Edward Twohig (BC Director of Art) with Lady Alexander, widow of Lord Alexander of Weedon QC (C.1950-55)
Written by Alex Bremer (Ry. 1979-83), Site Administrator
Saturday, 01 March 2008

Are there any gloomy days in Brighton? It seems to me that each and every visit I make to the old school is blessed with (often unseasonably) sunny and warm weather. Saturday 1st March 2008 was no exception, and again I challenge any casual observer not to be struck by how beautiful the campus looks on days such as these.

It was particularly fortuitous that the sun had chosen today to shine so brightly; the great and the good had descended upon Brighton College to witness and marvel at the opening of Edward Twohig’s new department: The Alexander Visual Arts Centre. I had chauffeured my father, Nick (Director of Art, Brighton College, 1969-2000) down from London, and prior to the official opening of the new department he and I met and chatted with David Gold (S. 1986-91) as we wandered amongst the wonderful collection of sculptures by David Nash RA (B. 1959-63) in the Burstow Gallery.

David Gold was just one of a number of College "officials" who were justifiably excited and proud to show off the new Art School, and as noon approached we all headed up to the main studio (perched comfortably on top of the Woolton Building) through a new entrance from the Burstow Gallery.

The new department comprises of a number of studios, photography labs and lecture rooms, but the single most impressive room is the large fine art studio that runs the length of the Woolton Building. This studio is lit from all sides and angles by a natural light that floods in to illuminate an impressive collection of paintings and drawings in varying states of progress, and it was here that a sizable gathering witnessed a series of speeches – amusing, thoughtful, and ultimately quite moving – from dignitaries that included Headmaster Richard Cairns, Professor Lord Robert Skidelsky (C. 1953-58) and Edward Twohig before Lady Alexander, widow of Lord Alexander of Weedon QC (C. 1950-55) officially opened the school by unveiling a stone plaque that commemorates the occasion.

A thorough tour of the new facilities reveals a truly extensive environment in which students can express themselves in a variety of disciplines. The photographic lab was singularly impressive, and this was reflected in the work on display. The facility includes lecture rooms, a sculpture studio (as yet unfinished, apparently) and a collection of art books that would be the envy of most libraries.

All those present, most especially my father and I, commend the school on this magnificent achievement - we recommend a visit to the new art department, and its adjacent Burstow Gallery, to all Old Brightonians.

Site Administrator

Alex's most passionate interests include Motor Racing (Alex raced for a short time in 1986 and 1987 in Formula Ford and Formula First before parking his shiny racing car in an inappropriately violent manner half way down the main straight at Brands Hatch), Boxing (which he is delighted never to have participated in), Music (Alex is hysterically tone-deaf - but loves attending live gigs), Movies, Manchester United & Skiing.


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