallerist Lucy Wertheim.

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Seafaring at Hastings Contemporary until 25 September brings together more than fifty works from 1820 to the present day that explores the drama, beauty and strangeness of life at sea.

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Read the Review on Artlyst Here

Frank Brangwyn: The Skinners’ Hall Murals – Eight large-scale mural panels by Sir Frank Brangwyn RA go on display for the first time at Ditching Museum of Art + Craft until 16 October.

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Sussex Modern Partners:

Art partners include Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA), Brighton Museum & ArtGallery, Charleston, Chichester Festival Theatre, De La Warr Pavilion, Depot, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Farleys House & Gallery, Glyndebourne, Hastings Contemporary, Pallant House Gallery, Towner Eastbourne, and West Dean College of Arts and Conservation.

The wine partners include Albourne Estate, Ashling Park Estate, Bluebell Vineyard Estates, Bolney WineEstate, Hidden Spring Estate, Oastbrook Estate, Oxney Organic Estate, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Ridgeview Wine Estate, Stopham Estate, Tillingham, Tinwood Estate, and Wiston Estate Winery.

Landscape partners include Amberley Wild Brooks Nature Reserve, Ashdown Forest, Cissbury Ring, Devil’s Dyke, Ditchling Common, Firle Beacon & Estate, High Weald Area of OutstandingNatural Beauty, Kingley Vale Walk, Long Man of Wilmington, Malling Down Nature Reserve, Pevensey Bay, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Seven Sisters & Friston Forest and Sheffield Parkland.

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