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Sarah Jane Morris by David Reeve

Sue Tilley and friends – portraits by local and international artists at Hastings Museum

‘Together We Draw’ is a selection of portraits created by the hundreds of people who took part in ‘Life Drawing with Sue Tilley’ during the lockdown of 2020. HOT’s Erica Smith recommends a visit to Hastings Museum and Art Gallery to check out the portraits of local people by local people, famous people by local people – and some drawings of local people by famous people.

Claudine Ecclestone by Steve Russell

Part ‘life drawing class’ and part celebrity interview, the live-streamed show saw Sue invite an infamous friend each week to pose for an online audience of Hastings locals alongside people from across the world, who would all sketch away and submit questions live while Sue and her model had a candid chit chat.

Penny Pepper by Daniel David Wilkie

These funny, open and uncensored conversations would often touch on deep issues – relationships, addiction, love, death, pop stardom and, of course, isolation. The portraits on display in ‘Together We Draw’ are not just influenced by the model’s appearance, but by the conversations and atmosphere of the show, making each piece a unique documentation of a moment in time.

Guests included actress Michelle Collins, nightlife royalty Princess Julia, legendary DJ Fat Tony and Sarah Jane Morris, as well as HOT’s own JJ Waller and local celebs Claudine Ecclestone, Penny Pepper and then Hastings Mayor Nigel Sinden.

Photographer and HOT champion, JJ Waller, by Jon Corry

‘Life Drawing with Sue Tilley’ was broadcast weekly from March 2020 to March 2021 on Isolation Station Hastings – an online community live-streaming channel which was a platform for local events during the pandemic. The show quickly became one of the most popular weekly events with thousands of portraits created. It also provided a moment for people to be together, during a period when isolation was causing significant challenges to many. Whilst the audience was primarily local to Hastings, people from across the globe watched the show and contributed their artworks.

The exhibition of 70 of these portraits at Hastings Museum encapsulates a collective moment in time when being together and sharing space – even digitally – became desperately needed. Most importantly, ‘Together We Draw’ demonstrates that anyone can be an artist and the process of creating is something everyone should enjoy, something Sue passionately believes in. She had a wonderful time producing the live-streamed show and is extremely proud of the exhibition.

‘Together We Draw’ is produced and funded by Home Live Art in collaboration with Hastings Museum and Art Gallery and Isolation Station. The exhibition opens this Thursday, 20 January, and runs until Sunday 5 June 2022. The Museum is open from 10am–12.30pm and 2–5pm. You can find out more on the HMAG website.

‘Life Drawing with Sue Tilley’ was funded by Isolation Station Hastings and co-produced with Home Live Art. You can watch all the episodes by following this link to the ISH YouTube channel. You can see images of all the artwork created from the online workshops on this link to the ISH Facebook page.

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Posted 19:37 Sunday, Jan 16, 2022 In: Arts News

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