11 Sep 2021 – 26 Sep 2021

Regular hours

09:00 – 18:00
09:00 – 18:00
09:00 – 18:00
09:00 – 18:00
09:00 – 18:00
09:00 – 18:00
09:00 – 18:00

Save Event: Artwave

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Lewes District

East Sussex
England, United Kingdom

Event map

An annual visual arts festival with exhibitions and open studios throughout Lewes District in East Sussex.


Artwave Festival 2021 opens with a dynamic visual arts programme held in 147 venues across Sussex' Lewes District, including Seaford, Lewes, Newhaven, and the surrounding villages. Over 800 artists are showing work, from sculpture and painting to contemporary craft to multi-media installations. The venues vary from artist's studios to farms, pubs, shops, churches, public halls to historic houses, and even a castle and a vineyard. The art on display reveals the extraordinary creative output generated by the recent pandemic, making 2021 a very special festival year.

Headlining in Lewes is 'Salvia Corrupted' a large-scale sculptural installation by celebrated artist Julian Wild situated within The Gun Garden at Lewes Castle. The sculpture, sponsored by Sussex Past, is made from over 30 metres of bright pink steel and polished bronze. Visually contrasting to its historic setting, the artwork draws relationships between itself, the natural world, and bronze exhibits within the museum. Julian Wild has been commissioned to make sculptures for The University of Oxford, Cass Sculpture Foundation, and Canary Wharf Group and was vice-president of The Royal Society of Sculptors from 2015-2019. There is a myriad of exhibitions in over 60 venues in Lewes town for visitors to explore.

Another outdoor highlight of the Artwave festival is 'The Tide Mills Project', a multi-media performance event exploring the history of the derelict 18th-century coastal village of Tide Mills at Bishopstone. Nationally acclaimed artists, designers, sculptors, and musicians are working with local community members of all ages to bring Tide Mills, quite literally, 'back to life.' There are musical performances by artists including Mercury Music Prize nominee, Sam Lee, and The Copper Family. Newhaven also sees a site-specific, marine-inspired installation by Pete Hellicar at The Sidings, a new eco-conscious shipping container development. Other Newhaven must-visits are the open call exhibition at The Ship pub and 'The Make-Believe Museum Shop' at Newhaven Museum. Here, artist and maker Emma Carlow has created a site-specific fantasy museum shop inspired by the museum collection. Seaford hosts 'Celebrate Cuckmere' a showcase of great art inspired by the iconic locations of Cuckmere Haven and Seaford Head Nature Reserve selected from an open call. The rural trails are strong this year, with particularly good strings of exhibitions and open studios in Barcombe, Glynde, Hamsey, and the heritage artist village of Ditchling.

Now in its 28th edition, Artwave Festival is an annual celebration of the visual arts sponsored by Lewes District Council and Visit Lewes. 

You can browse all the exhibitions, look at the trails and search online at www.artwavefestival.org or pick up your free map guide from Lewes and Seaford Tourist Information Centres. You can view all the venues on gmaps to help plan your visit.

Category: Arts | Visual Arts | Film / Cinema

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