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.