Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Work by Black Winkle Artists and Peter Quinnell

The return of The Time Machine

Mosaic artist Susan Elliott celebrates Mary Poppins: time traveller and afficionado of natty hats

Covid-19 came along just in time to put a damper on St Leonards’ exploration of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine during April. The A Town Explores a Book festival rapidly adjusted to become an online event, but the closure of the shops and restrictions on public open spaces meant that many of the events, exhibitions and shop window displays could not happen at all.

Now that ‘non-essential’ shops are allowed to open again, the festival is gently resuming and visual art is beginning to be installed in Caroline Morris Millinery and Zoom Arts gallery – both near St Leonards Warrior Square station. A magnificent mosaic by artist Susan Elliott celebrating time traveller Mary Poppins is on show in Caroline Morris’ shop window.

Wonderful collage artist Anna Bachéne is one of the Zoom Arts collective whose work is on show next to the station from Monday 22 June.

Zoom Arts gallery to the left of the station will be opening on Monday 22 June with a group show exploring the themes revealed within the pages of The Time Machine.

From Thursday 18 June, artist Susan Miller and the children of Dudley Infant Academy will have their theories about What is Time? on show on the steps leading from the station to London Road.

Over the tracks, the Transition Towns garden on the northside station platform will become the temporary home of art installations by three artists.

Emma Harding worked with over 100 children from Christ Church and St Paul’s Primary Academies, looking at how challenges in their lives help them to learn and grow. The ceramic tiles that the children made tell the stories of their challenges and achievements.

Morokoth Fournier des Corats imagines the fossils of the future

Meanwhile, Morokoth Fournier des Corats leapt forward to the year 802,701 to join H.G. Wells’ Time Traveller as he observed the landscape around him. She wondered what would he discover if he dug into the earth? What type of fossils would he find? Would plastics still exist? And if so, how would they have evolved?

Morokoth said, “These questions inspired me to create an excavation site containing strange unearthed fossils that had formed and evolved since the 20th Century.”

At the top end of the Transition Town gardens, the Black Winkle Arts group worked with Peter Quinnell to examine how clocks regiment the passing of time from the years of their birth onwards. You can see their preparatory work above.

Dawn Dublin looking forward and backwards in time.

Just over the road, you can see work by Alex Brattell and Dawn Dublin on the walls of the Southwater Community Centre. Alex and Dawn asked St Leonards residents to bring in an item that they owned that took them back to another time. They photographed them with their chosen item, and asked them to think of two words – one from their past and one for the future. The photographs are time travel distilled in black and white in their Mind of a Time Traveller installation. You can see more of their work on the PastForward website.

You can continue to time travel by walking up London Road to Teddy Tinkers, where, finally, Isabel and Mark Fisher’s  Time Machine is open for visitors to take control of time. Teddy Tinkers’ emporium is the perfect place to host a time machine, since it is brimming with items from past times.

Because of Covid-19 Mark and Isabel have upgraded their time machine so all parts that you touch are copper – a metal which has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. You can book an appointment to travel forward or backwards in time by calling Kate at Teddy Tinkers on 0751 6268667. The time machine will be cleaned with sanitiser between use by time travellers.

For more information about the festival, visit


Posted 21:59 Wednesday, Jun 17, 2020 In: Arts News

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