Shiny black Jerwood Gallery opens on historic Hastings seafront

Jerwood Gallery
Credit: Yellow Book

A controversial £4m contemporary gallery opened opposite a shingle fishing beach in Hastings’ historic Stade last Saturday despite sustained opposition from locals.

The Jerwood Gallery houses a permanent collection not previously seen by the public and an exhibition by idiosyncratic 70-year-old Kent painter Rose Wylie.

The cafe balcony overlooks fishing moorings but the building was clad in pewter-black ceramic tiles by architects HAT to blend in with historic ‘net shops’.

Government cultural initiative ‘Sea Change’ also used £5m to turn the rest of what was a coach-park into a new public space and community centre.

2008 Guy Fawkes Hastings beach bonfire burned a mock-up of a generic ‘art gallery’, but counter-protesters came out to support the project next morning.

The south-east coast now features a string of such galleries including the Turner Contemporary in Margate and Bexhill’s modernist De La Warr Pavilion.

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