Eastbourne artists gather for exhibition and awards: 'There is amazing talent here'

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The Society of Eastbourne Artists' held an exhibition and sale of work at the town hall.

The event showcases work from society members and awards were given out on Saturday (May 28).

President Andrew Forrest said, “It's always a hectic few days but it's lovely to be back.”

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One of the awards was the Mayor's Challenge Cup. Mayor and councillor Pat Rodohan chose a painting of lilies as his winner.

President Andrew ForrestPresident Andrew Forrest
President Andrew Forrest

He said, “It's a painting that grows on you. It draws you in and each time I went back to it I loved it more. The future for art is looking good in Eastbourne. A society like this forms a catalyst for people to come together in Eastbourne. Eastbourne is beautiful so provides lots of inspiration for the artists.”

Brenda Lowe, the winning artist for the Mayor's award, joined the society seven years ago.

She said art was a distraction during covid lockdowns as she was shielding.

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Brenda said, “I absolutely love it, it's so relaxing. Art takes you away from everything. It was great through covid – something to do. It was lovely.”

Lynn Inglis (left) and Brenda Lowe with their awardsLynn Inglis (left) and Brenda Lowe with their awards
Lynn Inglis (left) and Brenda Lowe with their awards

Lynn Inglis, friend of Brenda, also joined the society seven years ago and won one of the highly commended categories for the Eastbourne Herald Plate.

Lynn does abstract painting. The duo said Lyn 'paints what she wants to see' and Brenda 'paints what she sees'.

Lynn said, “We're both self-taught and picked it up when we retired and we've just progressed since then.”

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Fari Smith, society treasurer, won the Eastbourne Herald Plate – it was her first time winning anything.

She said she was inspired by being up on the South Downs and art brings her 'peace and quiet'.

Relaxation is something a lot of the society members get out of art.

Jayne Kersee won her fourth award for the society on Saturday. She said, “I find it really relaxing, I don't think of anything else. I've had lots of health problems so it takes me away from all of that.”

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Andrew joined the society in 2009 and is now president. When talking about the impact art has on him he said, “It's escapism and a challenge. It takes a lot of concentration.”

Although the society has more than 100 members, it would like to see more young people join.

Chairperson Rosemary Drysdale said, “We've got to get rid of this stigma that it's only for older people.”

Rosemary used to teach art and now enjoys being part of the society.

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She said 'the standard is extremely high' and the exhibition – which happens twice a year – is a chance for members to present their work.

The society membership includes attendance to a monthly demonstration held at the Towner.

Jean Mockford, membership secretary, said the best way to keep up with the society or get in touch is through the Facebook page.

She said, “It's a good opportunity for young people to show their art.

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“We're a friendly group, there's no stuffiness to it. It's very relaxed and we all enjoy doing it. I get pleasure from painting and being able to share it with others.

“There is amazing talent here.”

The next exhibition and sale of work is in November.

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