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Jerwood Gallery: Relaxed Mornings



Jerwood Gallery are launching a new programme of Relaxed Mornings for people with autism spectrum conditions.

By Katie Lineker, Jerwood Gallery

Jerwood Gallery are launching a new programme of Relaxed Mornings in Hastings this February. The gallery will open its doors an hour earlier than usual, at 10 am, on select Thursdays each month. ‘Relaxed’ events are specially curated drop-in sessions for people with autism spectrum conditions and their families and carers, so they can enjoy the arts together in a stress-free environment.

During that hour people can benefit from reduced noise levels in the gallery, alterations to lighting and the support of trained staff who are there to ensure that the space is as accessible as possible for all.

Relaxed events are also suitable for people with sensory conditions, learning difficulties or other complex needs who would benefit from a calm and friendly space. There will also be a ‘chill out’ zone for people who might need to take a break during their visit.

Jerwood Gallery has been working on this new programme with Aspens, who provide support to children, young people and adults with a range of disabilities, complex needs and those on the autism spectrum.

Paula Taylor, acting manager for Aspens at Roebuck Centre in Hastings, brought three Aspens service users to the gallery for an exploratory visit last year. Their feedback was invaluable in the development of these events. One member of the group said the gallery was “an open, very light building; lovely paintings, really peaceful and relaxing. Ideal space for someone on the spectrum.”

John Murray, Learning Manager at the gallery, says “the feedback from the group from Aspens was so valuable. It proved our theory that the unique design and architecture of the gallery make it a great space to use for relaxed events. There is a natural flow through the galleries which make them easy to navigate and there are nicely divided spaces which keep noise levels to a minimum.

We are so excited to be offering Relaxed Mornings for all of those who could benefit from the peace and quiet. We aim to ensure that as many people as possible have access to our varied and exciting exhibitions programme and this is a brilliant pathway for those on the autism spectrum who may feel that visiting at other times could be stressful.”

For more information about dates and specially reduced admission prices for Relaxed Mornings visit the Jerwood Gallery website events page.




In order of appearance

Paula Rego: The Boy Who Loved the Sea and Other Stories ©Pete Jones

The Quick and The Dead Installation ©Lens and Pixel (

Barbara Walker: Vanishing Point ©Lens and Pixel (



Jerwood Gallery opened to the public on 17 March 2012 as a not for profit organisation but became a charity in February 2017 and a National Portfolio Organisation of the Arts Council England in 2018. The gallery welcomes over 55,000 visitors each year. The Gallery is subsidised so local residents can enjoy half price entry, just £4, and up to 4 children go free with one paying adult. Every first Tuesday of the month the Gallery is also free to all from 4pm-8pm. Previous exhibitions have showcased artists including Rose Wylie, Gary Hume, Gillian Ayres, Jeffery Camp, Basil Beattie, Ansel Krut, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Chantal Joffe, Ibrahim el Salahi, Sir Quentin Blake, Rachel Howard, Marcus Harvey, Keith Tyson, Dame Paula Rego, Gus Cummins and Mark Wallinger. Jerwood Gallery was awarded a Sussex Heritage Trust Public and Community Award and a Civic Trust Award in 2012 and in 2013 was awarded a National RIBA Award and reached the mid-list for the Stirling Prize for the Building of the Year. In 2014, it was awarded the RICS SE Regional Award for Regeneration.