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The Doors at The SPACE

The Doors at The SPACE

Humming into doors.

Standing alone in a derelict space in St Leonards is a small, blue building. Like Doctor Who’s Tardis. It’s made of doors. And who knows what goes on behind closed doors? Intrigued, HOT’s Lauris Morgan-Griffiths took a look, opened and closed the doors and spoke to the developer, Bob Humm.

Rob Humm in The Doors Castle Cinema

Bob Humm in The Doors Castle Cinema

Inside are photographs of interiors of a house, somewhat eccentric and peopled with Humm’s art. Humm’s world. He has photographed his house and taken them into a different sphere. He encourages people to investigate and explore the structure, have a play transforming the spaces as doors angle, fold back and intrude into other rooms. Humm explains, “The Doors building interacts with people’s imagination through the many different configurations of the doors and what is to be found inside. Through its changing variety of uses, it could become a fascinating structure to play with or a quiet space for contemplation”.

Humm has a great sense of curiosity and impish fun. His eyes glisten behind his glasses as he tells me how the project originated.

Who doesn’t love a small space? Garden sheds. Beach huts. But this project’s origins came through Humm senior.

“In the early 1970s, my dad started to rent an allotment and the first thing he did was to build a shed. Being a builder (and something of a hoarder) he had a collection of old doors which he used for its construction. As the building progressed it took on some unusual but somehow unidentifiable qualities. I knew all the time that there was something special about this building.”

Bob made a small book of photographs of the building, which he dug out and re-examined in August 2013. “I knew that I had to resolve the project, to put the spirit of the building to rest.” And that is when this took a life of its own.

I ask Humm what he calls himself. An artist? A creator? He thinks about it and agrees with both descriptions. I think he is something of a magician and master of disguise; certainly he has a magical touch. He and his wife, Claire transform themselves for the Jack on the Green Festival, make films and fashion strange objects out of things. They play – much like The Doors.

He also has an alter ego. Bob Garaman, a ventriloquist who he recently resurrected after 40 years. Sadly, I didn’t catch him at the Kino-Teatr but he obviously enjoyed himself and I think Bob Garaman will not be put to sleep for very long before he makes another appearance.



It could be said The Doors is another alter ego. It has had several incarnations – a castle, a power station, a cinema – and now the house, which certainly has  more mileage in it.

On Midsummer’s Day, 24 June 24, rain and wind permitting, the house will be converted into a two-people cinema. A ten minute film created by Claire Humm, Bracken, based on traditons of Midsummer and the magic of bracken and ferns. I ask about editing facilities in Hastings; they smile they do it all themselves on the i-Movie ap. “We don’t really know what we’re doing, but we know what we want. It’s just the two of us.”

What better reason for an exhibition and film: the two of them having fun. And sharing it with us.

Bob and Clare Humm’s website: Hummbug.

The Doors building – At Home can be seen at The SPACE, St Johns Road, St Leonards-on-Sea TN37 6HP. Visible daily from dawn until dusk until the beginning of July through the railings and open by appointment. 

The film, Bracken, will be shown as a free event, weather willing, on Midsummer Night, Saurday 24 June, 14.00-18.00. If rain and wind intervene, an alternative time will be arranged.

For those who want to explore and investigate The Doors building – At Home, please contact the artist on 01424 442076 or 07920 521024 or via email bob@bobhumm.com. For information about The SPACE, please contact 0788 144 1120.

The SPACE is provided courtesy of Network Rail’s Community Scheme, which encourages the temporary use of disused sites.



Posted 07:33 Tuesday, Jun 6, 2017 In: Visual Arts

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