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A delightful exhibition celebrating artistic life in the region continues at a New Forest gallery. From now through to 9 January, the St. Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington is hosting Shorelines: Artists on the South Coast.

The collection explores how celebrated and well-known artists have been inspired by the Channel coast, exhibiting pieces from as far back as the 18th century.

“The south coast has often been a line of defence but has also been a gateway for trade and a popular destination for those seeking fun, sun and sea air,” exhibition organisers say. “The exhibition looks at the contrasting approaches taken by residents and visiting artists who drew inspiration from the shoreline between Cornwall and Kent.”

For centuries, the quiet forest and stunning coasts have been popular holiday destinations. Today, cottage holidays in the New Forest are highly sought after by people from all over the world.

The event brings in works by John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, John Brett, Eustace Nash, Christopher R.W. Nevinson, Eric Ravilious, Richard Eurich and, more recently, Kurt Jackson and Jeremy Gardiner.

“This major exhibition contains many paintings of national significance and it is our role to bring great art such as this to Lymington,” said St. Barbe Director Mark Tomlinson.

Earlier this autumn, the exhibition was part of a project named Sharing Shorelines. The project was launched to help those with dementia explore memories about their time spent in the New Forest and life on the coast through discussion with specially trained expert interpreters. The dementia event was sponsored by Colten Care.

“Talking about visual art right in front of you can prompt memories and emotions among people who may otherwise struggle to express themselves,” said Tim Wookey, Colten Care’s Marketing Director in a recent interview. “We are sponsoring and supporting the project as a direct way to make this important exhibition accessible to people with dementia. We want to open it up for people in the wider community as well as residents at our Lymington dementia care home Linden House.”

Some artworks produced by the Alzheimer’s groups in Ringwood, Lymington and Milford are also on display within St. Barbe Museum, alongside the Shorelines exhibition.