EDitorial ± 6-Jun-2011

Arty Cull

Sounding ever more like Young Mr Grace, ten years ago saw our 10th wedding anniversary. Working forwards, no need to carry or borrow, brings us to our 20th (thanks) this year. Cue Carol Decker: it's china, before you look it up. If we hadn't both already read The City And The City, that would have made a fine Roland gift.

Thanks to one of the Nanas, we were able to escape for not one but two whole days and nights. Q: What do we do without the kids? A: Anything we want! Down to that there south coast to a posh B&B. Let's get arty:

(1) De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (website)

On the front of an unassuming seaside resort sits the Pavilion, a destination in itself. All very lovely. Current exhibition by John Cage -- apparently not the bloke from the Velvet Underground -- didn't do it for us. Much more taken with the black and white pinhole photos and letters upstairs. Tranquility of the venue somewhat undermined by the drainage work out front, but their cafe has to be THE place for a Thoroughly Modernist Illy.

(2) Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (website)

Serendipity struck when we discovered that (a) Chichester was home to a large gallery and that (b) it was open until 8pm on Thursdays. Wandering in, it was clear that An Event was going on. Drink, sir? Canape? Ooh, results of a local art competition. That's good, like that, not sure, etc. Moving on, the building unfurled and seemed to go on and on like Ariston, with fresh delights in each room. Here, some superb illustrations by Mervyn Peake. There, an absorbing Sickert or two. Above, a startling neon chandelier. Below, etchings by Hockney and Rembrandt. And up there, top notch Pop Art with that man Richard Hamilton, including "Hers Is A Lush Situation" -- best title ever?

(3) Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood (website)

Ten minutes north of Chichester and you're not out of the woods. Pay your tenner in the space age office and you're following the trail around "an ever changing display of 80 new monumental sculptures". If you don't like that one, there's another one just behind the next tree. Personal highlights, besides the outdoor loos, were the It Pays To Pray vending machines ("...I am willing / I am able / I am little / Look after me"), the glass stairway to heaven, the exotic tree, and the towering orange tubing. Plus the unsettling Time Guards and the funny tricycle creatures. Stupendous place.

Postscript mention of the Clayton Railway Tunnel, well worth the hassle of a Hassocks detour.