We are opening the Gallery on the 17th July

We are delighted to announce that on Friday the 17th of July we will be launching the 'Opening Exhibition' showing paintings by the three exceptional artists Peter Messer, Andrew Fitchett and Tom Benjamin.

Exhibition: Friday 17th July - Sunday 2rd August
Opening time: Tuesday-Saturday 11.00am - 4pm | Sunday 12noon - 3pm | Closed Monday

Our gallery will comply with government rules and regulations.

Our aim is to make the gallery safe for the artists, the visitors and our staff.

Social distancing is vital so we can only allow two visitors in the gallery at the same time.

The gallery will be cleaned and surfaces disinfected regularly throughout the day.



Mark Munroe-Preston

Weald to Downs

An exploration of the Sussex landscape


13th - 26th July

​To purchase any of the works, send an email to: ​

East Sussex College Lewes

The work of the students in this show represent two things: firstly, the way young people think today, caught in the isolation of lockdown. Secondly, it shows us the expressive visual language of the point each has reached in their journey into a career in Art and Design.

Today, we all know that art makes a difference to how we see the world. We look at art to understand how we live as people. We might go to the National Gallery to understand how society once shaped the world. We look at a show like this one to see how young people explain what is new and different in the world to them now.

At Lewes, students are given the opportunity to learn technical and traditional skills and then challenged to apply those skills to their own work in an original fashion.

On every course in the department, the emphasis is firmly placed on uncovering the individual student's original voice, rather than bringing them to some predetermined and pre-confirmed and confining format: there is no 'house style'.

The college wants its students to learn, explore and to grow by producing highly realised and ambitious work. The Lewes art teaching team wants its students to make work which is the product of the student's own identity. Again, it should be emphasised, there is no house style, there is no single preferred way of approaching a creative problem.

Students are given tools, skills and frameworks that they can use to solve problems, but they must find those solutions for themselves. Students are always supported to be true to themselves and their own creative potential. Skills and techniques are taught, originality is prized.

Giving students opportunities as the work in this exhibition shows, allows those students, much as it does the other visitors to the exhibition, to really get to grips with, and understand the quality of the work produced en route to an excellent course grade.

Getting an A grade in a subject is obviously important, however, producing original and exciting work to a very high level is also vital as a preparation for the future and for students to make sense of the present in order to help them realise their sense of self.

Andrew Williamson, Head of Creative Learning at Lewes College. Lewes College is part of the East Sussex College Group.

Read the Sussex Express feature HERE


Helen Hockin

From the dolls' house

The mystery of small things


27th July-9th August

Helen Hockin has lived and worked in Lewes for over 30 years. She trained in Fine Art at Bath Academy of Art and has been trying to shake off some of that formal training ever since.

In the early 1990s she co-founded the “Oakleaf Exhibition Space” in Lewes with the ceramicist Jo Hall. Helen has exhibited widely in Sussex, in Lewes, Worthing, Brighton and Ashdown Forest, and also in Bath and at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts.

In 2012 Helen was part of “Rites and Sites”, creating the “future archaeology” component of the “Witches 400” commemorative project in Lancashire. This project brought to life the story of the Pendle Witches; other contributors included poet Simon Armitage and writer Jeanette Winterson. A selection of Helen’s artworks from the project are now on permanent display at the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall.

Her materials are varied, from natural and found objects to wax, string and more conventional drawing media. She creates her artwork from her photographs of china dolls, nature, and sculptures she originally made for her “Museum of Curiosity” – an intricate installation developed whilst working at Zu Studios in Lewes. This exhibition is a bringing together of her many artistic fields, this is the first showing of these new artworks that Helen has created over the past four years.


“Much of my artwork is based on nature, the spirit of folk tales and our cultural relationships with our amazing and varied landscape - the deeper, unseen history of its people.”

Marcus Ripley

Strange New Worlds
10 - 23 August

Marcus Ripley is an outsider artist and musician.  With no formal training, he has a unique body of personal experience in the worlds of mixed media, Paintings, bone sculptures, collage, performance and music.


He has exhibited work from the early 90’s; in Lewes as part of the Oakleaf Exhibition Space, the Star Brewery Gallery in 2000 as part of the Millennium Exhibition.  Art-wave shows with Tom Walker, and the joint inaugural exhibition at ‘Io Gallery’, Brighton, with Jenny Martin.


He has had a solo exhibition at Blackheath Halls, London, and joint shows at the University of York, and Worthing Museum and Art Gallery.


This current exhibition features collages made in the last few years.


“I make pictures that take me on conceptual journeys and trips of the imagination. Other worlds for the mind to explore.  An attempt to find truth through confusion.”



Peter Vincent

Town Country Coast

29 June – 12 July

Peter Vincent will be exhibiting in the Gallery in 2021. View Exhibition.

Andrew Whittuck

A Performance

The exhibition 'A Performance' by photographer Andrew Whittuck shows a selection of photographs of Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Mick Jagger, Helen Mirren, Allen Ginsberg amongst others. View exhibition.

“Finding the Thread”

Heather Chamberlain will be exhibiting in the Gallery when we can open. View Exhibition.

Heather Chamberlain

Lindy Dunbar & Joseph Davey

Östersund to Sussex Refigured

Lindy Dunbar and Joseph Davey are two of the artists who will be exhibiting in the Gallery when we can open. View The Online Exhibition

Paul Newland

Land and Memory

Tom Walker

The Wanderer In Doubt Goes West

Tom Walker will be exhibiting in the Gallery. This will be his last exhibition in Lewes. View Tom Walker's Gallery.



Meeting on a Dull Day.jpg
230320 The large Rock, Hope Gap 2019 28c


Interviews with the artists by journalist John May

Tom Benjamin Portrait shot.jpg

John May

Listen to interview with

Andrew Fitchett



This delightful visual arts exhibition space, first established as the Star Gallery in the late 1980s and later known as the Hop Gallery, has a history of hosting exhibitions by local, regional, national and international artists and of showcasing both successful and established artists and up-and-coming talented artists and makers.

​This multifunctional space is ideal for displaying not only traditional and contemporary art and sculpture but also installations and craftwork of various kinds. We aim to stage an exciting diverse programme of exhibitions to suit all tastes and pockets.

Situated in the centre of Lewes, the vibrant county town of East Sussex, the gallery is housed in the renovated 18th century Star Brewery building with its ancient brickwork and massive beams that is occupied by artists, framers, potters, filmmakers and many others.

The gallery is also a short walking distance from a wide range of Lewes’ other attractions which include the Norman castle and an interesting array of atmospheric coffee shops, pubs and restaurants as well as bookshops, antique markets and unique independent shops.

Our feature in the Sussex Express.

Read our feature in the Argus HERE


​'The Star Brewery Gallery has been at the centre of the art life of Lewes since its inception as the Star Gallery in the late 1980s.  Over the ensuing years, under changing management and name, it has shown a huge range of artists and craftspeople including Paula Rego, Sir Hugh Casson, Christopher Le Brun and John Skelton to name just a few. I have consistently exhibited at the Star since its earliest days and have never found it to be less than an enjoyable and rewarding experience. 


Neeta Pedersen worked there for five years as assistant to Gallery Owner, Curator and Director Angie Osborne under its spell as the Hop Gallery. I feel she really understood the Gallery’s ambitious attitude to the arts without losing sight of its place at the heart of the extensive local arts community. I, and many others, were very heartened to hear that she was taking over after a short period when, under other management, it had diverged from this and had become lost to view for many of us. I feel she has all the right capacities to make the gallery a great success. In addition to her five years practical experience in the space, she is a respected and successful artist in her own right and a well known and popular member of the community.


Due to the current unprecedented health emergency, the timing of Neeta’s takeover could not have been worse but she is attracting enormous goodwill from artists and supporters.  The general feeling is that if anyone has the character, resilience and will to bring the Gallery successfully back to the centre of Lewes cultural life, it is Neeta.'



'We were very disappointed when only a week away from the opening night, we realised the coronavirus crisis meant we would have to postpone the launch exhibition of The Star Brewery Gallery. To our amazement, Neeta refused to give in and within days, pulled together a very presentable online Star Brewery Gallery, worked out a social media campaign and launched the whole thing online and on time. The online Star Brewery Gallery has given me great publicity and healthy sales beyond my expectations. Neeta really has taken very good care of us and I feel very lucky to be represented by such a dynamic gallery.'



I was approached by Neeta last year to see if I would be interested in exhibiting in the opening exhibition of the Star Brewery Gallery along with Andrew Fitchett and Peter Messer. It wasn’t a difficult decision. Although we haven't exhibited together for some time we have had a series of shows together in the past and I admire their work and I thought it would interesting to do it again. I also have a long history with the gallery and had some of my first solo shows when Pat and Mike Cooper ran it. I have always liked the character of the space, its beautifully lit and you can get surprisingly large amount of work on the walls. I also had a joint show of mine and my late father's paintings, which was a special occasion for me as we never had the chance to exhibit together in his lifetime and it attracted a lot of interest. 

It’s been a pleasure working with Neeta, we have had to be light on our feet as we've tried to keep pace with the rapidly changing restrictions imposed by the crisis. Neeta quickly thought of making the show an online event and we've combined in depth interviews, short films and images of the work to give people as rich an experience as possible. The response to the show has been tremendous and we are all committed to putting on a physical show in the gallery when we are on the other side of this challenging time. 


“My aim as Director of the new Star Brewery Gallery is to revitalise its reputation as being one of the significant and prestigious visual arts venues in the South East by putting on a wide diversity of stimulating and interesting solo or group shows. Thematic shows by guest curators will also feature as part of our creative offering.

​Our Selection Panel will help me assess a broad range of work in many mediums - painting, illustration, art installations, photography, sculpture and crafts – and choose what we feel is most suited to our exhibition premises.

​I want visitors to the new gallery to feel welcomed into this warm and beautiful aesthetic space.”

Neeta Pedersen

Gallery Director


Stewart J Dalby | Sandra Banks | Andy Banks | Edward Mawby

Neeta Pedersen, who is an artist in her own right, has a special relationship to this artistic space having worked there for almost five years as gallery assistant to the then Gallery Owner, Curator and Director Angie Osborne when is was known as Hop Gallery.

Neeta is a multimedia artist with a distinctive style that comes from her unusual heritage, her extensive travels and her rich visual imagination. She has expressed herself in paintings, sculptures, digital art, illustration and animation. Her work, which ranges from the highly decorative and romantic to the stark and explicit, has gained her an international reputation.

Born in Mumbai to unknown parents, she was adopted at the age of six months by a Danish couple from Aarhus. After her primary and secondary schooling in Denmark, she left home at 17 to travel to Israel and then subsequently travelled to India and Nepal for six months to absorb and observe the culture she came from. She has also visited France, Germany, Central Europe and Scandinavia.

​In 1997, she moved to Lewes to study at Brighton College of Technology, where she gained a BTEC National Diploma in Multimedia. In 1999, she moved to the US to enrol in the Total Immersion Intensive Workshop at the New York Film Academy and, in 2005, gained a BA (Hons) in Animation from the University of Westminster in London.


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ADDRESS: Star Brewery Gallery, Star Brewery, Castle Ditch Lane, (off Fisher Street) Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1YJ



All submission or gallery hire inquiries must be done by email.

Find Us


There is a direct train from London Victoria to Lewes and bus services from Brighton to Lewes. Catch the bus No 28 or 29 which takes you to Lewes High Street. Get off at the Lewes Crown Court and walk down Fisher Street where you will see the Star Brewery building on your left.  There are two different entrances to the gallery.


The Star Brewery Gallery does not have designated parking. There are car parking facilities within the town which allows all-day parking, payment by the meter.

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