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Panorama of the whole mural. Photograph by Emma Harding

Poetry on the prom

A new mural has arrived on St Leonard’s lower prom by the clock  at the foot of London Road. Artist Jill Rock had the vision for the artwork, and it came into being as the result of a collaboration between local painters and poets from Hastings Writing for Wellbeing. Jill Rock tells us more.

Along with poets Brian Docherty and Carole Segal, I am a member of a writing group run by Felicity Stephen called Hastings Writing for Wellbeing. We regularly create composite poems.

The work was inspired by my daily walk along the prom in all weathers. I realised that the alcoves formed a wave with its inherent structure and curves as it hugged the tideline. I am much in awe of the architectural gems in Hastings and St Leonards including the work of Sydney Little, the concrete king in the thirties who master-minded the construction of the seafront. The alcoves from Goat Ledge to Azure are an architectural gem used by residents and visitors alike.

The original plans for the mural began before the pandemic as part of ATownExploresABook festival in 2020. The lockdowns meant that physical works were delayed, so when Hastings Borough Council (HBC) gave the go-ahead in early August we were keen to start painting as soon as possible. I hope that the mural gives pleasure.

A blast of blue, it reflects the sky, sea and horizon in St Leonards on a sunny day. Many thanks go to artist Emma Harding for her continued support and painting much of the blue and the beautiful seagull; Erica Smith for taking on the scripting of the poem, Denise Brown and Charlie Gumbrell for painting the blues, Andie to Know for prepping and advice on maintenance and the longevity of the mural. Trade Paints in Hastings and The National Lottery provided funding and HBC gave permissions and the go ahead.

Brian Docherty’s words begin the poem.

Writer Carole Segal’s phrase continues the wave.

Artis and writer Jill Rock composed the third line of the poem.

Felicity Stephen, of Hastings Writing for Wellbeing, completes the poem.

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Posted 11:48 Wednesday, Aug 18, 2021 In: Community Arts

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