In Colour - Sickert to Riley

6 Mar 2019 – 26 Aug 2019

Regular hours

10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00

Save Event: In Colour - Sickert to Riley

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Firle, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Travel by bus to Charleston is limited and we strongly recommend you plan your journey in advance. Cuckmere Buses run the number 25 calling at Charleston between the station in Lewes to Eastbourne on a Saturday. Call 01323 870 920 or click here for more timetable details. We offer concessionary rates on entry for people arriving by bus and other green travellers.
  • From London: There is a regular service from London Victoria to Lewes which is seven miles from Charleston. At Lewes there is a taxi rank and advance booking is not necessary unless arriving early in the morning or late at night. Onward journey information from Lewes station can be found on the National Rail website. From Berwick: The closest station to Charleston is Berwick, which is around four miles away. There are hourly trains from Brighton and Eastbourne to Berwick. There is no taxi rank at Berwick.
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Curated by London-based textile designer, Cressida Bell, granddaughter of artist Vanessa Bell, the exhibition will feature a broad-ranging and highly personal selection of works that reflect Cressida Bell’s personal aesthetic as well as her artistic heritage.


Bell and Grant were two of the first abstract painters in Britain, and, even when they were creating figurative and representational work, the abstract qualities of colour remained a dominant element.

Drawing on loans from private and public collections, the show will feature works by some of the greatest painters of the last century including; Eileen Agar, Robert Bevan, Francis Cadell, Patrick Caulfield, Robert Dukes, Mary Fedden, Mark Gertler, Patrick Heron, John Hoyland, Stanislawa de Karlowska, Paul Nash, Glyn Warren Philpot and Sean Scully, as well as the Bloomsbury artists; Bell, Grant and Roger Fry.

Virginia Woolf called her sister Vanessa Bell “a poet whose medium was colour.” The Bloomsbury group’s modernist treatment of colour broke with accepted artistic conventions of the day. The freedom of abstraction allowed Bell and Grant to play with colour and shape in new ways; their paintings typical of the 20th century move towards colour dominating composition. This abstract idiom provides a new context for examining the painting of the Bloomsbury group, as radical painters who saw colour as the most vital component of an image.

Cressida Bell says: ‘My personal sense of colour has inevitably been influenced by being brought up in a Bloomsbury environment. The house at Charleston is a joyous celebration of colour, using a palette that manages to be both vibrant and subtle. My selection of works for this show attempt to reflect this aesthetic. I have chosen works where the most fundamental factor in the composition is colour and where a scheme of colours is imposed on the painting, rather than occurring naturally in the subject.’


Cressida Bell

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Glyn Warren Philpot

Patrick Caulfield

Rose Hilton

Harold Gilman

Roger Fry

Mark Gertler

Robert Dukes

Duncan Grant

Walter Sickert

Vanessa Bell

Sean Scully

Paul Nash

John Duncan Fergusson

Stanislawa de Karlowska

Euan Uglow

Eileen Agar

Patrick Heron

Anne Redpath OBE RSA ARA ARWS (1895 - 1965)

William Scott

Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell

Ethel Sands

Charles Ginner

John Hoyland

Sir Terry Frost RA

Robert Bevan

Spencer Frederick Gore

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

William Gear

Mary Fedden


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