Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper


Art Station to Art Station…

Even after Coastal Currents, it is impossible to escape from art in this town… Last Thursday saw the opening of the second photography show at Hastings Station by a group of artists known collectively as ‘EDGE’. And this weekend, the forecourt of St Leonards Warrior Square station will become the arena for a very slow race by life-size garden gnomes, whilst the ‘SPACE’ next door will be the temporary home for installations by a group of Belgian artists. HOT’s Erica Smith sees her home town through alien eyes.

La-Cambre-students-007Look at the aerial photograph of St Leonards above… makes sense does it? Then look at it again. Brussels’ La Cambre art school has settled itself firmly into the heart of St Leonards like a spaceship, and its students have come to explore our town and will create installations based on their findings at Electro Studios in Seaside Road and the SPACE in St John’s Road. Their tutor, Johan Muyle had an exhibition in St Leonards last year (read the HOT article about his installation at St Benedict’s B&B). He liked the ambience of the town so much that he decided it would be the perfect environment for his students to explore the theme of ‘There is no place like home’.

Throughout this week, the students will be finding elements to work with and combining them to create individual and collaborative sculptures. The photographs on the left show some of the students working together in their temporary workshop space at Electro Studios. (Photographs courtesy of Christine Gist).




SlowRaces_RGBoptTo complement the student show, SPACE co-ordinator, Christine Gist, has commissioned an intervention project by performance artist Claudia Kappenberg. Kappenburg lives locally and works at the University of Brighton. Her Slow Races performance piece with dancers dressed as garden gnomes was last seen locally at the De La Warr Pavilion. It will be intriguing to watch the reaction and interaction of St Leonards’ residents with these surreal dawdlers.

LinePosterMeanwhile, five Hastings-based photographers have been exploring their hometown and beyond, and have their artworks on display at Hastings station. Grace Lau has embellished the bridge between platforms with a series of close-up studies of surfaces. The usual unremarkable view  down on to the platforms has been interupted by panels of stained glass, peeling wood and bubbly painted surfaces. These superficial details are part of our every day existence in Hastings, but seeing them reproduced in two dimensions and out of context gives them a new life. I couldn’t help wanting to touch the images – only to be surprised by their lack of texture.

Speaking of touching the artwork… last time the artists displayed their work at Hastings station, somebody peeled off and took home not one but two artworks by photographer Lucinda Wells. This year she tempts the viewer with three delectable images of the sea at night. A slow shutter speeed highlights little fishing boats on the horizon with trails of blue and red light. Wells’ artworks share the waiting room on the ‘Brighton-bound’ platform with images of Amelia Earhart, that Nicole Zaaroura has chosen from recently discovered film footage. The three portraits of Earhart in the cockpit of her plane explore the line of gaze between the observer and the subject, and the simultaneous outward and inward expression of Earhart – engaging with the press and public whilst mentally focussing on her imminent (and last) journey.

© Roz Cran

© Roz Cran

© Lauris Morgan-Griffiths

© Lauris Morgan-Griffiths

The waiting room on the ‘Charing Cross’ side of the station is shared by Lauris Morgan -Griffiths and Roz Cran. Cran continues to be fascinated with the natural world – this time presenting macro photographs of a wall. Twig-thin shadows cross the warm yellow strata of eroded sandstone bricks. This sunny triptych of portrait-format shots celebrating detail are the perfect complement to Morgan-Griffiths’ landscape images of the St Leonards seafront at night. The shadows of the promenade railings on the sodium-lit beach and the dark horizon beyond is wonderful to sit and gaze upon, whilst a lit-up train whizzes past in a blur of orange and yellow livery.

This exhibition lured me into the station waiting rooms for the first time, and made me think about the internal environment of the station as well as life beyond the tracks. This is a thoughtful show, full of unexpected contrast. It’s worth missing a train for!

‘Line’ is at Hastings Station until 31 October.
‘There is no place like home’ previews at Electro Studios on Friday 9 October 6.30–9pm and is open on Saturday 10 October from 2–5pm.
The SPACE in St Johns Road will be open from 2–4pm on Saturday 10 October.
Slow Races will run from 2–5pm on Saturday 10 October in and around the forecourt of St Leonards Warrior Square Station.

For more information visit and

Posted 09:30 Tuesday, Oct 6, 2015 In: Arts News

Also in: Arts News

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