Special events in Ditchling in 2016

PUBLISHED: 15:50 20 January 2016 | UPDATED: 15:50 20 January 2016

Picture courtesy of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Picture courtesy of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft


Ditchling is the charming rural village that plays host to a wealth of art and history, attracting visitors from around the world, as Alice Cooke found out

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft is home to an internationally important collection of artists who worked in the village, including Eric Gill, Edward Johnston, Frank Brangwyn, David Jones and Ethel Mairet.

In 2013 the museum reopened after a major redevelopment with a beautiful new learning studio, a professional collection store and greatly improved facilities. Following on from this excitement, the museum became a finalist for Art Fund Museum of the Year in 2014 and was a contender for the RIBA Stirling Prize.

It is an unusual place: a local museum with an international reach, inspiring and engaging diverse audiences with the art and craft made in Ditchling. The museum celebrates the history of the village’s artistic community and engages directly with leading contemporary artists, designers and craftspeople. Their internationally important collection continues to grow apace all the time, through generous donations from friends of the museum and key investments.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Johnston Sans, a sans-serif typeface designed for the London Underground by Edward Johnston – you’ll recognise it from the famous signs dotted across London, and it was designed in Ditchling. The (slightly adapted) typeface is still in use today, and is one of the world’s longest-lasting examples of corporate branding. To celebrate, there will be an ambitious programme of events and exhibitions to champion Ditchling as a Village of Type.

This year’s special events

Underground: 100 years of Edward Johnston’s lettering for London – trace the influences and friendships which led Johnston to create the typeface that became an icon. Featuring major loans from the V&A, London Transport Museum, Craft Study Centre and private collections.

The Big Steam Print – local and national printmakers will be invited to submit large scale work to be printed by a vintage steamroller, with an exhibition at the end at the Phoenix gallery in Brighton in August.

Mobile Letterpress Studios – for one weekend in May, GTR train passengers will be able to experience the delights of letterpress, when a small Adana printing press will travel up and down the carriages of the train between London and Brighton. Passengers will be able to print small postcards with quotes and images inspired by the railway. There will also be a mobile letterpress studio pop-up in Brighton in a London Underground tube tent, as part of the Brighton Festival.

Inbound International Residency with the British Council – an international typographic residency in May as part of the Artists’ Open House programme, for which Ditchling is a major trail attracting over 2,000 additional visitors across four weekends.

Interrobang: an international showcase of letterpress print exhibition at the Jointure Studio in Ditchling – during Artist’s Open House in May, international letterpress artists will showcase the huge variety and popularity of this print form today.

01273 844744; www.ditchlingmuseumartcraft.org.uk


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