Express & Star

David Dimbleby marks stepping down as chairman of art gallery with exhibition

The exhibition takes place from Oct 5 2024 to April 27 2025.

David Dimbleby sat at a desk on Have I Got News For You

David Dimbleby is marking the end of his time as chairman of an art gallery by curating an exhibition with his daughter Liza Dimbleby.

The former Question Time presenter, 85, is known for previously fronting the BBC’s general election and royal coverage, and will hold the Drawing The Unspeakable art show in Eastbourne.

Dimbleby said: “Co-curating this exhibition has been an exhilarating experience. Liza has always been my companion and guide through the world of art. For a time, during the Covid lockdown, rather than write to each other, we would exchange drawings by email.

David and Liza Dimbleby standing near each other on steps
David and Liza Dimbleby (David Edwards/ Towner Eastbourne)

“This was what gave Joe Hill the idea of asking us to put on this exhibition – drawing taking the place of words.”

The guest curation takes place at Towner Eastbourne in the seaside town from October 2024 to April 2025 shortly after Dimbleby steps down as chairman of the art gallery, an independent charity, in September.

It will show work by prominent artists including painter David Bomberg, sculptor Barbara Hepworth, Madge Gill and caricaturist and printmaker James Gillray, along with drawings from Towner and from other collections such as London’s British Museum, Bethlem Museum of the Mind and Ben Uri Gallery and Museum.

Artists Dennis Creffield, Elisabeth Frink, Eric Ravilious, Denzil Forrester, Emma Talbot, Ansel Krut and Emma Woffenden are also among those with works featured in the exhibit.

The artwork Liza by Massimo Franco
Liza by Massimo Franco (Lizaby Massimo Franco/Towner Eastbourne)

Accompanying the body of work is a written conversation between Dimbleby and Liza about their different viewpoints as journalist and artist, respectively, and as father and daughter.

Artist Liza says: “Drawing is a way of speaking. The hand-drawn image is able to convey ambivalence and even contradictory impulses, which can make drawing more eloquent than words in communicating the most confounding aspects of human experience, showing us things that even the person drawing may not foresee.”

More than 100 drawings will feature to “communicate experiences that are beyond words” and “navigate the impasse of speech to illustrate what can be shown when words fail”.

The gallery also said it would draw on ideas such as “disasters, war, displacement, destruction, mental illness, grief, loss, dreams, memories and imagining”.

Andrzej Jackowski's Study for Portrait of Dr Groddeck of Baden-Baden, 1978
Andrzej Jackowski’s artwork Study for Portrait of Dr Groddeck of Baden-Baden, 1978 (Towner Eastbourne/Andrzej Jackowski)

Joe Hill, director and chief executive of Towner Eastbourne, said: “We are delighted to host David and Liza to curate this exhibition and to celebrate 10 successful years of David’s leadership of our board. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank David for his dedication and work on our behalf .

“What could be a more fitting end to his journey with us than to ask him to curate an exhibition with his daughter. This thought-provoking exhibition will encourage our audiences to look again at the drawings in our collection, through David and Liza’s unique lens.”

The exhibition takes place from Oct 5 2024 to April 27 2025.

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