Following Ravilious – Newhaven Views was the free public art trail of giant billboards, placed around Newhaven, East Sussex, from August to 29 October 2023.

Paintings of the town by Eric Ravilious from the 1930’s sat alongside a new work each from contemporary artists; Emily Allchurch, Jo Lamb, Charlie Prodger, and Mark Titchner, their responses inspired by Ravilious and the modern Newhaven landscape.

The public art trail was curated collaboratively with local champions from Newhaven’s art scene and forms part of Towner’s centenary celebrations demonstrating the gallery’s commitment to contemporary art in East Sussex.

Ravilious on Denton Island photo © Rob Harris

The Trail Map

Download the trail map


Eric Ravilious,
Channel Steamer Leaving Harbour, 1935

Emily Allchurch
Return to Port (after Ravilious), 2023


Eric Ravilious,
James and the Foremost Prince, 1934

Mark Titchner
Blessed Are The Eyes That See The Things We See, 2023


Eric Ravilious,
Lighthouses at Newhaven, 1935

Charlie Prodger
Vision Machines (Cliff), 2023


Eric Ravilious,
Newhaven Harbour, 1936

Jo Lamb
Early Morning, Newhaven, 2018

About Eric Ravilious

Eric Ravilious (22 July 1903 – 2 September 1942) was a British painter, designer, book illustrator and wood-engraver. He was born in London but grew up in Eastbourne where his father ran an antique shop.

Ravilious is best known for his watercolours of the South Downs, Essex, and other English landscapes. His works typically depict the landscape with an off-kilter, modernist sensibility and clarity, often including a recognition of human intervention, such as fencing, farm implements or discarded machinery . In WWII he served as a war artist, and was the first British war artist to die on active service when the aircraft he was in was lost off Iceland in 1942.

Ravilious in Newhaven

Newhaven Harbour lies within walking distance of Furlongs, the home of artist and Ravilious’ friend Peggy Angus. Ravilious would regularly visit Angus and undertake painting trips around the area, including to Newhaven, where he was attracted by the busy port, ships, and industrial machinery. As manmade objects with personality, ships were an ideal complement to Ravilious’s fascination with wheeled vehicles.

During a later Newhaven visit, from mid-September into October 1940, Ravilious made six paintings, one of them later lost at sea. He climbed up to the fort, and painted its ditches and retaining walls perched on the cliffs and overlooking the harbour, where he and Bawden had worked five years earlier. A number of these Coastal Defences are now held in the collections of the Imperial War Museum and Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Newhaven today

Newhaven is a town of 12,000 inhabitants, situated on the south coast of England, Brighton 10 miles to the west, Eastbourne 10 miles east. Steps away from the South Downs National Park, the coast is a UNESCO world biosphere region, and the town’s ferry terminal is one of the UK’s main arrival and departure points for sea travel across the Channel.

The banks of the estuary are a transit point for the components and remains of industry, hosting scrap metal merchants, asphalt and aggregate suppliers and an enormous spaceship shaped waste recycling plant. A memorial statue to Ho Chi Minh can be found on the West Quay to commemorate the Vietnamese president’s time spent as a pastry chef on the ferry after WW1.

The town’s estuary makes it an ideal place to land fish, the maritime industries are an integral part of the fabric of the community and its employment opportunities. The river Ouse, which leads to the historic town of Lewes a few miles to the north, is on course to be the first river in England to be granted legal rights, as part of a movement to bolster protection for nature through the law.

The town has long been a place favoured by makers and artisans, formerly the home of the Parker Pens plant, it now hosts furniture designer Mark Fish, and this project’s fabrication collaborator, modular house manufacturers Boutique Modern. The thriving community of artists and creative practitioners include the directors of a new high-street contemporary art gallery, theatre producers, writers, musicians and festival and event producers.

Our Supporters

A big thank you to the people at the following companies for supporting and championing Creative Newhaven. We salute you!

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