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Hastings exhibition celebrates fishing heritage in pictures

Artists have been drawn to Hastings for centuries, attracted by its light, its scenery - and its fishing fleet.

Now the paintings they produced - and some remarkable photographs too - have gone on display in a new exhibition- among them, a Turner masterpiece.

John Ryall was there for the opening.

John spoke to exhibition organiser Catherine Harvey, Hastings fisherman Paul Joy and photographer John Cole.

Detail from Turner's 'Fishmarket on the Sands'

The exhibitions celebrate the people at the heart of Hastings' famous fishing industry, past and present:

Fisher folk have been launching boats from the Stade for over 1000 years.

Many working there today can trace their family back centuries.

Artists have been drawn to Hastings for over 200 years; attracted by the quality of light, the dramatic scenery, sense of history. And especially the busy scenes they found on the beach.

They often portray an idealised view of an industry that has always been harsh and precarious.

Some take artistic licence, altering views and spaces to suit their composition.

Yet their paintings provide a fascinating record of both continuity and change in this community, supporting the sense of pride in their heritage and identity.

– Spokesman, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

The exhibition, at Hastings Art Gallery and Museum, runs until October. Admission is free.