Harlow’s World of Art


EXG JUN 15 ART PAGE - Credit: Archant

With the Essex Summer of Art well underway, this month we visit the town of Harlow for a spectacular collection of art and sculpture. Programme

co-ordinator, Amanda Westbury, explains more

Harlow, famed for the creation of its new town by modernist architect, Sir Fredrick Gibberd, is home to one of the largest collections of public artworks. Sited throughout Harlow is a collection of some 84 sculptures of national significance, alongside watercolours, drawings and prints from some of Britain’s most influential living artists of the mid-20th century, including Henry Moore, Ralph Brown and Elizabeth Frink.

In celebration of the Essex Summer of Art, Harlow’s contribution is an extraordinary trail of both art and sculpture. Programme coordinator, Amanda Westbury, in association with the Gibberd Gallery, Gatehouse Arts and The Harvey Shopping Centre, explains: ‘It’s very important for us to highlight what’s available in Harlow. We are privileged to have such a beautiful collection of sculptures and public artworks just waiting to be seen.’

This year’s Harlow trail is a celebration of the town’s visual art activity, providing a unique opportunity to see an exciting range of artworks being produced in the area by local artists.

The town already has a downloadable map showing the location of all 84 pieces of sculpture. Coupled with the Harlow Art & Sculpture Trail app, visitors will be able to plan their trail without missing a thing. Various artworks will be on display in shop windows, in business premises and various other venues in the town centre, including its two lots of artists’ studios and three galleries.

The Gatehouse Arts Gallery offers studio space to some 47 artists in residence and artists’ studios, a number of which will be opening during the weekend of June 27 and 28. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with the artists and discuss the different elements of their individual works while also enjoying a studio tour.

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‘The participating artists will have produced a piece of work based on the theme of “trail” and I’m really interested in seeing how each of them will have interpreted this,’ says Amanda.

The Gibberd Gallery will be holding a portrait exhibition on the theme of Through my Eyes, which is described as, ‘a collection of powerful, thought-provoking images’ from some of the most talented portrait painters of this century.

Also in the town, The Hunt and Darton Café will be one of the venues on the art and sculpture trail offering, ‘a social and artistic hub where spontaneity and performance meet great food and drink’.

Amanda, who trained in public art and design, loves these types of community art projects. ‘Art empowers people,’ she says, ‘and here in Harlow we are lucky to have a town that has a massive amount of cultural wealth. We do hope that lots of people will follow the trail and enjoy all that Harlow has to offer.’