Get inspired – and stay hydrated – this summer with a series of events in Sussex set to whet your appetite for culture.
WORDS Francesca Donovan
Summer is far from over in Sussex. The county is playing host to a series of coastal and cultural happenings set to tide you over through the winter months, from wine tastings to surrealist picnics and art installations as part of a new Sussex Modern partnership spanning art, wine and landscape.
Visitors to the area will no doubt notice Nathan Coley’s art installations popping up at prime coastal and countryside locations. The Turner Prize nominee brings new work to the area with the exhibition, Tentative Words Change Everything. The six large-scale light works are presented at surprising sites throughout the Sussex landscape until 29 August. It is the largest outdoor exhibition of Coley’s work, which has previously been presented across the globe.
The light installations, reminiscent of the ephemeral fairground of our childhoods by the sea, emblazon thought-provoking phrases into the landscape and encourage observers to reflect on our use of wild spaces. One claiming “WE MUST CULTIVATE OUR GARDEN” sits atop Junction Road car park in Eastbourne, a stone’s throw from the wide expanse of sea. Another placed on West Beach Promenade, Newhaven tells passers-by that “YOU IMAGINE WHAT YOU DESIRE”.
The rambles to these landscapes might leave you a little thirsty. Fear not. One is placed on the Rathfinny Wine Estate in Alfriston, boasting views down to the coast. It reads: “A PLACE BEYOND BELIEF” and wholly encompasses the new Sussex Modern partnership. Thirty-six memorable places with the creativity that defines the county’s modern, independent spirit have come together to bring you a series of unique experiences throughout summer. Alongside art and landscape, it invites you to dabble in Sussex’s world-famous vineyards with a range of wine-tasting events and supper clubs, as well as tours of the vineyards themselves with the distinctive landscape of the South Downs National Park at their heart.
From organic to luxury, there’s an estate or winery to suit your tastes with homegrown goodness you can feel great about quaffing. Further art events will take place across prestigious partner venues such as Towner Eastbourne, which will also be hosting the Turner Prize in 2023. Other exhibitions will be hosted by Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Hastings Contemporary, De La Warr Pavilion, and Glyndebourne, to name but a few.
If this innovative programme still sounds too traditional for you, why not attend the annual Surrealist Picnic at Farleys House and Garden? The annual affair returns to Farleys’ beautiful sculpture garden, bringing with it a day of live jazz, as well as surreal performance and dance on 28 August. For the night owls, Dalliance Depot’s weekly Saturday night outdoor events champion the best local street food vendors, DJs and musicians throughout the summer. There’s no excuse not to make the most of a truly modern social season this summer in Sussex.