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Rebecca Ainscough MA © Rebecca Ainscough MA

Rebecca Ainscough MA © Rebecca Ainscough MA

St Mary in the Castle announce artist in residence

The team at St Mary in the Castle is delighted that Rebecca Ainscough MA is their first Artist in Residence. The exhibition ‘Rhythm, Ritual, Rite of Passage’ will be on show in the Crypt Gallery from 17 May until 18 August.

Rebecca commented: “The drawings, paintings, photographs and film in this exhibition are based upon my experiences living in Italy, Yemen, Turkey, India and West Africa. The images are visual representations of site specific sounds listened to and lived with in each location where they are a natural part of the rhythm of everyday life. The Angelus bell, the Temple chants, the Call to Prayer and the drum.”

“We’re so excited to have Rebecca as our first Artist in Residence”, Lead Curator, Thom Kofoed says. “As soon as we met I knew she was the perfect person to help us relaunch our Crypt Gallery as a dynamic exhibition space.”

Rebecca Ainscough MA © Rebecca Ainscough MA

Rebecca Ainscough MA © Rebecca Ainscough MA

Shared love of St Mary’s

Rebecca will be working in the space in the lead up to the exhibition creating a brand new piece of work that will become part of the St Mary in the Castle permanent collection. Thom explains: “St Mary’s has such a rich and varied history and we’re intrigued to see how Rebecca will translate this in her work. It felt like an excellent opportunity to work with somebody who loves this venue as much as we do, to see how they perceive the building – and the work will be an amazing addition to our new collection.”

Rebecca said:“I’m so excited to get started. I’ll be creating direct visual responses to the sounds I hear and the atmosphere these sounds create in the Crypt Gallery. Through drawing and painting these visual equivalents will document the sounds inhabiting this deconsecrated space, reflecting the contemporary life of this historical building.”

Artist talks and workshops

Rebecca’s new role will include artist talks open to the public in both the Crypt Gallery and the Auditorium, as well as a series of workshops in which attendees will explore how music and sound can be translated into visual art. These can be booked at


Enter through the St Mary in the Castle Café on the promenade to get to the Crypt Gallery. Entry to the exhibition is free.

Coming next: James Bloomfield

Rebecca’s exhibition will be followed by a photographic exhibit by local photographer, James Bloomfield, which will run from mid-September for five weeks. The exhibition will feature works exploring the photographer’s fascination with steps and staircases.

For more information follow @stmaryinthecastle on Instagram and visit

Rebecca Ainscough Poster

About Rebecca Ainscough

Rebecca Ainscough MA is an innovative and highly accomplished Artist and Art educator based in Hastings, East Sussex. Her mixed media works mirror personal experiences and memories relating to specific moments whilst living and working in a variety of different contexts. These include the Thar desert Rajasthan, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka in India; Lake Orta, Turin and Venice. Her practice is based upon the idea that memory is essential to a sense of being; ultimately, memory is inextricably linked to the equally complex question of identity, personal identity and social or cultural identity.

She has experience of teaching a broad age range, including primary, secondary, further and higher education students. She has also been involved in the training and educating of specialist Art and Design teachers. In addition, Rebecca has organised and delivered both practical and theoretical workshops in the UK, Crete, France, Holland, India, Italy, New York and Norway. Her position as Head of Visual Art departments in a variety of contexts during the last twenty-five years, has led her to a deep understanding of the huge benefits and importance creative activity plays in developing an insightful appreciation of the world we live in.

Her experimental, challenging yet sensitive approach to creative work with students enhances not only each individual’s technical and practical skills, but perhaps more importantly, their ability to think creatively, through exciting projects, which promote serious fun. The practical sessions are supported by her comprehensive knowledge of historic and contemporary Art & Design practice.

About St Mary in the Castle

St Mary in the Castle is a grade II* listed former Church built in the Neo-Classical style. It was converted into an arts centre is 1998 after substantial refurbishment by Hastings Borough Council and English Heritage.

The building sits as the centre piece of the delightful Pelham Crescent above the regency Pelham Arcade on Hastings Seafront. The arcade is currently undergoing works to restore it to its original form and now houses the St Mary in the Castle Restaurant. With its restored lantern roof the restaurant is a bright and welcoming space.

Past the restaurant lies the enigmatic and atmospheric Crypt Gallery, now used as one of the most interesting and unusual exhibitions spaces in East Sussex. In April Crypt Gallery relaunched as an exhibition space for local, national and international artists.

The auditorium with its domed roof, box pew gallery, cupola and original stained glass windows is used to stage events ranging from contemporary live music to classical, opera and theatre.

St Mary in the Castle aspires to be one of the most unique arts and music venues on the South Coast, showcasing international and local performers in a range of artistic disciplines whilst maintaining the buildings historical integrity.

IMAGES– Rebecca Ainscough MA © Rebecca Ainscough MA

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Posted 15:53 Thursday, May 16, 2019 In: Arts News

Also in: Arts News

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