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  • Articles by Mary

    Peggy Angus: Designer, Teacher, Painter. Towner Gallery, Eastbourne

    If you need an excuse to visit Eastbourne, besides the sea air and the promenade, a visit to the new Towner Gallery exhibition, Peggy Angus:  Designer, Teacher, Painter may do the trick. The  Towner lays claim to Angus, a Scot, by virtue of the years she spent teaching in Eastbourne and the artistic community she established in her Sussex home of Furlongs.

    The core of this exhibition is Angus’s artwork, her paintings and pattern designs, but the richness of the exhibition comes from the exposition of her life, her personality, her beliefs, and above all her communities.  

    Angus was a gifted figurative painter and the exhibition contains painting by her of the Sussex countryside and of her friends and family. Furlongs was frequented by artists, most noticeably Eric Ravilious, whose well known picture of the scene is included in the exhibition. While there are photographs of Furlongs and descriptions of the social connections there, it is the family of paintings which most clearly tells the story of a shared world. There are portraits of Peggy by her friends, portraits of them by her, and subjects painted both by her and by Ravilious such as the Asham Cement Works.

    Ravilious & Helen Binyon by Peggy Angus 

    Peggy Angus, Eric Ravilious and Helen Binyin at Furlongs, oil on canvas, c.1945.  Copyright Estate of Peggy Angus


    Asham Cement Works by Peggy Angus

     Peggy Angus, Asham Cement Works, oil on canvas, 1934. Copyright Estate of Peggy Angus.


    Dolly Engine by Eric Revilious

    Eric Ravilious, Dolly Engine, watercolour, 1934, Copyright Towner, Eastbourne.


    The exhibition also contains examples of Angus pattern designs. These tiles and wall papers, which Angus began to make with her students after the second world war, are startlingly contemporary. Her development from a reluctant teacher, forced into the profession by financial considerations, to a leading light with a coherent philosophy and a band of devoted student followers is documented here. Photographs of the buildings in which their work appeared form part of the exhibition as well as examples and reproductions of her designs.





    Tile Mural at Glyndwr University, WrexhamTile Mural Brussels World Fair, 1958

    Tile murals for Glyndwr University, Wrexham and Brussels World Fair, 1958. 

    Angus was a woman of strong convictions who inspired both aversion and devotion. She felt art was inseparable from life and that everyone has the duty to develop as an artist or a patron. This exhibition showcases both her art and her life in an engaging and informative way. Recommended.

    Until 21 September. 

    Peggy Angus 

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