The news that the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne is to host the coveted “Turner” prize in 2023 is excellent. This is true recognition of the work of CEO Joe Hill and his team, and they are to be congratulated. The event will coincide with the Towner centenary, with the exhibition running from September to January 2024 and the award event being held in December.
Named after the artist J.M.W. Turner and organised by the Tate, the prize is presented to a British artist selected from a shortlist of four. The prize is the most prestigious awarded for contemporary art in the U.K., with past winners including household names such as: Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley and Grayson Perry. Whilst I know that contemporary art is not to everyone’s taste, the importance of this event to Eastbourne includes the fact that it will bring many new visitors to the town. Tourism plays an important part in our local economy, with 28% of local employment being linked to it and so this is news that we should all celebrate.
An event which is aimed far more at local residents than tourists, is 999, the fantastic, free emergency-services show, which is returning to the Western Lawns on the weekend of 2-3 July. Organised by the various emergency service organisations, this is an opportunity to speak to representatives from the: police; fire and rescue; ambulance service; the coastguard; RNLI and others and see the vehicles that they use in the line of duty.
With the summer here, people are understandably going out and enjoying the seafront and the amazing countryside that surrounds us. Walking up to Beachy Head is something that I have enjoyed since I was a child, but I would like to sound a word of warning. I regularly see pictures of people dangerously close to the edge. Whilst this might seem exhilarating, it is important to remember that large chunks of the cliff regularly collapse so please stay a safe distance from the edge.
Stay safe and enjoy summer!