England's Creative Coast
Discover 7 extraordinary new art commissions by leading contemporary artists in the landscape of Kent, Essex and Sussex.
'April is the cruellest month' by Michael Rakowitz
Part of a series of seven Waterfronts artworks as part of England’s Creative Coast, ‘April is the cruellest month’ introduces a new life-sized statue on Margate seafront, in dialogue with the Surfboat memorial figure of a lifeguard who gazes out to sea and overlooked by the shelter where T.S. Eliot wrote part of ‘The Waste Land’.
'Hello' and 'Retreat' by Katrina Palmer
Both HELLO and RETREAT are centred at Shoeburyness, an outlying area of Southend-on-Sea. Through its two halves Palmer sets up a conversation that explores the contrasting traditions of the English seaside and the relics of Britain’s military, shaped by the currents and tides of political, elemental, emotional and mechanical forces that in turn invoke notions of Englishness.
'The first thing I did was to kiss the ground' by Jasleen Kaur
‘The first thing I did was to kiss the ground’ is a work in two parts: a sculpture and a sound-piece that are located close to one another right on the water’s edge. The sculpture is a large-scale semi-abstract form that features several components and includes a structure that resembles the top of a Sikh head including a top-knot. The work takes its inspiration from the decorative processional ‘Palki’ floats that feature in Sikh celebrations. It represents, Kaur says, “a cognitive space … of these other ways of thinking, these other ways of knowing.”
'Janus Fortress: Folkestone' by Pilar Quinteros
Janus Fortress: Folkestone is a new multifaceted work located on the cliff-top overlooking the town. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, frames and endings, usually depicted with two faces. Quinteros’s sculpture, which likewise presents two faces — one faced inland and the other gazing at the sea — symbolises the duality of borders: of looking outwards while protecting inwards, a dichotomy that the pandemic has made extremely pronounced.
'Seawall' by Andreas Angelidakis
‘Seawall’ is a collection of eight identical structures located in a small public square just outside Hastings Contemporary. The structures are made to resemble concrete accropode blocks that are designed to resist the action of waves on coastal locations. The work is the artist’s response to the gallery’s close proximity to the seafront, referencing the encroaching ocean and coastal erosion due to climate change.
'Invertebrate' by Holly Hendry
‘Invertebrate’ is a giant mixed material form that has wormed its way around the outside of De La Warr Pavilion, stretching from the seafront lawn to the first-floor balcony and the roof; while inside an accompanying exhibition by Hendry titled ‘Indifferent Deep’ shows the after-effects of the invertebrate’s actions, the gallery walls apparently munched and excavated.
'Walking through the town I followed a pattern…' by Mariana Castillo Deball
The artwork draws on both the ancient and more recent geological and social history of Eastbourne and the surrounding area, creating, Castillo Deball explains, “a work that can be experienced as an image, a walking path, or a narrative.”
About England’s Creative Coast
Seaside towns alive with creativity, breathtaking coastal landscape and some of the most thought-provoking contemporary art being produced today – England’s Creative Coast spans 1,400km of shoreline from the South Downs to the Thames Estuary. Seven new site-specific artworks by seven international contemporary artists – Andreas Angelidakis, Mariana Castillo Deball, Holly Hendry, Jasleen Kaur, Katrina Palmer, Pilar Quinteros and Michael Rakowitz – will connect the coastlines of Essex, Kent and East Sussex and the world-class arts organisations in these places.
The Waterfronts series of artworks will be set in the landscape of Margate, Folkestone, Hastings, Bexhill-on-Sea, Eastbourne, Gravesend and Southend-on-Sea.
Taking the border between land and water as their inspiration, each artist will respond to these unique coastal locations, focusing on issues, stories and questions related to the area to offer fresh perspectives on each place.
Turner Contemporary is working with Michael Rakowitz to create an artwork for Margate.
- Turner Contemporary in Margate presents Michael Rakowitz: ‘April is the cruellest month’
- Metal in Southend-on-Sea presents Katrina Palmer: ‘Hello’ and ‘Retreat’
- Cement Fields in Gravesend presents Jasleen Kaur: ‘The first thing I did was to kiss the ground’
- Creative Folkestone presents Pilar Quinteros: ‘Janus’ Fortress: Folkestone’
- Hastings Contemporary presents Andreas Angelidakis: ‘Seawall’
- The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea presents Holly Hendry: ‘Invertebrate’
- Towner Eastbourne presents Mariana Castillo Deball: ‘Walking through the town I followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman’s profile’
England’s Creative Coast encompasses a whole cultural travel experience. Through the world’s first art Geotour, you will be able to game as you move through the landscape, discovering the commissioned artworks, finding hidden gems and stories collecting geocaching rewards and hidden gems along the way.
To plan your trip to see these time-limited artworks you can curate your own journey using the England’s Creative Coast itinerary website and find further cultural adventures across Essex and Medway.
Download the flyer here
Conceived as a project outside of gallery walls, England’s Creative Coast offers a naturally socially-distanced experience that connects people and places across the extraordinary network of arts organisations along the South East coast. We hope that in these troubled times these site-specific art commissions and geocache trail brimming with seaside tales inspire creativity through adventure.
Sarah Dance, Project Director
Where will you visit on England’s Creative Coast? Share your trip #EnglandsCreativeCoast
England’s Creative Coast is led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent (Go to Places) and aims to inspire visitors to the region.
Towner Eastbourne, the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hastings Contemporary, Creative Folkestone, Turner Contemporary in Margate, Cement Fields in Gravesend and Metal in Southend-on-Sea have joined forces for the first time to pioneer this cultural adventure.
The project is principally funded by Arts Council England’s Cultural Destinations programme and Visit England / Visit Britain through the Discover England Fund, supported by South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), East Sussex County Council, Kent County Council, Essex County Council, Visit Essex, Southend Borough Council, Experience West Sussex, Historic Dockyard Chatham and Southeastern and is also in partnership with Pallant House Gallery, Cass Sculpture Foundation and Arundel Castle.