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What is the BEST Art Gallery in Sussex?

Updated: Feb 8

What is the best art gallery in Sussex? Here at Shootlab we are massive lovers of arts and culture and spend a lot of time in Sussex where we are based. We have visited most of the Sussex art galleries and museums and enjoyed doing so. We wanted to talk about our favourite Sussex art gallery, which in our view is the best gallery in Sussex, it's the Art Gallery at Charleston located in Firle, East Sussex. The gallery holds a wide range of thought-provoking art exhibitions that are inspired by the spirit of artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, who lived at Charleston for over 50 years!

actor with ginger hair and fox shoulder wrap holding sheets of paper that they are reading from, they are reading this to a person in the left of screen in a performance at Charleston in Sussex a room filled with antique furniture and ceramics
Lauren John at Charleston Valentines event

Charleston Sussex is a modernist home and studio of painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant that now hosts inspiring exhibitions, talks, and events. A new exhibition space was created at Charleston, designed by Jamie Fobert Architects and opened to the public in 2018. The restored barns and new building now house an auditorium, education spaces, a set of new galleries, and a café. The venue is a popular destination for exciting exhibitions, discussions, and activities that bring people together to discuss art and ideas.

Their most well-known festival is the Charleston Festival, held every year attracting artists, writers, actors, and actresses. More recently they have started Charleston Festival of the Garden, which has become a staple of the summer festival season. Held across four days during the height of summer, between 14-17 July, in the stunning grounds and garden at Charleston.

Exhibitions at Charleston Art Gallery Sussex

We love filming at Charleston. SHOOTLAB was asked by Charleston Trust to produce three exhibition videos to promote their exhibition at their art gallery in Sussex. Charleston is the modernist home and studio of painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. It is also a museum and art gallery. Charleston's art gallery is one of the leading galleries in Sussex for contemporary art and cultural events. Charleston wanted a series of short exhibition videos produced to promote their Langlands & Bell exhibition. They enlisted the art and design critic Jack Self to take the viewer on a tour of the exhibitions and to explore the work by the Turner-nominated artists.

Behind-the-scenes filming, inside the Charleston gallery with lighting and shooting on our Canon C70 Video cameras.

Langlands & Bell: Absent Artists Film

Curated by Langlands & Bell, ‘Absent Artists’ explores artists’ studios in which the artists themselves are conspicuously absent. The exhibition includes works by Annie Leibovitz, David Hockney, Michael Craig-Martin, William Hogarth and James Ensor in a range of different mediums including paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture and print. The exhibition draws parallels with Charleston, a private space which has been turned public in the absence of the artists who created it. The exhibition also includes an installation in the house's attic space, which was originally Vanessa Bells' studio. This space explores traces of the absent artist and considers the studio, as a place of contemplation, creation, and of retreat.

Langlands & Bell: Ideas of Utopia Film

Watch the exhibition video we produced that looks at Ideas of Utopia these artworks examine architectural spaces and how over time buildings have attempted to create utopias whether domestic, religious, social or commercial. The exhibition also considers Charleston as an important place of early modernist social experimentation and questions a building’s power to unite us, separate us, protect us, and inspire thought and creativity.

Langlands & Bell: On Role of Architecture Film

Watch the 'On Role of Architecture' art gallery video we produced for the exhibition.

‘It is through the [artists] recreation, the intense dedication and monastic focus on these buildings, that so many of their inner secrets are revealed.’

— Jack Self

Check our Katy Hessel blog post as she explores Nina Hamnett at Charleston

If you are visiting Charleston and looking for somewhere nearby to eat or go for a drink, you might like to read our guide on the Top 10 places to eat and drink in Lewes

If you are a gallery owner Read our blog on 'How to film in an art Gallery the ultimate Guide' Click here to Read Blog

To hire a SHOOTLAB photographer or Videographer for your Video project: email: EMAIL US

SHOOTLAB - Content Creation Agency: Photography & Video

SHOOTLAB are a Sussex-based Content Creation Agency. We provide a full spectrum of Content Creation Services, ranging from Video-Production, Videography, Photography, through to Podcast Production and Social Media Management. Our Video-Production team offer everything from full-service video production, including scripting, storyboarding, shooting and Video editing. We make Promo Videos for websites, short-form-video-edits for Instagram, Facebook films, through to Brand Films. We also offer freelance Videographer options charged at day rates as well as freelance Video-Editing services. Our professional Photographers will create amazing, vibrant photographs for your website, print materials, or other marketing needs.

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