Hastings for Art and Beer

30th March and Steve and I caught the 10.45am train to Hastings to see the Bratby paintings at the Jerwood gallery and some 1970s photos of pop stars at a gallery in St Leonards.  Lunch and a few of their own beers between the events at the First In Last Out (FILO) on High St, Old Hastings Town.  The pop prints were hugely expensive – £400 to £1000 each, but took us back to the period nicely.  Made our way to the prom and headed east for Hastings passing their refurbished/extended pier and this strange church set below the cliff where Hastings Castle ruins are mounted.  I guess the two arms of residential development either side of the church is an early example of enabling development.

hastings 4

Shame about the foreground, and the road which seems to act as a barrier to accessing the town proper.  This is one of the few crossing points.  The Jerwood is a newish gallery with a black glazed tile exterior designed to make it blend in with the many tall black timber net drying towers in this fishing quarter of town.  Sadly what it reminded me of is Kat Fletcher’s recycled house which is clad in reversed carpet tiles, showing as black rubbery tiling.  Not allowed to photograph the art, so nothing to show you of Bratby’s paintings, but I liked his sunflowers – much more than his portraits.  Actually preferred the exhibition of works by John Piper.  Showed the way he moved towards abstract painting, but also the way he would tackle a theme in a variety of media.  A display of Green Men (as found in church carved stone bosses in vaulting) rendered in woven carpet, pained and glazed pots and plated, lithographs and more showed how he could pursue a theme.  After a couple of hours we ventured out onto the Balcony to look about us, and met Brian (must have followed me from Brighton where I usually see him).

hastings 3

In the real world he was upright, but WordPress won’t let me do that, sorry.  He came over to see if we had any spare food, but left when he found we didn’t.

Lunch at the FILO was accompanied by  a few halves of their own beers, we only had two halves each, but sampled each others, so I can tell you that their Churches Pale Ale, Old Town Tom (a ginger flavoured beer), Gold Premium Ale and Cardinal Porter are all excellent.  Later this month (April) the Jerwood has a new show – paintings by Prunella Clough.  She has appeared in this blog before because I like the way she paints dereliction and industry.  So another reason to visit the FILO looms.

Finally we were tempted by the east cliff funicular railway, and as us oldies can travel up and back for just £1.60 we gave in to temptation.  Exciting views including net drying towers, and a bit of the Jerwood poking out from the top of the cliff (2 rectangular windows visible), and even the pier in the top right.

hastings 2

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