29.7.15

National Art Pass - good value?


So far I've used my £40 Art Pass (expires 30/6/2016) three times. First was at the Ravilious exhibition at Dulwich, described in this posting, which saved me £11.50 - £7 = £4.50, the next was at tiny Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, on Thursday 16 July, where I got in free, saving £5.50. Ditchling isn't easy to get to by public transport so I took my electric bike on the train to Hassocks then rode to Ditchling. The museum is a spanking new barn conversion and quite different from when I last visited, where you had to pass lots of domestic and agricultural items to get at the Eric Gill and Edward Johnson stuff! You enter through the cafe gift shop, which was being re-merchandised that day and pay. Then it's through some glass doors to an ante room containing Eric Gill's garden rollers (and the toilets) before entering the big main room, which houses the bigger Roland Emett machine, the Fairway Birdie MkII golf cart.


Beyond was another room containing the smaller Clockwork Lullabye Machine, and his drawing for the golf cart. Other drawings by Emett, including some for Punch, were on the wall of the larger room, which also contained displays of Gill, Johnston, Frank Brangwyn, Charles Knight and other printmakers and artists (I particularly liked Harry Perry). After a cappuccino in the cafe, I headed back to Hassocks. I've now seen all the Emetts bar the one in Brighton museum, where you now have to pay to get in.


On Saturday 18 July, I took my electric bike to Hastings for the Sea Shanty Festival and a visit to the Jerwood. Here the art pass got me in 'half price' of £4, saving me £1.50 on the concession entry fee of £5.50. The cafe afforded a great view of the Stade and the shanties, but I was disappointed with the Lowry by the Sea exhibition, which in two darkened rooms contained just three or four ones of note. I wasn't too bothered with the Rachel Howard exhibits or the Quentin Blakes, but did manage to pick up a copy of Erica Smith's Hastings & St Leonards Activity Book for £8.99. Then it was a fisherman's roll (containing fried gurnard and plaice) at Tush and Pat's (£2.30) opposite the East Hill Lift and the train home.


So, the Art Pass has saved me £11.50 so far and the next use will be in Edinburgh for the MC Escher and Lichtenstein shows.






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