Coastal Currents enters final week across Hastings, St Leonards and beyond

By Ben Miller | 17 September 2012
A photo of a tunnel covered with silver foil walls leading out to what appears a red wall
Marcin Dudek, Exico vol 2© Courtesy Marcin Dudek
Festival: Coastal Currents, various venues, Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea, until September 23 2012

Announcing that Hastings Borough Council would be funding Coastal Currents for the 13th time, the authority’s Lead Member for Regeneration, Peter Chowney, called this seaside visual arts fest “eccentric”, “strange” and blessed with “quality, originality and sheer exuberance”.

A photo of a series of padlock formed in a line against a shadowy grey stone wall
Strange Cargo, Padlocks© Courtesy Strange Cargo
You can see what he means in Artists in Residence Strange Cargo, a public art force involved with Folkestone’s Charivari Day carnival, a Cheriton Library carpet woven with memories, a colloquial history of Croft Castle in Hereford and a public art trail in Boulogne.

For their French expedition, in June, they made a series of five sculptures, a trick they’re repeating in My Heart Belongs to Hastings, a public artwork made from hundreds of decorated padlocks resembling rope-grown mussels or seaweed.

The piece will be unveiled as a permanent feature on the seafront this Sunday, with padlocks decorated during public workshops this week. For those more consumed by artefacts than art, Kate Murdoch’s 10 x 10 project, at the Stade Hall on Saturday, invites people to take one small item and leave another in its place, creating a revolving display of 100 objects.

It’s one of umpteen chances to get stuck in (Laurence Poole’s assemblage of tiny model cars, at Trinity Gallery, is another worth mentioning), and the exhibition side of the programme is equally idiosyncratic, from Indian Miniatures and site-specific residencies to a major new exhibition at Hastings Museum and gothic paintings with a view over Beach Head.

A stupendous array of Open Studios, stretching from West St Leonards to Rye, should also ensure there’s never far to go to find a flourish of creativity.

More pictures:

A photo of a silhouette of a woman against a white curtain on a theatrical floorboard
Anima© Courtesy Karavan Ensemble
A photo of a box with loads of tiny little boxes containing various tiny figures
10 x 10© Courtesy Kate Murdoch
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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