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page 76 REVIEW / AUTUMN 201137BY THE SEAquarter, attracting 92,000 visitors in itsfirst year.Designed by Rick Mather Architects,whose work can also be seen at theAshmolean, Oxford, and the DulwichPicture Gallery, its white curves echo thechalk of the nearby cliffs. Vast windows reveal Victorian terracesleading to the sea in one direction,Devonshire Park Tennis Centre inanother, the South Downs, Britain'snewest National Park, in a third. There'seven a view from the lift.Unlike the De La Warr Pavilion andTurner Contemporary, Towner has itsown collection. Previously housed in theold Towner Gallery, a Georgian manorhouse in nearby Gildredge Park, it wasstarted by Alderman John ChisholmTowner who left the town 22 paintings in1920, along with £5,000 to be spent ona gallery. Originally a collection of paintings ofSussex scenes it expanded to includepaintings by Sussex artists on anysubject, then work by any artist. When itswelled to 4,000 items in the 1990s itneeded more room. Only about 80works can be shown at one time. Therest are kept in the collection store,which can be visited by arrangement.Taking the coast and Beachy Head asa starting point the gallery now collectsworks linked to the theme of edges, itsbuying power boosted by £1 millionfrom Art Fund International in 2007. The result is a rich mix of the historicand the new, from Victorian landscapesto neon sculpture, from Victor Pasmore to Grayson Perry. Towner also houses the largest Eric Raviliouscollection in existence."Often the historic throws light on thecontemporary and vice versa," saysArtistic Director Matthew Rowe."It'simportant to see both in order tounderstand how important tradition andhistory is to the contemporary."So Chilean sculptor Ivan Navarro'sneon athlete is frozen mid-stridealongside a 16th-century etching byDurer. And in October the currentexhibition, John Piper in Kent andSussex, gives way to a sculpturalinstallation by Swiss artist FranziskaFurter that takes up the entire top floordisplay space. With such a range of styles to exhibit,flexibility was vital when it came to thedesign. Towner now has the largestdisplay space in the South East."We wanted to futureproof thebuilding in terms of how contemporaryart might change," says Rowe."Contemporary art 30 years ago wasvery different from what it is today and itcontinues to change."Towner takes its role as "a gallery forthe people" seriously and has anextensive learning programme includingartist led workshops, seminars, talksand exhibition tours.The Outreach and Inclusionprogramme works closely with sociallyexcluded young people. One project,Tide Lines: Retracing A Story, was anexhibition curated by pupils of Lewesand Eastbourne Virtual College, foryoung people excluded frommainstream school.The gallery is also keen to explore the relationship between museums and health. One of its most successful initiatives,Open Ended, looks at new ways ofcommunicating and tapping intomemory. Inspired by a similar scheme atthe Museum of Modern Art, New York, itis an art tour specially designed forpeople with memory problems and theircarers. It has truly changed lives."When I became unwell I thought mylife was over," said one participant. "Butthis has awakened my interest in art."Proof, that art really can make adifference, especially at the moment inthe South East. Towner Eastbourne: Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm; Tel: 01323434670, La Warr Pavilion: Open 10am-6pm; Tel: 01424 229111, www.dlwp.comTurner Contemporary: Open 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-10pm; Tel: 01843233000, www.turnercontemporary.orgLeft:Newhaven,The Castlec1934 is part ofthe John Piper inKent and Sussexexhibition at the TownerBelow:JohnPiper's BrightonPavilion c1939 isalso currently atthe TownerGallery inEastbourne

Clockwise fromtop:Pieces by designer-makers AllenBrown, LucyMartin, JosefKoppmann and NicholasYiannarakis will all bedisplayed atGoldsmiths' FairPreciousmomentsSince time immemorial, man hasused the colourful minerals thatthe earth provides as a fabulousmeans of adornment andbeautification. AmandaStucklinexamines how today'sdesigner-makers at theGoldsmiths' Fair make themost of this preciousbounty Every civilisation has cut orchiselled colourful gems andcrystals, strung them to makebeads, or set them into precious or non-precious metals to make rings,necklaces, brooches, earrings, hairornaments and other forms of jewellery.Jewels set with rare and 'precious'gems soon became regarded asoutward symbols of wealth and status -the most traditional being diamonds,rubies, emeralds and blue sapphires,with other varieties being defined as'semi-precious'. But in truth, every stoneis precious in its own right and themodern distinction between preciousand non-precious is in fact founded onan ancient perception of valuebased essentially on what wasrare at that time. Today, manylesser-known, rare stones areconsiderably more valuableand desirable than a poor-qualityexample of a so-called'precious' gem.One of the main andmost obviousattractions of theseminerals and rocks iscolour, followed bytheir translucency,lustre and brilliance -and in many cases, thefact that they are oftenvery hard substances.Generally speaking, itwas the Art Nouveaujewellers - most notablyRené Lalique - whointroduced the revolutionaryuse of mixed media and beganto incorporate stones and gemsthat had previously been disregardedor overlooked. There is the most staggering variety ofrare and exotic gemstones in all shapes38NADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN