Sussex’s iconic Towner Eastbourne became the canvas for the UK’s largest outdoor mural in 2019. The work, Dance Diagonal, the Brewers Towner Commission, was created by artist Lothar Götz and consists of a striking range of bright colours intricately wrapped around Towner’s exterior.
Since last summer, it has been visited by tens of thousands of people since and shared widely in the digital realm by a range of enthusiasts. Towner has now announced this bright and hopeful work, which can be seen from the streets of Eastbourne and from as far away as the South Downs, will remain in place for another year. Originally due to come down in 2020, the work will now stay until Spring 2021 and the Towner team look forward to people coming to see it when it is safe to do so. “If you haven’t had the chance to visit our rainbow coloured outdoor commission, the good news is it will still be there to enjoy once life feels a little bit more normal again,” says Joe Hill, Director, Towner Eastbourne. “It’s been wonderful to see so many people enjoying Dance Diagonal; stopping to engage with the wonderful palette of colour, to take a selfie with friends or family, or to admire the carefully planned and beautifully executed design. I am so pleased that we can offer an outdoor beacon of hope during these troubling times and that people are able to enjoy the work for the coming year when it is safe to do so.”
The commission, sponsored by Brewers Decorators Centres, an Eastbourne company, originally formed part of Towner’s anniversary programme to celebrate ten years in the current building. Lothar Götz was selected from sixty artists and designers who applied to the open call. The work wraps all three external sides of the gallery in fifteen vibrant shades of paint and draws upon the building’s architecture as inspiration. Götz’s work– typically large-scale paintings, drawings and installations that respond to existing architectural structures – has also included commissions for Southbank Centre, London (2014) and Leeds Art Gallery (2017). “Visible from many prominent viewpoints in Eastbourne, it’s been fantastic to see so many people engaging with and enjoying Dance Diagonal,” says Götz. “The painting sits somewhere between street art and Minimalism and Abstraction and hopefully offers a range of diverse viewings and readings. It has also been wonderful to observe the mural with the changing of the seasons this past year, viewing the hues of the work against different skies and winter, autumnal and now spring climates. I hope many more people will experience this work in the coming year, either as part of a visit to Towner Eastbourne, or as they view from afar, during these difficult times we currently live through.”
Over 900 litres of Albany Smooth Masonry paint was supplied by Brewers in hand mixed shades to ensure the vibrancy of the design was brought to life. Albany, created by Brewers in 1920, has long been used for prestigious buildings in the town, known for its superior trade-quality and strong pigmentation.
“As a family business that started in Eastbourne in 1904 we feel passionately about the life of the town in all its dimensions – not least the cultural life,” says Mark Brewer, Chairman of Brewers Decorator Centres. “It has clearly raised the profile of the already vibrant Arts Scene in Eastbourne – attracting a lot of interest from both visitors to the town and the local community’
Collecting and exhibiting contemporary art for almost 100 years, Towner Eastbourne, sits where the coast and the South Downs meet. Led by Director Joe Hill since 2018, Towner presents exhibitions of national and international importance for audiences in Eastbourne, the UK and beyond, showcasing the most exciting and creative developments in modern and contemporary art. Towner develops and supports artistic practice and collaborates with individuals, communities and organisations to deliver an inclusive, connected and accessible public programme of live events, film and learning.
Towner’s collection of almost 5000 works is best known for its modern British art – including the largest and most significant body of work by Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) – and a growing collection of international contemporary art. In 2014, Towner became an independent charitable Trust, supported by a Board of Trustees and chaired by David Dimbleby. In 2019, Towner celebrated 10 years in the award-winning building designed by Rick Mather Architects, which opened in 2009 after the gallery moved from its original home in Eastbourne’s Old Town. In 2023, Towner will celebrate its centenary year.
Image by Jim Stephenson