Paula Rego, Rowing from Ericeira, 2014 (c) the artist. Courtesy Marlboro...Dame Paula Rego is a Portugese-British artist whose work centres around themes of feminism, folk and fairy tale. An adept storyteller, she has used her discipline to exact revenge upon enemies, to open our eyes to new fantastical worlds and to climb out of the quagmire of her depression. The Jerwood Gallery in Hastings has announced that this autumn it will celebrate this leading figurative artist in an exhibition of new work: and they need our help to make it happen.

An Art Happens crowd fund campaign has been launched by the Gallery in collaboration with Art Fund, looking to raise the £25,000 needed to bring Rego’s legendary work to Hastings in a dedicated exhibition on the scale her work deserves. A body of new works including paintings, drawings and sculptures inspired by the folk story The Boy Who Loved the Sea are to be displayed alongside some of Rego’s nursery rhyme series and a collection of eleven pastel drawings made in 2007 and shown for the first time at this exhibition.

Rego’s artwork is derived from the practice of drawing. She begins with the help of family and friends who pose as characters in her pictures. She also works from her ‘dollies’, a collection of manikins made under her direction by her granddaughter Carmen, adding a carnivalesque dimension to her work. A painter of stories, Rego was born and grew up in coastal Portugal. Encouraged to draw from an early age by her mother, she studied at the Slade School of Art and exhibited as part of the London Group with David Hockney and Frank Auerbach. Now an octogenarian, Rego is one of the world’s most important figurative artists working today.

The Jerwood Gallery is excited to bring this exhibition to Hastings as part of its 5th birthday celebrations and encourages the public to support this crowdfunding campaign bringing internationally renowned talent to Hastings. In return, supporters will receive special rewards including a beautiful ink stamp featuring a detail from one of Rego’s nursery rhyme works, an exhibition poster signed by the artist, and an exclusive and intimate screening of the BBC film Paula Rego: Secrets & Stories, followed by a Q&A with the artist’s son Nick Willing, who directed and edited the film.

To support the project and bring Paula Rego to Hastings please visit: https://www.artfund.org and search for Paula Rego, Hastings. Campaign closes 25th April 2017.