The objective/thinking for our trip was first to take a look at the Peggy Angus Exhibition after which those who were game, could go on the sea front to paint/draw. What a wonderful idea! There was however an oversight, we had chosen 'Airbourne' week as the date for our visit (a lesson to be learned here I think). Parking anywhere was bound to be a trial and the seafront would be packed. Despite this, we had a good turn out from our intrepid members, several came by bus (good thinking).
The exhibition is well worth a visit. Peggy Angus is relatively unknown. She lived in a time when a generation of artists were overlooked from the 60s on. Tastes took a shift and many artists just became lost in a tide of rock and roll and hippy subculture. These artists are only now coming back into fashion and I think this exhibition celebrates this in a simple unpretentious display.
As a woman, making progress in the design world at that time was tough. For instance, In 1958, Peggy Angus designed a 50ft-long futuristic tile mural for the British section of the Brussels World Fair. She was not even invited to the opening and had to travel to Belgium to see it finished at her own cost!
A tendency to be rude
Perhaps her major achievement was that she pioneered coloured tiles, murals and wallpapers. What couldn’t have helped her progress commercially is that she a had a tendency to be rude to people “absolutely foul”. Also, quite a bit of Peggy’s work was done for private clients, which meant much of her work was never really credited to her.
A good part of her life was spent in a sublet and remote flint house in West Firle called Furlongs at an annual rent £10 (which is still there and relatively unchanged, see my photo). Peggy taught at Eastbourne in the early 30s and made friends with Eric Ravilious who together with his wife spent many holidays at her home painting the Downs and Asham Cement works (now known as Beddingham Landfill Site).
Useful Links — read more about Peggy Angus