Did you know that there is so much art in Essex? There is an abundance of galleries, artworks by the famous John Constable of Dedham Vale which has since been dubbed "Constable Country", A House for Essex by Grayson Perry and even brand-new artwork as part of England's Creative Coast.

If you’re looking for a day out filled with statues then we have got a few great spots to start you off with…

England's Creative Coast,
Shoeburyness, Southend-on-Sea, 
22 May – 12 November

‘Hello’ and ‘Retreat’ by Katrina Palmer has taken the border between land and water as a bold inspiration to create two new pieces of art situated in Shoeburyness.

This two-part sculptural project is made up of a sound-mirror and a powder magazine that leads viewers into a short story supported by moving image work and an audio file that are accessed only via a QR on site. Palmer has stated that her artwork explores stories of Englishness and thwarted attempts to move forward. 

To extend your visit to Shoeburyness why not take a visit to Gunners Park Nature Reserve and take in the wonderful wildlife on offer.


Hares About Town
All Around Southend,
July 1st until 12th September 2021

For 10 weeks over the summer, all around Southend on Sea, the seafront, Southend High Street all the way through to Priory Park, shall be filled with Hares for the fun filled Hare About Town trail! 

These beautiful, rather large, Hare sculptures have each been individually designed by an artist and sponsored by a business. Some 50 Leverets, baby hares, have also been designed and created by over 40 schools and community groups! The Leverets will be hidden around Southend from the 14th June, if you fancy a day out spotting them first!

After the Hares have done their job in being spotted by eager eyes around town, the Hares About Town fun will continue as many of the sculptures will be auctioned to raise vital funds for a local charity, Havens Hospices on 28th September.

Octopus Ahoy
All Around Harwich, Tendring and wider Essex,
25th June to 5th September 2021

For 10 weeks, the Octopus Ahoy! sculptures will be placed across Harwich, Tendring and the wider Essex area to celebrate the Mayflower 400™️ project and 150 Years of Clacton to create a fun, free trail.

The art trail is made up of 30 4ft-by-4ft octopus sculptures and you can use the free Octopus Ahoy! App to help find them all! Every time you reach the octopus statues, you scan the QR code on the plinth of the sculpture, and you earn a prize! 

There are also smaller 2ft-by-2ft octopus that can be found in the app that have been created by local schools and community groups which will become home to their octopus when the trail is over.

Whilst you’re in Harwich, why not visit the Harwich Lifeboat Museum and the Harwich Maritime Museum to keep that nautical theme flowing!

Harlow Sculpture Town
All Around Harlow, 
Permanent

Did you know that our very own Harlow Town became the world’s first ‘Sculpture Town’ back in 2010? Didn’t think so! 

The collection spaced around the town includes over 100 public sculptures with works by Henry Moore, Ralph Brown, Elisabeth Frink, William Mitchell, Barbara Hepworth, Auguste Rodin and author Nick Hornby. There are enough to keep you busy all day and you’ll most certainly hit your step count. 

If you’re looking for other local attractions to make your day even more jam-packed visit The Gibberd Garden, created by Sir Frederick Gibberd who designed the garden in 1972 and added sculptures, ceramic pots and architectural salvage for twelve years until he passed away. There is also The Lock Climbing Wall which is part of Essex Outdoors if you fancy trying your hand at rock climbing on your day out!

We can’t write ‘An Artists Guide to Essex’ without including a few art galleries so if visiting art galleries is more your kind of vibe, then why not give these a try…

Beecroft Art Gallery
The Jazz Centre UK, Southend-on-Sea
Tues - Sat 11am - 5pm

Beecroft Art Gallery collection ranges from 17th-century Dutch paintings to contemporary works and there are over 2000 works on display.

The vast collection includes art from local artist Alan Sorrell, a selection of the Thorpe Smith Collection which include local landscape views from as early as 1803, and of course, work from John Constable of Dedham Vale.

If you’re interested in a bit of a stroll after taking in some amazing artwork, why not challenge  yourself to complete the Southend Victoria to Leigh Railway Walk and take in the sights along the way.

Focal Point Gallery
Southend Central Library, Southend-on-Sea
Monday to Saturday 11.00am to 5.00pm + Sunday 11.00am to 4.00pm

If you’re looking for some contemporary art that challenges how we think and feel about locality and our importance in our community then the Focal Point Gallery is somewhere that needs to be on your radar.

The Focal Point Gallery works on commissions and often presents major solo exhibitions and group shows which aims to inspire new audiences and engage the local communities.

You’re bound to be hungry after your visit so why not try Sands by the Sea, The Britannia or Feelgoods to pick up some Fish & Chips to eat along the seafront.

Maybe picking up some art and crafts in Essex is more for you...

Dedham Art and Craft Centre
High Street, Dedham
Mon - Sun 10am - 5pm

Dedham is also known as Constable Country and Dedham Art & Craft Centre is situated right in the heart of it! 

The Centre is housed in a converted church that is home to three floors filled with the work of more than 60 artisans including art, ceramics, glass, metal craft and woodwork. Labelled as ‘a paradise to explore for the casual browser and enthusiastic shopper’ we couldn't agree more. 

After perusing the shelves and treating yourself to some new art for your home, why not stop by The Sun Inn for some dinner or even stay overnight at The Sun Inn’s Accommodation. If you’re feeling a little classic then book an Afternoon Tea at the Tiptree Tea Room at Essex Rose.

And if you want to fully immerse yourself in art then you best submit your name for the ballot to stay here...

A House for Essex
Wrabness, Manningtree

Now this is a really unique experience, staying inside a work of art! A House for Essex by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture is a homage to the tradition of wayside and pilgrimage chapels along with the special character and unique qualities of Essex; a rather dashing combination.

With every room housing specially commissioned artworks and a library to Julie Cope; a fictional character created by Perry, an Essex everywoman, whose story he has told through two tapestries, and the most luxurious of Egyptian cotton bed linen and homewares, this is a one off stay!

And if you fancy leaving this stunning home for dinner, try Lucca Enoteca for a classic Italian meal in the High Street sat amongst exposed brickwork and beams.

Related

Beecroft Art Gallery
Art Gallery
Beecroft Art Gallery

The Beecroft Art Gallery holds over 2000 works of art ranging from 17th century Dutch Masters to contemporary works and Fashion and Textiles. Temporary exhibitions of local artist's work, alongside dynamic collection based exhibitions provide something for everyone to enjoy.

Dedham Art and Craft Centre
Craft Centre
Dedham Art and Craft Centre exterior

Dedham Art & Craft Centre is housed in a converted church in this popular village. The Centre exudes historic charm and is the perfect place to visit, shop and eat.

The Gibberd Garden
Garden
The Gibberd Garden

A beautiful 9 acre landscaped garden created by Sir Frederick Gibberd with lawns, vistas, paths and a brook. The Barn Tea Room sells simple afternoon refreshments. There is a small gift shop.

The Lock Climbing Wall
Activity Provider
long haired woman climbing up indoor climbing wall

Essex’s largest Indoor climbing centre, The Lock Climbing Wall in Harlow provides great climbing experiences for all ages and abilities.

Focal Point Gallery
Art Gallery
Galley space showing a cork wall with images of Balthazar presented in the history of art, with white scrolls of text at either side.

Focal Point Gallery supports the production and presentation of new and recent contemporary art that challenges us to think and feel differently about locality, our sense of self and the importance of communities.

Gunners Park
Geocaching
METAL at Chalkwell Park

METAL provide innovative, multi-disciplinary residency space for artists from the UK and overseas in Southend on Sea at Chalkwell Hall.

Sands by the Sea
Fish & Chips
Sands by the sea Southend

Introducing Heritage Fish and Chips at Sands by the Sea – the new look and taste of the nation’s favourite dish!

Harwich Lifeboat Museum
Museum
Lifeboat Museum Harwich

Museum contains the last Clacton off-shore. Oakley Class Lifeboat 34ft and a history of the lifeboat service in Harwich.

Southend Victoria to Leigh
Walking Route
Southend Victoria to Leigh Walk

Accessible by train, this 2.5 mile (3.9km) family friendly walk takes you along the sea front and links Southend Central station with Chalkwell station or carry on for a further 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to Leigh on Sea station.

The Britannia
Fish & Chips
The Britannia Fish and Chips

Introducing Heritage Fish and Chips at The Britannia. The new look and taste of the nation’s favourite traditional dish. Enjoy a fresh coffee, a tasty Light Bite or delicious meal in this beautifully restored Georgian building in the very heart of Southend Seafront.

Feelgoods Diner
Cafe - Family
Feelgoods Diner

A dining experience with great food, live music and an entertainment centre in the shape of the Feelgoods Prize Arcade, all here at Feelgoods Restaurant!

The Sun Inn Dedham
Public House
The Sun Inn Dedham

A quintessential coaching inn at the heart of Constable Country. It has been a watering hole for villagers and resting post for travellers for centuries.

Tiptree Tea Room at Essex Rose, Dedham
Tea Room
Tiptree Tea Room at Essex Rose

The Essex Rose Tea Room serves a range of sandwiches, jacket potatoes, cooked lunches, hot and cold snacks, cakes and scones.

Lucca Enoteca
Restaurant - Italian
Lucca Enoteca

Wood-fired pizzas and classic pasta dishes in an oak-beamed dining room with bare brick walls.

Harwich Maritime Museum
Museum - Maritime
Harwich Low Lighthouse

Housed in a disused lighthouse, the museum has specialised displays on the Royal Navy and commercial shipping. History of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy in Harwich.

Harlow Sculpture Town
Art Gallery
Unveiling of 'Twofold', Nick Hornby, 2019, on the Harlow Sculpture Town Cycle Loop Trail. Photographed by Brian Thomas.

Harlow is home to an exceptional and growing collection of over 101 public artworks, including masterpieces by some of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century. Plan your visit at www.sculpturetown.uk.

Firstsite
Art Gallery
The Firstsite building - shown from the outside

Firstsite is an international gallery and creative community space. See the world differently – experience the very best art and culture from around the world that inspires, empowers and opens your mind.

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