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Great British coastline the focus of major University exhibition

Coastal Connections

THE elemental and emotional intensity of the Great British coastline is the focus of a major summer exhibition at the University of Chichester.

Coastal Connections, which runs until October, includes works by some of the most important names in British art and by lesser known but equally-intriguing artists.

The installation, which is free to view, draws on selected and diverse work from the University’s distinguished Bishop Otter Collection of twentieth century British art alongside art from private and public collections.

Dr Gill Clarke, a Visiting Professor at the University who curated the exhibition, said: “Britain has more than 10,000 kilometres of tidal coastline varying considerably from one region to another and determined largely by geology.

“The shapes and forms of cliffs, rocks, beaches and harbours along the coast have fascinated and inspired generations of artists.

“As a result rarely seen work across a range of media by lesser-known but nonetheless significant artists sits next to those with more established reputations.”

The coastline of Cornwall forms a key part of the exhibition, particularly the small port of St Ives, with its bright light and ambient climate.

It was here that progressive and influential artists congregated especially from the late 1930s and established new societies while exploring more avant-garde ways of working.

Coastal Connections also features works influenced by the Sussex, Dorset, and Scottish coast.

Artists including Alfred Wallis, William Scott, Eric Ravilious, Prunella Clough, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, and Christopher Wood are shown alongside works by prominent contemporary painters such as Jeremy Gardiner and Rachel Kantaris.

Otter Gallery

Professor Clarke added: “The elemental and emotional intensity of the coast has long held a fascination for artists, and Coastal Connections offers a fresh and nuanced view of artists’ connections to the coast.

“This exhibition explores artists’ connections and diverse responses to the coastal landscape be it the appeal of harbours, beaches or cliffs.

“As the artist John Piper wryly observed in 1938 the coast is ‘a dwelling place, harbour, menace, shelter and everything else’.”

To find out more about the Coastal Connections go to

Alternatively visit the Otter Gallery at Bishop Otter campus, College Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6PE.

Coastal Connections opening times

  • Free admission for all
  • Now to 3 Sept: 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday | 10am to 1pm on Saturday | Closed Sunday.
  • Closed August bank holiday.
  • From 4 Sept to 8 Oct: 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday | 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.