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Eric Slater: Rough Sea (Splash Point)

Rough Sea: Eric Slater, colour woodcut, 1929.

A Sussex wave from Japan

A Sussex artist is having his first show in the town since attending the Hastings School of Art 100 years ago. He was Eric Slater, and the idea for the exhibition, which also includes work by his friend Arthur Rigden Read, came to James Trollope when he was writing about Slater, as he explains.

The beautiful colour woodcuts of Eric Slater (1896-1963) will be on view at the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery from May 27 to September 3.

Between the wars Slater and his Winchelsea neighbour Arthur Rigden Read (1879-1955) mastered a Japanese method of colour printmaking which won them both international acclaim.

The exhibition, A Sussex Wave from Japan, will explain why they, along with a group of other artists, adopted Japanese printmaking techniques in the 1920s.

While Slater concentrated on the landscape of Sussex, Rigden Read was more interested in depicting members of the rural community who struggled to make a living in those harsh economic times.

Slater’s Sussex

The idea for the show came to me when I was writing a book about Slater called Slater’s Sussex. During my research, I discovered that Hastings Museum had been bequeathed a large collection of Rigden Read’s work and thought it would be great to show the two friends’ woodcuts side by side.

Over the past few years there has been a revival of interest in Slater thanks in part to his work being appraised on the Antiques Roadshow. Both artists had success in America before the Second World War but later fell out of fashion.

slater 2The show will also include work by Japanese masters Hokusai and Hiroshige whose famous prints were made in the same way as their lesser known Sussex followers.


A Sussex Wave from Japan: Woodcuts by Eric Slater and Arthur Rigden Read Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, John’s Place, Bohemia Road, Hastings TN34 1ET. Saturday 27 May-Sunday 3 September (Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm, Mon closed). Admission free.

Posted 18:00 Wednesday, May 10, 2017 In: Visual Arts

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