Fine arts photographer’s work on town on display

One of the pieces by Hans van Erp
One of the pieces by Hans van Erp

A display of 52 pictures of Hastings and St Leonards by Hans van Erp, a Dutch fine arts photographer, will be opened at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery by Mayor Bruce Dowling tomorrow (Saturday).

The photographs, taken in 2006, mix old, and alternative techniques with digital photography, which gives them a distinctive, atmospheric effect.

They show some important landmarks in the town that now look much different, notably the pier.

Friend Bill Third said: “Hans van Erp twice spent time in Hastings and St Leonards and was exhilarated by the scale and rugged grandeur of the land, sea and townscape with its gloriously random juxtaposition of elegance, grit, vitality and artistry.

“He captured this essence in the 52 works, using cyanotypes, tricolour cyanotypes and gum bichromates. Each represents days if not weeks of work in Hans’ atelier in Eindhoven in 2006 and 2007 and rank among his finest work.

“Shortly after completing the Hastings and St Leonards portfolio and sending complete sets to his family, and friends here in town, Hans sadly passed away in 2007, aged just 52.”

Determined that Hans’ work should be brought to a wider audience in the Netherlands as well as here, two friends, Bill Third and Mike Mills, published the book,

This was presented to one of the curators of the Van Abbe Museum, Willem Jan Renders at a special one-day event there in November 2011, when a selection of the work was also displayed.

At the time, the

A process then began to find a time and place to show these pictures of the town to the people who may even be pictured in them.

The search culminated in the current display at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, which runs from tomorrow to February 1, 2015.

Bill said: “We wanted as many people as possible to see Hans’ renditions of our wonderful town and the town museum seemed the right place to start in helping achieve that.

“There will be quite a contingent of family and friends here from the Netherlands for the opening, including Marie-Louise and Joep van Erp, brother and sister of the late Hans van Erp, their partners Jan and Ines, Mike Mills, designer and co-publisher of