Laetitia Yhap at 80 – the Hastings ‘magic moment’ that inspired her work

A new exhibition celebrating the life and work of Laetitia Yhap, Hastings resident and acclaimed British 20th century painter, opened virtually at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery on Thursday (Jan 21st). 

Laetitia Yhap

After moving to Hastings in 1967 it took Laetitia seven years before the ‘magic moment’, when she discovered the subject that would be central to her work for the next two decades; Hastings’ fishing community on the Stade.

My Vital Life – Laetitia Yhap at 80 reflects this unique relationship and sees the return of the artist’s iconic fishing series.

This virtual exhibition contains essays by Laetitia and photos of the exhibition, providing insight into her approach. Alongside this are the films The Catch and A Girl Ashore – Laetitia Yhap at 80 by Mark French, where Laetitia recalls her first contact with the fishing community and her approach to creating her art, including the challenges of capturing the ‘heroism in the everyday’.

She then goes on to explore the contemporary fishing beach, attaching stories to the boats and equipment, frequently returning to the influence they had on her paintings.,

These are displayed alongside a number of 18th and 19th Century prints and watercolours from the Museum’s collection, all with inspiration from life at the Stade. 

Councillor Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for Regeneration, Culture and Tourism, saysL “This is an excellent exhibition that really captures the spirit and uniqueness of Hastings’ fishing community.”

To explore this collection online visit Hastings Museum & Art Gallery’s website www.hmag.org.uk/collections/myvitallife/ and also their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

“We would like to thank Laetitia Yhap and her colleagues Mark French and Abigail Stockbridge, as well as the museum team, who helped put this together,” says Mr Fitzgerald.

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