Three interesting exhibitions at Eastbourne’s Towner gallery, “The contemporary art museum for the South East”: Kelly Richardson: Legion, People and Portraits and the  East Sussex Open 2013

Kelly Richardson’s latest video installations are the headline show: Legion is four video installations of nature settings which the artist has enhanced to give an other-world feel. The most eye-catching are a barren landscape with eerie (light blue) animated trees which move together in the wind before disappearing and regenerating in a seemingly random sequence. Although three of the four pieces aim for an immersive experience with large, projected displays and multi-channel sound, there’s a lack of development of the imagery and, once the shock of the unexpected has worn off, we found no particular emotional involvement or connection with the pieces. They are video but other than that, there’s not much apparent creative development since Roger Dean’s inspirational cover artwork in 1973 for “Tales from Topographic Oceans”, the album by Yes.

Next floor down, Towner presented a selection from their collection entitled “People and Portraits”. We found this an engaging and surpassingly varied exhibition, showcasing many works with a local connection.

Finally, on the ground floor, the East Sussex Open 2013. Again a satisfying exhibition with a great variety of styles, media and inspirations which provoked some thought as well as demonstrating what a vibrant and creative area East Sussex and Brighton are just now.