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Shakin' windows?: Bexhill on sea, England. An epic centre of contemporary art.

Street art

Visiting Bexhill, a sleepy town on the south coast of England this weekend gone, I began to think the town might be dead. After wandering around for a couple of hours, desperation had set in when I came across a jam biscuit installation pressed on to the glass of a bus stop.

In Shoreditch, a fashionable and arty quarter of London where I work, such an installation would be buzzing with photographers the second it appeared, and there would be a good chance that it would be reported on the national news that evening as the work of an important street artist. Naturally, my chest swelled with pride that I might be able to bring it to the attention of the readers of this blog before anybody else.

I pondered the biscuit installation for sometime wondering who the artist might be, but I could not recognize a discernible style.

Meditating on the conundrum I meandered down to the seashore where, by chance, I came across The De La Warr Pavilion. Originally commissioned by the 9th Earl De La Warr in 1935 and designed by architects Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff, it was the first UK public building built in the modernist style.

Inside an exhibition of work by artist Cerith Wyn Evans was responding to the architecture, whilst contemporary musicians Chris Carter & CoseyFanni Tutti were presenting a live remix of Throbbing Gristle's final album Desertshore. There were also sets by cult British artist Russell Haswell and analogue tape experiments by Napalm Death with vocalist Nicholas Bullen. Between them, they were playing the building in the sense that the intense monotones were vibrating the windows and many other parts of the building.

The house was packed with the youth of the town, and many others besides. I swear in the music I recognised the successor to Stockhousen. In the crowd I recognized eight or nine languages and several more that I was uncertain of.

Bexhill has a soul. De La Warr is where it hangs out!

The pavilion

stair at De La Warr

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