Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Rachel Williams in Gary Willis TV installation

Rachel Williams in Gary Willis TV installation

John Logie Baird and the Invention of Television inspires a new generation of artists

Artists inspired by John Logie Baird the Hastings-based inventor who was working on ‘seeing by wireless’ one hundred years ago exhibit at the Electro Studios Project Space for the Spirit of Invention festival. Chris Simpson came down from London to co-curate the show with  Jude Montague who talks about the preparations for the festival show and talking to BBC South East Television about the inventor of television.

‘Our Lady of the Falling Rainbow’ work-in-progress by Sinéid Codd

The Spirit of Invention is a series of events celebrating the work of John Logie Baird and his compulsive work in inventing.  The first of these showcases the work of between twenty and thirty artists and their original work. The ideas of invention and art are intertwined in my head. I was always seduced by the old-fashioned art school in which people developed their own original style and work in the community of their peers. Logie Baird was an independent inventor and did not have the support of an institution to help him realise his dreams. This is something that has influenced my ambitions and was behind my thinking in curating this show.

Sarah Milne - bags and purses inspired by Clarice Cliff

Sarah Milne – bags and purses inspired by Clarice Cliff

Chris Simpson, my co-curator and I, have worked together for many years in Atina in Italy, running residencies for artists to explore their potential and connect with a rural town in the highlands of east Lazio. Chris and Maria Teresa Gavazzi, a fellow artist and native Italian speaker, coined the name Passeggiatina to describe a philosophy which related the passing of time to the creation of art, a corruption of passeggiata, the Italian word for taking a leisurely stroll around. This year Theresa Caruana who founded and runs the St Leonard’s Art School has taken on the organisation of this residency.

Having worked together so closely, Chris and I are enjoying working together again on the Spirit of Invention festival one more time and we find it very natural, and can bring together philosophy, friendship and encourage making and exploring work in the context of opportunities for exhibition.

Many artists who took part have great skills in installing their own work. Sinéid Codd hung a piece from the ceiling we informally called ‘Our lady of the falling rainbow’. She created an intriguing piece that resonated with ideas of bird life with an aesthetic that shows an interest and appreciation of jewellery. The figure in the filigree shell seems to be a madonna. Plastic colourful rods poke through the shape and hang on each side. It is an original construction and forms a kind of sunshine shape that evokes chandeliers and glass beads. I love the way she works intuitively, and her playful incorporation of materials.

Chris Simpson (co-curator) and Colin Booth (director-manager of Electro Studios Project Space)

Rachel Williams is an expert printmaker and has created a take on her well-sewn wall-hangings that brings in elements of electronics, embroidering cables onto her tapestries. It is an image-making process that has come from her long hours in the printworkshop, developing her practice day in and day out, making pieces that riff off her interest in museum objects. Her work is stable yet evolving into new painted works and new sewn tapestries while it has at its heart the in-depth practice of a curious monoprinter.

Jude Montague on BBC South East talking about Logie Baird and the Spirit of Invention – next to Duncan Reekie’s Chronovision

The final artist whose piece I would like to talk about here is Duncan Reekie whose work featured on the BBC South East Television news on 9th May 6.30pm. His ‘Chronovision’ piece creates a cinematic narrative drawing on the concept of the multiverse. The casing holds a film which is a message from the future, a warning not to activate the machinery that will spark a dystopian world. His work uses the idea of transmission that drove Logie Baird and is perhaps the piece that most closely embodies the spirit of the idea that Baird was actualising in his television invention.

Duncan Reekie is a founding force of Exploding Cinema, a showcase project to share films made by multiple filmmakers which is egalitarian and democratic. He has settled in Hastings and local makers are able to enjoy taking part in their events as makers, participants and audience members.

Spirit of Invention runs at the Electro Studios Project Space in West St Leonard’s-on-Sea Fri 10 May 6pm-8pm, Sat 11 May and Sun 12 May 12noon-4pm




If you’re enjoying HOT and would like us to continue providing fair and balanced reporting on local matters please consider making a donation. Click here to open our PayPal donation link. Thank you for your continued support!

Posted 12:50 Friday, May 10, 2024 In: Visual Arts

Also in: Visual Arts

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us


    Get our regular digest emails

  • Subscribe to HOT