Blogging about the Jerwood is getting boring.
Trouble is, I really, really want the gallery to do well for Hastings – I want it to be successful and an asset to our town. I want to enjoy it for myself. I want it to be one of the shiny ‘string of pearls’ of gallery projects along the south coast – but at the moment it is more like a knot in the string than one of the pearls….it just makes me so cross….
Back from sunny Sorrento, we were a bit downcast by soaking Hastings – but yesterday was a fine and sunny morning. We had a few errands to do down in town, so decided to walk down, and use our shiny new Jerwood membership cards to have a nice luxury coffee in the nice sunny cafe, to banish those post-holiday blues. Blow me down – the place was shut…. and had been shut, what is more, since 24 September, and not re-opening until 6 October. The notice on the door said it was because they were hanging a new exhibition. Why on earth does that necessitate closing the whole gallery? And for so long? What must out-of-town visitors who arrive in Hastings wanting to see the gallery be thinking?
When I got home I had a look at the Jerwood website. Since it opened in March, it has been closed for a period in July for a re-hang – but they did open for a couple of days for free to coincide with the arrival of the Boat on the Stade (why can’t they do that all the time?). It was closed for 12 days in September/October, is due to close for another 12 in November/December, and for a stunning 26 days in January/February. That makes a total of 60 days closed in the year, over and above its normal Monday closure, and its very short weekday opening hours of 11am to 4pm. (On a previous occasion we arrived at 10.30 and failed to get in!) The year’s membership we thought we had bought is actually only valid for10 months.
Now come on, guys, are you ‘avin a laugh, or are you just playing at running an art gallery?