Ground-breaking project brings fascinating artworks to Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne

De La Warr Pavilion. Photo by Visit England
De La Warr Pavilion. Photo by Visit England

A landmark arts and tourism project is coming to the south east this spring.

Launch dates have been announced for England’s Creative Coast: Waterfronts, a series of art commissions that connect some wonderful arts organisations with the Sussex landscape.

Holly Hendry with Phyllis for the Art Block at Selfridges. Photo by Lewis Ronald (Plastiques Photography). Courtesy of Andrew Meredith

Holly Hendry with Phyllis for the Art Block at Selfridges. Photo by Lewis Ronald (Plastiques Photography). Courtesy of Andrew Meredith

Led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent, this project runs from April to November and involves VisitEngland, Cement Fields, Creative Folkestone, the De La Warr Pavilion, Hastings Contemporary, Metal and Towner Eastbourne.

The seven outdoor pieces, curated by Tamsin Dillon, will each be situated on and made in response to the Essex, Kent and East Sussex coastlines.

The project will also stage the world’s first art GeoTour, which uses geocaching, a GPS-enabled digital treasure hunt technology. Communities from each location can share stories about living in the area and respond to the new artwork in their town, letting visitors interact with the landscape. Local people from each area will work with each partner arts organisation to create new caches (containers hidden in the landscape featuring rewards) that will lead visitors on a ‘Geotour’ of the region.

A spokesperson for the project said: “England’s Creative Coast begins on April 16 with ‘April is the Cruellest Month’ by Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz, together with new geocaches created by local people. The first commission will open on Turner Contemporary’s ninth birthday, marking nine years to the day since the gallery opened in 2011. The project is principally funded by Arts Council England and VisitEngland through the Discover England Fund.

'Demos', 2016, by Andreas Angelidakis. Photo by Stathis Mamalakis

'Demos', 2016, by Andreas Angelidakis. Photo by Stathis Mamalakis

“Over the course of spring and summer in 2020, the England’s Creative Coast trail will be revealed, with each partner arts organisation launching a Waterfronts commission and their part of the GeoTour:

“Saturday, May 23, to Sunday, November 8: De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea presents Holly Hendry: ‘Invertebrate’. Hastings Contemporary presents Andreas Angelidakis: ‘Seawall’.

“Saturday, June 6, to Sunday, November 8: Creative Folkestone presents Pilar Quinteros: ‘Janus’ Fortress Folkestone’. The commission will also be part of Folkestone Triennial 2020.

“Saturday, June 13, to Sunday, November 8: Towner Eastbourne presents Mariana Castillo Deball (title to be confirmed).

Birling Gap. Photo by Chris Parker/Eastbourne BC

Birling Gap. Photo by Chris Parker/Eastbourne BC

“Saturday, July 25, to Sunday, November 8: Cement Fields in Gravesend presents Jasleen Kaur: ‘The first thing I did was to kiss the ground’. Metal in Southend-on-Sea presents Katrina Palmer: ‘Hello’ and ‘Retreat’ The commissions will also be part of Estuary 2020.

“Spanning 1,400km of shoreline from the South Downs to the Thames Estuary, this beautiful and dramatic landscape has inspired artists for centuries. England’s Creative Coast offers visitors the chance to explore seaside towns alive with creativity, the breathtaking coastal landscape, thought-provoking art commissions and geocaches created by the communities that live there in a digital treasure trail.”

Sarah Dance, project director of England’s Creative Coast, said: “England’s Creative Coast is about connections — connecting people to places, artists with the coast, creative organisations with landscape and with each other, and visitors to the history of the people and places on the coast. Ultimately, it is about using the power of partnership to forge human connections: allowing people to explore a place, an artwork, and its community, together.”

About the artists exhibiting in Sussex

Eastbourne Pier

Eastbourne Pier

Hastings Contemporary presents ‘Seawall’ by Andreas Angelidakis: For Waterfronts, Andreas is exploring the encroaching ocean and the ongoing discussion around climate change, coastal erosion and the physical and political impact that this has. He will look at the response to flooding through the invention of sea defence mechanisms.

Towner Eastbourne presents Mariana Castillo Deball: This artist’s ‘kaleidoscopic’ approach combines visual art with archaeology, science and history to make installations, performances, sculptures and text-based pieces. For Waterfronts, Deball will look at the ancient and more recent geological and social history of the area to create new walking routes that link the town with the South Downs.

Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion presents Holly Hendry: Holly makes sculptures and installations that explore ideas around emptiness, edges, flatness and forgeries. For Waterfronts, Holly will investigate the boundary between land and water and the impact on one by the other. Her new work outside the Pavilion will connect with a simultaneous exhibition of her work inside the building.

Visit www.englandscreativecoast.com to find out more about the event.

Detailed information about all of the Waterfronts artworks will be revealed at the launch of England’s Creative Coast at Turner Contemporary on April 16. To register your interest email gair@picklespr.com.

An interview with Baxter Dury ahead of Hastings Fat Tuesday’s launch night. Click here to read more.

Towner Art Gallery. Photo by Phil Burrowes

Towner Art Gallery. Photo by Phil Burrowes

Strange sights at a Hastings music video shoot. Click here to read more.

Anton and Erin dance to Hollywood hits in Eastbourne. Click here to read more.

Jacqui Hicks and Art Themen play Splash Point Jazz Club. Click here to read more.