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Looking back: So much Moore to this exhibition
7:00pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
A major cultural event took place in Lewes in the summer of 2004 when the sculptures of Henry Moore were exhibited at Lewes.
The arrival of the precious works, each insured for a million pounds, were part of an Anglo-French education project to strengthen cross-border co-operation between Lewes and Dieppe in France.
The major works were secured on loan from The Henry Moore Foundation for the ‘Land and Sea’ project in a deal brokered by the team that brought Rodin’s famous Kiss sculpture back to Lewes in 1999.
The ‘Land and Sea’ theme focused on the chalk and flint base of both regions with the Lewes show exhibiting pieces centred on the landscape themes and Dieppe showcasing maritime figures.
Henry Moore, acclaimed as Britain’s greatest sculptor of the twentieth century, loved to see his sculpture placed in the landscape.
He drew parallels between human formand the shapes found in the landscape – rolling hills, craggy rocks and crevices, flints and stones, bones, cliff-faces, shells and drift-wood.
Lewes, surrounded by the rolling South Downs, chalky terrain and flint inclusions and Dieppe, by the sea, its landscape similar to East Sussex, made ideal locations to exhibit Moore’s work.
He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures, which are located around the world as public works of art.
Lewes District Council, Lewes Town Council and art organisations were awarded funding by the Franco-British Interreg European Programme for the project, which was shown concurrently in Lewes Town Hall and the Chateau Musée de Dieppe.
David Mitchinson, of the Henry Moore Foundation, said: “I am delighted that this event was held in Lewes. The foundation shows its collection regularly overseas, less so in Britain, and we are pleased to be involved in this unusual initiative.”
Students from Sussex Downs College in Lewes and the Lycée Emulation Dieppoise in Dieppe were encouraged to study together to learn more about the cross-border region and increase their knowledge of modern sculpture.
Art galleries the Crypt in Seaford and Thebes in Lewes were also involved, with young artists using digital media to reflect on the work of Moore.
Ann De Vecchi, then leader of Lewes District Council, said: “This exciting project offers educational opportunities to many people in our local communities and young people should benefit especially.
“It follows on our successful bid to the Interreg II programme, which enabled the award-winning ‘Rodin in Lewes' to take place in 1999 and we hope it will bring economic benefits to the district, as did ‘The Kiss’ four years ago.”
The project was proposed by Sculpture Exhibitions Limited, who worked in partnership with Lewes District Council.
Sculpture and print workshops were held in Lewes throughout July and August 2004.
The project was a collaboration between Lewes District Council, Lewes Town Council, Dieppe Town Council, Sussex Downs College , the Lycée Emulation Dieppoise and Les Amis du Vieux Dieppe – Amis du Musée.
ON THIS DAY
79AD: Mount Vesuvius begins stirring
1305: William Wallace executed for high treason at Smithfield
1873: Albert Bridge in Chelsea opens
1914: The Battle of Mons, in Belgium near the French frontier, begins.
1926: Silent film star Rudolph Valentino dies in New York aged 31. Thousands of women lined his funeral route.
1942: Beginning of the Battle of Stalingrad
1990: West Germany and East Germany announce that they will reunite
2011: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi overthrown
The Argus’ popular “Looking Back” feature has been compiled into an A4, soft back book which catalogues the events that have made their mark on the people of Sussex. The fascinating archive of “Looking Back” images dates back to the 1930s when The Argus first started to print photographs. The book costs £6.99 including postage and packing. To order please visit theargus.co.uk/store
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