Getting to know... Jerwood Gallery

Published 18 March 2014

Situated next to the historic fishing beach in Hastings’ picturesque Old Town, the gallery is home to the Jerwood Collection of 20th- and 21st-century British art.

Age: I have just had my second birthday!

Describe yourself in three words: That’s a tricky one. Beautiful, passionate and surprising.

What’s new with you? I am about to host an exhibition of playful and subversive works by Ansel Krut (2 May). I am also planning a special event for Museums at Night, where I will be transformed into a fantastical art school for a performative workshop with a dark and magical twist.

What is your most treasured possession? I have many treasures in my collection of British art, but the first was Sir Frank Brangwyn’s From my Window at Ditchling. It was the painting which started the Jerwood Collection back in 1993.

Who was your most famous visitor? I’ve had quite a few famous visitors over the last two years, including the Chapman Brothers, Grayson Perry, Sir Paul Smith and Ralph Fiennes.

Is there a museum/gallery pet? No pets, but there are lots of seagulls who like to perch on my roof.

I shouldn't leave without experiencing... The 'wow' window on my first floor, which looks out over the English Channel and working fishing beach.

You have a museum crush on... I have lots of crushes! Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, Tate Britain and the Guggenheim in Venice.

You’re most happy when… I’m busy and buzzing, especially when a new exhibition opens.

What do you most like/dislike about your appearance? I love my tiled exterior – I am covered with 8,000 black ceramic tiles which were hand glazed in Kent. They reflect the light as it changes throughout the day and across the seasons. Not much to dislike really, other than when I’m closed and there isn’t any work on the wall – then I look a bit bare!

This year you’re excited about... So many things, it's hard to pick just one! The Summer Drawing Festival will certainly be a highlight, including Sir Quentin Blake’s response to highlights in my collection, as will as an exhibition celebrating the artist selectors who contributed to Jerwood's Drawing Prize.

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