Let there be light… A certain kind of light at Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne until 7 May 2017


– We Stand Behind the Sky by Richard Heys –

England’s South Coast is the sunniest place in the UK with Eastbourne frequently topping the sunshine league, therefore it seems a fitting location for this conceptual homage to the theme of light. Drawn from the Arts Council’s huge national collection it is also one of the best exhibitions I have seen at Towner for some years.

Given its function as the basis for vision, light has long fascinated artists both as a material and as a subject and the vast majority of art concerned with making the world visible in some sense speaks of light. A Certain Kind of Light however explores how artists have responded to light, its materiality, transience and effect.  The exhibition brings together artworks that reflect the relationship between light and a wide range of themes from brightness, colour and perception to transformation, energy and the passage of time. Encompassing paintings, sculpture, video, photography, drawing and immersive installations, it features artworks created from the 1960s to the present day by almost thirty leading artists including David Batchelor, Ceal Floyer, Raphael Hefti, Runa Islam, Anish Kapoor, L S Lowry, Katie Paterson, Peter Sedgley, Rachel Whiteread and Cerith Wyn Evans.

The exhibition considers the different ways artists have explored the various aspects of light, from its importance as a source of illumination, as a pure sculptural material, as a mysterious force and as a source of energy that can be conceptually converted into other forms.

Outstanding exhibits for me include Katie Paterson’s vast glitter ball revolving between two projectors creating an ever-turning cosmos of stars gliding across the gallery walls; Mark Garry’s exquisite thread rainbow which appears at first to be a beam of light passing at ceiling height between two galleries and then transforms into a light-splitting prism as you pass below. In fact in actuality it is simply a sheaf of coloured threads stretched between two walls, affected by ambient air and the gallery spotlights; David Batchelor’s marvellous cascade of coloured plastic bottles and Seascape by L.S. Lowry.

A Certain Kind of Light is the second in a series of exhibitions at Towner curated as part of The Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme. Towner is an Arts Council Collection National Partner 2016-19. Founded in 1946, The Arts Council Collection is the largest national loan collection of British modern and contemporary art and is managed on their behalf by the Hayward Gallery. As part of the Collection’s 70th Anniversary celebrations, the National Partners Programme will see four major galleries; Birmingham Museum Trust, Liverpool’s Walker Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Towner, working together over a three year period, hosting a series of new exhibitions.

Towner Art Gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays

10.00am-5.00pm. Free Admission


An Afterwards Again, 2017; site-specific installation by Mark Garry

Plastic Bottle Installation by David Batchelor

Artist in Focus

Contemporary Sussex based artist whose work resonates with the theme of light and would not have been out of place in the Towner exhibition is Richard Heys.

Richard’s work is primarily non-figurative, exploring pure colour and form and the substance of paint and ground. He creates work with presence and countenance.

Richard works in a light-filled studio in Forest Row exploring techniques and processes, which disguise the hand. This limitation enables a greater freedom and means of expression. He explores light and darkness and pure lyrical colour journeys, working with transparency and multiple glazing creating vibrant surfaces. He is engaged in a passionate personal journey to rediscover beauty.

Richard is committed to colour and forgetting. He says, “I attempt a self-forgetting, a side- stepping of rational processes to allow moments of creative innocence… This side stepping, deflecting quick answers and slick resolve, leads me on a passionate journey through the worlds of colour, both outer and inner. In the realisation of a finished work I recover mystery in this world of the known and work standing before the unknown.”


E: richard@richardianheys.co.uk

Arrival by Richard Heys

www.pureartsgroup.co.uk for further information and to download the 2016-2017 artist directory

Published in Aspect County March 2017 edition/ Articulate

The craft beer revolution is real and happening in a bar near you right now!

– The Arbitrager – London –

The London craft beer scene has been growing at an astonishing rate over recent years. Unlike traditional British beer, craft beers are interesting, progressive and often quite hoppy, made by small-scale breweries. An increasing number of London bars and pubs are now specialising in craft beers and they can also be sampled direct from source at the many independent brewery taprooms now open to the public.

Here’s our pick of some of the best in and around London town:

The Arbitrager, Throgmorton Street EC2N 2AN

Located at the very heart of the city in Drapers’ Hall on Throgmorton Street, the Arbitrager is a long established favourite haunt of the city set. Open Monday – Friday 12 noon – midnight, it serves London beers from London breweries, London distilled spirits and London made charcuterie and cold bar snacks.


BrewdogSoho, Poland Street, Soho W1F 8QG

Brewdog is a Scottish brewery whose success has been significantly supported through their ground breaking “Equity for Punks” shareholder scheme. BrewdogSoho opened in 2015 as a consequence of the “Equity for Punks IV” fundraiser, supporting growth from 2 shareholders, 2 employees (plus one dog) and 0 bars in 2007 to 32,000 shareholders, 540 employees (plus one dog) and 44 bars in 2015.

Located minutes from Oxford Circus, Piccadilly and Leicester Square and open every day, BrewdogSoho has a super cool vibe in keeping with the atmosphere of the surrounding streets.


Howling Hops, Queens Yard, Hackney Wick E9 5EN

Located in a large Victorian warehouse space in a unique and vibrant (their words!) part of town, beer is dispensed direct from a row of 10 serving tanks located behind a 10 metre long bar, the first of its kind in the UK.

Open to the public from 12 noon, 7 days a week


Wild Card Brewery and Tap, Shernhall Street, Walthamstow, E17 9HQ

Wild Card Brewery was founded on the back of a hobby that got way out of hand! Starting out as cuckoo brewers trading on the back of a personal credit card, the outfit is an unlikely success stories that punches well above it’s weight. With the backing of peer-to-peer lending from local supporters, the brewery moved into it’s own site in Walthamstow in January 2014 where it operates a six brewers barrel kit.

At the weekend, they close the brewery and open the bar! The bar sells a full range, plus an ever-changing selection of stuff they love from other microbreweries. If beer isn’t your thing, they also have a range of ciders, spirits and wine. If you’re in a rush, or having a party you can buy bottles of Wild Card Brewery beer to takeaway and if you’re hungry DoughBro Pizza serve up awesome wood fired pizza from the car park most weekends….

And if you’re really getting into the idea of making craft beer yourself, you could participate in a “Brew a Beer experience day” – £89 for a full day of mashing, sparging and boiling up the perfect brew.


The craft beer revolution has not been restricted to just London though! The Beer Awards were officially launched at Craft Beer Rising 2016, the UK’s largest craft beer festival, highlighting its global popularity.

UK winners included:

Purity Brewing Company, Upper Spernall Farm, Warwickshire, B49 6JF

Based on a working farm in the heart of the beautiful Warwickshire countryside, Purity was established in 2005. Committed to brewing beer with a conscience, their mission is to: brew great beer without prejudice, with a conscience and with a consistency and an attention to detail, which is second to none.

Purity beer can be purchased throughout the UK (check website for details), online or from their brewery shop. Purity also offer a “Puritan” membership scheme and brewery tours.


Sharps Brewery, Rock, Cornwall PL27 6NU

Sharp’s Brewery was founded in 1994 in Rock, Cornwall by Bill Sharp. His mission from the outset was to make exceptional beer on the North Cornish Coast.

Sharp’s beer can be purchased from hostelries throughout the UK (check website for details), directly from the on site brewery shop and alongside a range of craft beers at the Sharp’s pub; The Mariners in Rock, Cornwall; a collaboration with Chef Nathan Outlaw.


And for East Sussex readers now craving a craft beer, we have our very own selection of independent brewers to choose from, including:

The Long Man Brewery, Church Farm, Litlington, East Sussex BN26 5RA

The Award Winning Long Man Brewery is based in the Heart of the South Downs National Park. Their beers are available throughout the UK (check website for details) and can also be purchased online.


The Three Legs Brewing Co, Udimore Road, Broad Oak, Rye, TN31 6BX

Three Legs Brewing Co. and tap located in Broad Oak, Rye. Also selling a small selection of hand picked wines and locally sourced apple juice, the Tap is open Thurs – Saturday (check website for details).


Hammerpot Brewery, Arundel Road, Poling, West Sussex BN18 9PY

Founded in 2005 by Lee Mitchel, Hammerpot ales are truly Sussex born and bred. The ales are brewed near the tiny hamlet of Hammerpot, just outside Arundel, using water from the South Downs and carefully selected hops, malted barley and wheat. Production is sustainable too –from traditional hand bottling through to ensuring the spent grains from production become feed for animals on the local farm.

Many of the ales are named after local and historic events, which are an important part of Sussex heritage. They can be found in public houses and independent retailers across the south of England and can also be purchased online, at farmers markets and at “pop-up pub” (check website for details).


Published in Aspect County Magazine March 2017