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Ian O’Leary – The New Bohemians

I started this project after moving to Saint Leonards in 2019. I had not quite realised what a hive of creative talent Hastings and Saint Leonards contained. As a photographer all my working life I was looking for a project that would keep me busy and would perhaps produce something useful to show just how varied and amazing the area is that somehow we have all landed in. Maybe its the sea or the great light the mix of architecture the crazy mixed up urban landscape and people that somehow blends and gels to create a space which provides a home to so many brilliant and talented artists, musicians, poets, actors, dancers, makers the list goes on.

This was never intended as a comprehensive list an A to Z of local artists as it would be impossible to complete, more a collection of creators that I somehow stumbled upon either by personal introduction or just being aware of their work.

Why the New Bohemians? this is partly a nod to Bohemia Road a quietly forgotten area of St Leonards and also the Johnathan Meades documentary ‘In Search of Bohemia 1990*’ but mainly its about a strange and unlikely area on the south cost of England that somehow seems to work as magnet for a host of wonderful eclectic creative people that mainly rub along with each other and perhaps don’t really fit in anywhere else.

I hope to continue with the project while there are people who I have certainly missed or overlooked but not forgotten.


Changing Spaces – Summer 2021

Changing Spaces Summer 2021 features seven artists: Peter Clarke, Margaret Roberts, Mick Sargent, Jane Seed, Nancy Sharpe, Rebecca Snotflower, Teri Walsh.

‘Changing Spaces’, is an innovative exhibition and an opportunity for artists to show their work without having to commit to a whole gallery exhibition. It will become a regular feature in our calendar. The Gallery has seven wall and 3D spaces which artists may rent for a fortnight. This offers a varied and exciting range of paintings, ceramics, sculpture and other crafts that will appeal to a wide range of visitors to the Gallery.


Hastings Arts Forum
20 Marine Court,
St Leonards on Sea
TN38 0DX
+44 (0) 1424 201636

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