The East Sussex village of Ditchling has a legacy of international creative importance, having been home to some of Britain’s most innovative 20th century artists and designers. Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft is proud to launch a new season of events and exhibitions, from May – September 2015, that will celebrate the variety of artists, from wood engravers and letter press printers to kinetic sculptors and engravers, who have created extraordinary work whilst living in Ditchling. These new displays herald the start of seasonally changing exhibition and events – so there will always be something new to see at this award winning museum.
Discovering Mary Dudley Short(2 May – 11 October 2015)highlights the little known story of female wood engraver Mary Dudley Short and explores the rise of women wood-engravers in Britain during the 1920s and 1930s. Dudley Short’s original wood-blocks and wood-engravings from the museum collection, will be displayed alongside work from her contemporaries, including Claire Leighton, Gwen Raverat and Tirzah Garwood. The Magical Machines of Rowland Emett(2 May – 6 September) brings machines and original drawings by Rowland Emett, one of the village’s best-loved and eccentric makers, back to where he lived. Emett is known to millions as a Punch cartoonist and the inventor of fantastical contraptions used in the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang film. Enjoy the tour of Emett inventions on display as part of a trail across museums in Brighton and Hove, including Hove Museum, Brighton Museum, The Booth Museum and The Royal Pavilion.
Until 28 June 2015, the museum will be celebrating a rarely seen collection of late watercolours and etchings by Edgar Hollowaythat focus on the landscape around Ditchling. Edgar Holloway is now best known as one of England’s finest etcher-engravers of the twentieth century, yet his talents also included wood engraving, signwriting and watercolour painting. From 7 July 2015 the work of American artist David Wolske,will be in the UK for the first time. Wolske uses traditional letterpress tools and materials to create purely abstract compositions. The 20th century artists who lived and worked in Ditchling revived and revolutionised many crafts including letterpress printing, Wolske continues this revolution in his work. The museum also celebrates the outstanding foresight and generosity of the museums founders, Joanna and Hilary Bourne in a display devoted to them. A limited-edition silkscreen print, inspired by the sister’s eclectic collecting, has been commissioned from contemporary illustrator Alice Pattullo. This is on displaywith items collected by the Bourne sisters until January 2016. Finally, for the first year of a new annual programme of major Eric Gill sculptural loans, visitors can see two garden rollers by Gill (until January 2016).
Nathaniel Hepburn, the new Director of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft said: “I am delighted to announce the start of the new season of exciting events and exhibitions at the museum. This is the start of more new displays, loan exhibitions and fresh perspectives on the Ditchling story to ensure visitors come back regularly to see the museum as it continues to develop.”
Each of the exhibitions and displays are accompanied by inspiring workshops, lectures and events to help visitors make the most of their visit. Workshops take place in the award winning learning space, which was the first venue in Sussex to be named a Clore Learning Space in 2014. Highlights include; illustration workshop with Alice Pattullo (16 May 2015), printing with a garden roller (for children 6 June + for adults 7 June 2015), building automata for children (27 May + 3 August) and free craft and letterpress family days inspired by Oldland Mill (3 May, 5 July, 6 September). Full events listing can be found at www.ditchlingmuseumartcraft.org.uk/events.