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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > January 2016 > The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford

New Exhibition: Bawden By The Sea

Saturday 13 February 2016 – Sunday 29 January 2017

Free Entry

 

Edward Bawden’s nostalgic and whimsical depictions of Britain’s seaside towns are the subject of the latest exhibition in the Edward Bawden gallery at The Higgins Bedford. From bathing beauties in Bexhill-on-Sea to children’s sand castles on Clacton Beach, Bawden’s love of the seaside is demonstrated in his prints and advertising material. He treats the sea’s inhabitants with equal glee, scattering murderous mermaids, man-sized lobsters and parcel-delivering fish in his commissions for Fortnum & Mason and Shell.

 

Probably the most famous and much loved work inspired by the seaside is Brighton Pier. It is the first of Bawden’s large linocuts, measuring nearly a metre and half long. It shows his technical ability as the ‘master of the linocut’ but also his background as a designer in the way that he takes several notable features from around the city and seamlessly places them in one picture.

 

The Higgins Bedford has in its collection three preparatory drawings, the linoblocks used to print it and two final prints, one from the first edition of 1958 and a second from 1977. Creating preparatory drawings was untypical of Bawden’s working process, usually he would draw straight on the lino but for ‘Brighton Pier’ he made three sketches the last of which closely matches the final print. They offer a fascinating insight into his thought process, showing how he simplifies the pier, reducing the ‘Winter Garden’ in the centre of the pier to an illuminated dome and changes his vantage point so that the focal point is the theatre, whose domes reflect those of the Royal Pavilion.

 

Bawden by the Sea, opening on the 13th February, will be a chance to see all the preparatory works as well as the blocks and final prints, offering a rare and fascinating insight into Bawden’s working practices.

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