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Blue Monkey Network aims to provide opportunities for networking and professional and creative development for East Sussex artists.

Standard Blue Monkey Network membership costs £30 per year and includes free entry to most Network events plus regular news updates of open calls and artists’ development opportunities. (See our Membership section on the Join  page.)

Supported by Towner Eastbourne, who host most of our events, Blue Monkey Network runs regular monthly events aimed at promoting the exchange of ideas, information, and knowledge between artists, curators, and arts organisations.


As well as networking, we offer talks by visiting artists and arts professionals, visits to local galleries and other arts events, and special sessions tailored to the specific needs and requests of members, such as peer review and presentations of work.


Updates about our events and activities are shared here on our website Events page and via our Instagram account & Facebook page.

Blue Monkey Network is funded entirely by artist membership subscriptions and donations. It is run voluntarily by artists for artists. If you’d like to know more or apply to become a member, visit the Join page.


Non-members can subscribe to our monthly email which contains full information about our events, speakers, venues, and guest ticket prices. Subscribe here.


Blue Monkey Network was formed in 2011 by Eastbourne-based artist Judith Alder, in partnership with Towner Gallery at the invitation of its then-director Matthew Rowe, offering monthly networking events, talks & professional development opportunities for artists in the area.

The network is now run by a dedicated team of volunteers with the support of many members. 


Nikki Davidson-Bowman

Events Programme -Chair

I’ve been a member of the network since its inception, facilitating me to meet many other artists and forge friendships. As a result, I independently set up a crit group, have been selected for a curatorial opportunity at Towner; been selected for external exhibitions seen in the BMN newsletter, organised member events including the popular Pecha Kucha style 5x5 & Playing by the Rules; & been involved in several different talks.   
Since 2022 I have been running the network’s Instagram account and events program with Cat Ingrams.  I am a conceptual artist and work from my home studio in Bexhill-on-sea.

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Judy Martin

Events Programme (Deputy)

I've been a Blue Monkey member for the past decade, having joined when I saw a proposal for an artist buddying project. I went to the regular monthly events at Towner, and gradually got to know both other members and more about the work of the gallery. I was working alone in my home studio and hadn't found the kind of arts community I expected in Brighton (things have changed since). It has been hugely enjoyable and enlightening to get to know the work of so many members, see their exhibitions and events and become more fully immersed in the ways Towner has developed in recent years. Altogether very rewarding.

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Kathleen Dawson 


I am a painter from East Sussex and I’ve been a member of Blue Monkey since fairly early days. As a painter I value the broadening of experience that results from the opportunity to mix with painters and artists in other media. I find myself and my assumptions challenged and enlivened at our meetings.

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Stephanie Grainger

Events Programme

I moved to Eastbourne from London about ten years ago and discovered Blue Monkey Network. As a member, I’ve participated in crit groups, joint projects, and exhibitions with other Blue Monkey Network artists and have made some good friends.

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Roger Adams

Events and Venue liaison

My career has been in advertising: initially writing, creative concepts, working with design teams, commissioning artwork – which subsequently led to campaign planning and client management within my own ad agency. Gave this up some time ago which allowed me time to develop my desire to paint.


Painting can be a solitary occupation if you let it and I have found Blue Monkey (which I joined only a year ago) provides a hugely enjoyable opportunity to meet, compare notes and exchange ideas with a large group of like-minded creatives.


I am a figurative painter, up to now always embracing the human figure, and have exhibited in London and Sussex. I work from my home studio in Willingdon.

Cat Ingrams

Newsletter & Mailout

I have been a member of BMN since the beginning, and became Admin assistant (and Newsletter curator) in 2012 to support director Judith Alder as the network took off. I co-founded Blue Monkey Studio in Eastbourne with Judith, Alison Haddon and Wycliffe Stutchbury in 2003. The network thrives on participation, and I have given a number of presentations (5x5, Out of Hours, Art Desire and Longing, the Uncanny) and was one of the 6 curators of New Eyes at Towner. I am an experimental printmaker and make small sculptural constructions.

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Agata Read

Events Team

An interior designer by education, a photographer by passion. I live and work in Hastings.

I was born into a family with artistic traditions. In 2006, I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, obtaining a master's degree in interior design. Shortly thereafter, I moved to England, where I continued my studies at the University of Sussex.

I am currently working on a practice-based PhD at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. My research interests include the relationship between photography, feminism and thread as well as the process of intervening in the material structure of photography.

June Nelson

Events programme & Venue Liaison (Towner)

I am an artist based in Lewes, having moved there from Wales via London, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. At the time Blue Monkey Network was set-up, I was a member of Brighton’s Maze artists’ group with a studio at Phoenix and didn’t really look eastwards. I have worked front of house at Towner Gallery for many years, occasionally attending BMN talks, but was more often on duty downstairs while the meetings continued upstairs. After moving to a home studio, it eventually occurred to me to become a member and ensure I could join in the activities and enjoy the many fascinating talks. I am also a member of a newly-formed contemporary artists group Nu Artists.


We are proud of our decade-long partnership with Towner Eastbourne, who host our monthly events, and extend our thanks for their continuing support and encouragement.

Many thanks to VOLT for welcoming us into the beautifully remodelled gallery for artist talks and informal exhibition visits. We look forward to seeing what you have in store and working together on future events.

We have been very fortunate to have the generous support of the Emma Mason Gallery during 2022 whilst Towner underwent building works.

The 2022 Back of an Envelope open call and exhibition was a new venture for us, in collaboration with the Edgeland Modern – many thanks for all the hard work, to make it such a success.

Below are some recent events held by the Blue Monkey Network hosted by Towner and Volt.  (Image credits left: Nikki Davidson-Bowman  right: Arpita Shah)

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