I took a trip to Eastbourne at the weekend. I wanted to see the Robert Mapplethorpe at the Towner gallery and thought I would have a walk along the beach and do a few sketches. It was a beautiful day and despite bringing a hat, I left it in my car thinking there would be no need. I was wrong. Very gusty – hair flying everywhere! I’m always interested in structures and buildings and enjoyed drawing the pier with the crashing waves and seagulls flying overhead. Whilst drawing, I kept brushing my hair away from my face with my hand and it wasn’t until I went to the ladies bathroom in the Towner that I realised my face was covered in black pastel! After making myself more presentable I moved onto the exhibition . . .
The Artists rooms include Mapplethorpes work from the 1970s and 1980s including beautiful black and white portrait and flower photos. There are a number of photos documenting his close relationship with Patti Smith as well as his lesser known sculptures that, to be be honest, didn’t draw me in in the same way. In one of the rooms there’s ‘work of an adult nature’ although tame in comparison to a Mapplethorpe exhibition I saw in Vienna over 10 years ago. I went with my parents and my mother has never forgotten it!
Although small it’s worth a visit. The exhibition is free and held in conjunction with Tate modern.