Hans Schabus: A portrait of Eastbourne at Towner Gallery

Hans Schabus is an Austrian artists who works in a number of mediums, including photography, video, collage, sculpture and installation. Towner Gallery in Eastbourne, UK are planning a project which will bring Schabus and his boat, forlorn, to Eastbourne on its final voyage to create a unique photograph with Eastbourne pier. They explain:

Schabus's exhibition at Towner will complete a project that started in Vienna 13 years ago, and will consist of sculptural works, performance, a film and a series of photographs.

In 2002, he designed and made a functional, hand-crafted boat, which he rowed through Vienna’s underground sewers to leave the city unseen on his way to New York. He documented this journey in a photograph and an 11-minute film. The boat he built was designed after a class of small, unsinkable children’s dinghies called the Optimist. Schabus's fold-up version was christened 'forlorn' in anticipation of its daunting and dirty journeys.

The journey brought him to other cities where he had exhibitions: New York, Frankfurt, Bregenz, Venice, Rotterdam and Lisbon; and he will complete the series with a newly commissioned photograph in Eastbourne, which will join Towner's Collection. In each city, a photograph is taken of the artist in the boat with the city as a backdrop. 

Schabus will create an ambitious exhibition at Towner and work with the Collection. His research was inspired by a book on the Eastbourne artist Eric Ravilious (1903-24), entitled Ravilious in Pictures – A Travelling Artist. The Towner Collection boasts the largest holding of Ravilious’s work and is a huge draw for our visitors. Schabus's work will make connections with our location on the south coast, and the maritime life and work that thrives in the area; and will reflect a theme that runs through our Collection – of the ‘artist as traveller’.

The Gallery are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to secure funding for the project, you can find out more and support the project here.