New exhibitions at the Towner

Last weekend was the Towner Gallery‘s summer party, together with the opening of two exhibitions PLUS the official unveiling of Lothar Götz‘s colourful exterior painting, Dance Diagonal. I say ‘unveiling’, although the artwork couldn’t really be done under wraps. The clues were already emerging on May 9th:

Ooh… I  wonder how you decide how many pots of paint to order??

Interesting that the finished exterior includes a reworking of the glass panels on the right, with the word ‘TOWNER’ now appearing in a new position:

The overall effect is fabulous – it has a real ‘feel good’ factor. We were there last weekend with family, and ran into the artist. He told us how he’d noticed no-one could see the painting without smiling, and how pleased he was about it.

Turns out this is the kind of artwork Gotz specialises in – check out the new commission from him at Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery. I wonder if there’s an increased demand for this kind of joyous art as an antidote to depressing political times?

The first new exhibition at the Towner is Sedibeng, it comes with the rain by South African artist Dineo Sechee Bopape, described as “an intricate arrangement of found and repurposed objects set in an environment of refracting and reflecting light.” I enjoyed the element of surprise as I slowly ‘unpacked’ the room of strange objects. Light effects on 3D objects is always going to be serendipitous. Where you stand, or from what angle you view, changes things a lot.

Here’s a flavour of it:

ediba (oasis) 2016 – mixed media, steel structure
Reneilwe (we are given) 2016 – Mixed media, steel structure

I’m looking forward to revisiting this as the room was quite crowded and there’s a lot to take in on an opening night.

Second new exhibition is Iris by Phoebe Unwin. We’re told the exhibition “takes its name from the artist’s late maternal grandmother and reflects on the ideas surrounding how the iris works, moving from the intimate and unspoken to the communal, stretching to different times, reflective of the nature of painting itself.”

Some wonderful paintings in the room, saturated with colour  – again, something to revisit.

Also on at the Towner is TEN, an exhibition of ten items from the gallery’s permanent collection, as curated by Towner staff. It commemorates ten years of the Towner in its current location. Definitely worth a visit – I loved the intricate piece by Grayson Perry and the marvellous, huge monochrome seascape by John Virtue.

TEN runs until 10th November 2019

Sedibeng and Iris until 8th September

Diagonal Dance stays up until May 31st 2020

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