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Art and exhibitions 2023

Our exhibitions programme for 2023.


Lubaina Himid: What Does Love Sound Like? (19 May – 27 August)

Lubaina Himid | Don Giovanni (2023), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2023), The Rake’s Progress (2023)

What Does Love Sound Like? features a series of large-scale paintings and objects in response to the operas being performed at the prestigious festival this summer – they include Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and Handel’s Semele.

The exhibition explores the multi-layered forms of opera and its sensory pleasures. In these works, Himid draws on her private memories of listening to opera with her stepfather together with experience of seeing live opera. In her own words: ‘When I began the paintings for Glyndebourne, I saw it as a chance to experience an expanded version of my everyday activity… On the canvases you can find delicate hands, straining penises, disconnected hearts, floating brains, severed necks and pursed lips. I thought about the immense, multi-coloured sounds and at the same time the broken, seductive, powerful and sometimes hilarious human bodies and embarked on the next stage of my adventure to find out what love actually sounds like’.

Staged Nature (May – September)

Jocelyn Lee | Dark Matter #3, Wedding Flowers | 2015 | Courtesy Huxley-Parlour Gallery

Staged Nature celebrates the relationship between theatre and nature at Glyndebourne through photographs, drawings and costumes shown together in dialogue with new works by ten contemporary artists, including David Hockney. The opera house’s gardens have been an enduring source of inspiration for artists on and off stage since 1934, with as much focus on the outdoor theatrics as any onstage scenery.

On view in the exhibition are new paintings, etchings and photographs that explore the theme of staged nature, from sensual photographs of wildflowers by American artist Jocelyn Lee (courtesy Huxley-Parlour Gallery) to abstract memento mori by Jackson Prize winning artist Miranda Boulton (courtesy Cynthia Corbett Gallery) and exquisitely detailed collages by Andy Barker, former studio assistant to the great British painter Howard Hodgkin. Other exhibiting artists include David Abbott, Charlie Barton, Michael Bishop, Michele Fletcher, Holly Loader, Lois Oliver and Agnes Treherne.

Fair Ground 2023 (Autumn)

Agnes Treherne | Winter Orchard

Fair Ground is our annual exhibition of contemporary art in Sussex. The title is taken from a musical stanza in Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem Sussex, in which he describes the county as ‘beloved over all’. A hymn to the beauty of place, Kipling saw his enchantment with Sussex as deeply rooted in an understanding of locality, a belief that the cottages, hedgerows, green rolling hills, seafronts, hidden coves and woodlands were all integral part of connecting real people to their historical pasts. Each of the selected works in Fair Ground speak to this idea of myth and memory, continuing to mark Sussex as a place of visual poetry.

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