“Sussex by the Sea” is a patriotic song written in 1907 by William Ward-Higgs and is often referred to as the unofficial county anthem. It is regularly sung at celebrations throughout the county and can be heard during many sporting events, as both Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club and Sussex County Cricket Club have adopted it as their anthem.
The song became popular during the First World War having already been adopted by the Royal Sussex Regiment. It is suggested its origins may lie with a poem written by Rudyard Kipling in 1902 entitled Sussex, the final stanza of which is:
God gives all men all earth to love,
but since man’s heart is small,
ordains for each one spot shall prove
beloved over all.
Each to his choice, and I rejoice
the lot has fallen to me
In a fair ground – in a fair ground –
Yea, Sussex by the Sea!
Felicity Flutter – Blue Shadows
Felicity Flutter – Wave Curl
The sea has fascinated artists for centuries, using it to represent the power of nature and the sublime. Turner for example had a lifelong fascination with the sea and is considered by many a master of the genre. His depiction of the sea was ever-changing, like the sea itself. Sometimes his paintings delight in its calmer face, revelling in tranquil surfaces reflective of golden sunlight. But he was also fascinated by the sea’s potential as a destructive force of nature: depicting terrifying waves, storms and shipwrecks.
Contemporary artists working today continue to find the sea a source of constant fascination and inspiration. Two notable Sussex artists whose artworks focus intently on the sea are Leila Godden and Felicity Flutter.
Drawing on her poetic observations of the water, Leila’s paintings are built from a mixture of improvisation and considered responses to the marks made as they reveal themselves, coaxing the paintings to evolve and settle, until she is completely happy with the finished piece.
Leila Godden – Rockpools
Leila Godden – Shoreline
Leila Godden – Sunlit Moment
Leila says of her artwork “My source of inspiration is my connection with the sea. The vast panorama of changing light, dramatic weather and powerful water, framed by rocks solid with history, yet transient with time and the rhythm of the earth. The minutiae of rock pools juxtaposed against the expansive sweep of sea and sky. Here, I feel a completeness incorporating time and space, stillness and movement.
My paintings seek to recreate this connection, by distilling something essential about what it is to be part of this ever changing, ever the same, timeless phenomenon. I hope they evoke a memory or sensation personal to you, the viewer”.
To view more of Leila’s artwork you can visit her website www.leilagodden.com
Felicity has been painting in Watercolours for twenty five years but still finds there are new things to learn, she likes to challenge herself to paint difficult subjects, water and skies in particular.
The quest to always learn, improve and move forward is at the forefront of what she does. Recently this has meant combining watercolour with drawing to incorporate more mark making and texture.
Felicity Flutter – Sentinels of the sea
Living not far from the coast near Rye, she finds inspiration in the sea and all its many moods and changes of weather. She says of her artwork “There are so many variations to be found on the surfaces of water from a flat calm mirror like surface to wild foaming waves”.
For more information on Felicity and her artwork,
please visit her website www. felicity-flutter.co.uk. felicity-flutter.co.uk
Both Leila and Felicity will be exhibiting as part of the PURE Art Fair 10th Anniversary Exhibition, taking place at the PowderMills Hotel between 5 and 13 October.