The De La Warr Pavilion is closed

18 March 2020

A letter from Stewart Drew, Director & CEO



It is with real sadness that we are writing to advise you that the De La Warr Pavilion will be closed to the public from now until further notice, due to the coronavirus situation.

We are devastated at having to make this decision but the safety of our visitors and staff are, and always have been, our priority. This is, of course, in line with the government announcements this week.

We have spent the last few weeks putting everything in place so that we can best protect the organisation and ensure that we can re-open at the right time.

As a building established in 1935 on the principle of “healthy mind and healthy body” (indeed we were funded by the Ministry of Health at that time), we feel a keen responsibility to our community and audiences to support you in these challenging times.

But we need your support too. As a charity (no.1065586), our business model is a mix of public funding, fundraising and a commercial income which depends on footfall. We are not for profit, with all income re-invested in programmes for the benefit of the public, our community.

If you have ever browsed our exhibitions, seen a gig, created your own artwork, participated in a workshop, danced on the terrace, performed on our stage, got married at the Pavilion, watched our outdoor screenings, had a cup of coffee or brought your family to visit, we ask you to continue to support this unique building and help protect its future.

You can do this by:

The Pavilion importantly supports many artists, musicians, creatives, local businesses (bars, restaurants and B&Bs), regional tourism and importantly, employs many local people.

Many of us will be working online and we will keep in touch through social media, emails and through our website All our contact details can be found here.

Thank you so much for your support, and please keep yourself safe in these extraordinary times.

Stewart Drew
Director & CEO


Things you need to know:

Read our statement on the coronavirus situation here.

Live events

We are trying to reschedule our live shows and our Box Office is open online and on the phone. These will be announced one by one as they come through. We will be contacting you directly if you have bought tickets for a rescheduled or cancelled event, and we would appreciate your help by avoiding contacting us so we can get through this as quickly as possible. We will aim to respond where possible within 14 days.


Films about our exhibitions Zadie Xa: Child of Magohalmi and the Echoes of Creation and Marc Bauer: Mal Ȇtre/Performance can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Community events

Our community events, talks and tours and South East Creative events are no longer going ahead. We will update each event page when we have news of re-scheduling or how we might take a digital approach.

Musical Matinee Club: Brigadoon

Brigadoon was the last screening in the current Musical Matinee Club season, and we went out with a bang!

We dived fully into the Scottish theme for this ‘Everybody-Friendly’ screening of Brigadoon, kitting audience members out in tartan sashes. They looked fantastic! For a sensory treat, we added a little lavender to our mini heather bouquets to wear as “boutonnieres”. The whole auditorium smelt wonderful, especially when we waved them!

Every audience member also had some comical deer antlers made from modelling balloons, which we pointed to every time any of the actors in the film used the word “dearie”, and especially during a song called Waiting For My Dearie.

We held orange napkins aloft when they sang Down On MacConnacy Square, we waved them to replicate Cyd Charise’s underskirt as she danced, and scrunched them up to create “flame torches” during the search scene.

There are some wonderful song and dance numbers during this film, but by a long stretch, the best dancing I witnessed was during our dance break – we danced to Donald Where’s Your Troosers and Shang a Lang in keeping with the Scottish theme. We had an absolute blast!

Roll on the next season!

Artist Opportunity – Art & Aphasia: Enjoying Better Conversations

We are seeking an inspiring artist with experience in developing participatory and socially engaged art projects, working collaboratively and enabling the ideas and learning of others.

The artist will work as part of a design group consisting of UCL researchers, a speech and language therapist, DLWP Head of Learning & Participation and four people with aphasia, to

  • Attend 7 planning and review meetings
  • Co-design the creative aspect of the 6 week course
  • Facilitate the creative aspect of the 6 week course (the speech and language therapist will deliver the communication training aspects of the course)
  • Contribute to conversations about how best to capture benefits to participants and evaluate the project.

The 6 week course will be delivered at DLWP, in dialogue with the exhibitions programme, with approximately 10 participants in August-September 2020 and repeat in November-December 2020 with a new cohort.

Project dates: April 2020 – February 2021

Artist Fee and materials: £2,500

Additional budget: £200 for travel expenses (the opportunity is open to artists living in East Sussex and Brighton)

Application deadline: Monday 6 April, 12 noon

Click here to download the full information on PDF

Application Procedure

This opportunity is open to artists living in East Sussex and Brighton. It is funded through University College London’s Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Fund.
Your application should include two elements:

  1. A single PDF containing:
    – 400 word statement outlining why you are applying for this role and your approach to the project
    – One page CV, including two referees
    – 6 images and concise descriptions of two recent and relevant projects
  2. A 2 minute talking head film (.mov or .mp4 file) outlining your approach to the project – this will be viewed by people with aphasia as part of the shortlisting process

Please submit your pdf file (title: your name) and 2 min film (title: your name) via WeTransfer to, with the subject line: Art & Aphasia Artist Opportunity.

Deadline: Monday 6 April, 12 noon.

Informal interviews will be held on Thursday 21 April, at the DLWP, with the project commencing soon after. The interview panel will include people with aphasia


The selection of the successful applicant will be based on the following criteria:

  • Quality and clarity of the film and statement outlining their approach
  • Experience of working collaboratively and enabling the ideas and learning of others
  • Match with essential skills and qualities

About Aphasia

Aphasia is a communication disorder that affects a person’s ability to understand speech, speak, read, write and use numbers. It can happen after a stroke or following a brain injury and approximately 900 people a year newly acquire aphasia in the Rother District. People with aphasia continue to live with profound communication difficulties for years; some may improve but there is no cure. While most people receive a short block of aphasia rehabilitation with a speech and language therapist, local services have had their funding halved in the last year and there is limited specialist communication support once people return home, placing them at great risk of social isolation and depression. For personal reflections from people living with aphasia follow these links:

YouTube: The FencePainter
Youtube: What is Aphasia?

Explosions In The Sky – Live Review

Behind a curtain of bright lights stand Explosions in the Sky as the crowed cheer in anticipation for the first note to touch the auditorium of the De La Warr Pavilion. The Texas-based group have travelled to Bexhill for their 20th anniversary tour in which they want to showcase their life’s work to the hundreds of eager listeners here in the hub of music and arts of East Sussex. For the most part of their career they have made their music as a quartet of three guitars and a drummer but as of late have brought along another guitarist who seals their rich southern tones with his bass guitar and they now tour as a five-strong group.

Performing as their name entails, Explosions in the Sky brought their energy of their home with their beautiful story-telling sound; Mark Smith’s guitar leads the melody with Manuf Rayani and Michael James whilst Chris Hrasky on drums carries it into a passionate and rhythmic wave. Multi-instrumentalist Rayani slaps his strings to pull out an engaging and unique sound from his amp at the beginning of The Only Moment We Are Alone, as the crowd were hooked by the winding warmth of the melody, Rayani gathers a snare drum from the side of the stage as the build-up ceases and fills the auditorium as the chorus erupts with an atmosphere that would make the crowd forget the cold weather.

Explosions In The Sky’s undeniable characteristic is the band’s connection, they play and move as one wave of drama and vehemence of instrumentation – with no lyrics to mark as a cue they seamlessly change rhythmic patterns, they burst into chorus without having to give each other a musical-nod like other bands would, they seem to interlink with each other through the motions of their music.

By Henry Hill
Music Journalism student at BIMM

See all the pictures from the show on our Facebook Album.

Want more live music at DLWP? See What’s On here.

Image by Sarah Bownas.

Play Circle at DLWP – Monday 10 February

This month’s Play Circle explored themes of travelling, fluidity, movement, connection and care, inspired by Grandmother Mago, orcas and mass migration over water, relating to the Zadie Xa and Marc Bauer exhibitions.

I’m fascinated with how we first engage with the world through our bodies. It’s how we understand ourselves, meet others, ignite our curiosity and discover new possibilities. Through these sensory connections we meet and interact with others. And play together…

And, that’s exactly how the journey of this month’s Play Circle unfolded…
We started with tending to the detail of our fingers and toes, noticing and expanding, hiding and bursting into the space. We turned upside-down, connected with others in our funny inverted states and travelled around each other, acknowledging and responding to blasts of movement and tentative curiosities, stopping and starting, watching, moving independently and with others.

We moved together with cloth of different textures and marine shades, navigating Grandma Penguin through the sea and reuniting her with Baby Penguin who had been left behind, each child insisting on a cuddle with the penguin family once their watery world explorations were over, sharing in a sense of reassurance and relief.

A large collection of new friends appeared (in the form of soft toys…), with each child and their family group confidently guiding them through their physical and imagined worlds with purpose and care. …sometimes ‘flying’ high, other times cradled or riding on the child’s back, eventually finding a resting place together wrapped in a brightly coloured blanket – and stillness to sleep…

When we interact with ideas and concepts our physical responses emerge quicker than our cognitive brain can acknowledge them, revealing emotional feelings and physical sensations which then become our own in-the-moment story: the story of me, now.

By Anne Colvin

See information about upcoming Play Circle dates here.

Image by Rob Harris

Musical Matinee Club: High Society

The week before Valentine’s Day, 100 or so of us gathered together to watch the romantic musical comedy “High Society”. This was a Musical Matinee Club screening, which means each audience member received a goody bag filled with fun things to do during the film and was actively encouraged to sing-a-long and dance in the aisles!

It was a glamorous affair – we each wore a brilliant bow tie, and a frill in our hair.
We waved paper doilies and balloon flowers throughout the film and popped party poppers just as Frank Sinatra kissed Grace Kelly on screen! We joined in with Louis Armstrong’s performances forming an orchestra of jazz musicians (using our paper cup trumpets), and when Frank Sinatra asked “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”, we held up signs reading “I DON’T!”.

We sang out loud, we danced throughout. The audience enjoyed the dance break mid-film so much, that they demanded we play another song so they could keep dancing!

We have an amazing team of volunteers who help make props and load the goody bags ahead of the film, and they make the whole thing run wonderfully smoothly. A massive round of applause to them!

We have one more screening to look forward to in this season.
Brigadoon on Thursday 12th March 2pm – hope to see you there!

By Suzy Harvey

Musical Matinee Club relaxed screenings are specifically designed for people who may benefit from a more informal environment, specifically those living with dementia and/or disabilities.

Image by Ron Wood
Image by Ron Wood
Image by Ron Wood
Image by Ron Wood
Image by Ron Wood
Image by Ron Wood

Creative Industries Success Stories – AYM

Womenswear label AYM is on trend for global growth, catching the attention of celebrities as influential as the Kardashians.

AYM (All Your Moments) is a fashion studio aiming to create clothing that is unique, bold and minimal. Creating basic pieces that can be moulded into the style of the woman wearing them. The studio was founded by Central Saint Martins’ graduate Alie Mackintosh with the aim to create pieces that allow women to feel confident, vivacious and contemporary.

Alie’s fashion business has the ability to pick up on what young fashion-conscious women around the world want to wear next weekend. From the moment Alie spots a trend on social media, her operation in Lewes has the ability to create a dress within a week – then ship it overnight to New York.

The Journey
Originally, Mackintosh started off making dresses for herself when she was studying product design at St Martins. After lots of positive comments, she set up her own label, Boom Boom The Label, six months after leaving in 2013.  The recent re-brand to ‘AYM’ marks an exciting stage in the company’s strategic plans to grow the agile fashion company to further heights. The bold new brand image under the name of ‘AYM’ has added fuel to the fire for this already fast-growing brand.

Handmade in East Sussex

AYM sales are now £1m. Next year the target is £1.5m and £2m the year after.  Ultimately, Mackintosh, who has just turned 27, is looking to open stores in London, New York, Los Angeles and Sydney, giving her customers the chance to feel her stretchy fabrics and try-on her figure-hugging double-layered dresses for themselves. Sales are up 47% compared to last year with over 287K Instagram followers worldwide and growing.

The Amack Group brand is based on selling high-quality garments all handmade in England using specialist techniques. The products are designed to have a supportive and figure flattering fit through a unique production technique that sculpts the body with double layered fabric.

With daring designs and statement styles, AYM is not for the fainthearted. It creates clothing for those who want to stand out.

Celebrity client base
Some of the biggest names in reality TV are already fans. When the Kardashians were opening their Dash store, Kim contacted Mackintosh direct through social media to make an order. ‘It felt a bit bonkers really,’ she recalls. ‘It was three years ago, just after we were getting started. If you are putting out the right content on social media and connecting to your customers, you have no barriers to your growth and to your reach. Even so, it was a real pinch-me moment when the message from Kim arrived, as she has access to so many other labels.’

Currently, Alie has a team of 14, bringing a full set of fashion skill together under one roof: designers, machinists, publicists, distributors and customer care. ‘Then we can bring in specialists when we need them. From London, graphic designers and marketing agencies, photographers and models, can just hop on a train. It is only a short ride.’

The other advantage of everyone working closely together is that they can learn quickly and innovate fast. Mackintosh is just developing an idea for high viz leggings that will light up and make you stand out when you are in a club. Her production co-ordinator and her pattern cutter are working with her to check out how practical the idea is.

‘Many businesses don’t realise what is available, as well as funding, you can access support from consultants, coaches and mentors.’ Alie Mackintosh, CEO of Amack Group

Her next priority is launching a second brand, Silho. ‘We found that we had two distinct customer groups. AYM is for trend-led 16-25 year-olds who go out partying every weekend and who are into body contouring.’ ‘Then we had another set of customers who order from us because we are made to order and we are based-in England. We can make dresses to last a lifetime in anyone’s size, whether they are 16 or 60.’ ‘It is slower fashion at a higher price point of £200 to £300. We are only expecting it to make up 10% to 20% of sales initially, although it will even out over time. We might ultimately divide into two teams depending on how the two brands evolve.

Supporting its growth plans for the AYM brand, Amack Group have invested in securing an agile supply chain system. The company has an in-house design team, production and manufacturing facilities, all based in Lewes. All garments are handmade in their studio and shipped to customers worldwide directly from its distribution warehouse.

An initial start-up loan for £8000 came through Locate East Sussex to buy machinery and set up the infrastructure of the company. Alie is now applying for a follow-up loan of £15,000 to invest in assets for growth. Through Locate East Sussex, she was also awarded a grant for £10,000 to fit out her studio.

by Beth King, Locate East Sussex

Photo: AYM ,
Image by Caitlin Lock

Exhibitions Programme 2020

See what’s coming to our galleries in Spring, Summer and Autumn 2020…

From February 1

Zadie Xa’s Child of Magohalmi and the Echoes of Creation is a major new project conceived by Xa in collaboration with artist Benito Major Vellejo. At its centre is an origin story inspired by Korean creation myths, particularly Grandmother Mago (Magohalmi) who created the land, and whose granddaughters are said to be the first shamans. Highlighting the value and historic erasure of knowledge passed between womxn, the artist weaves Mago’s narrative together with that of Granny, a 105-year-old orca dolphin who ensured the survival of generations within her endangered pod.

Marc Bauer’s Mal Ȇtre / Performance presents a new series of drawings that explore depictions of people in boats throughout history, from 15th-century Catholic ex-voto paintings to contemporary media images of Aquarius, the boat that rescued migrants from the Mediterranean sea in 2018. Bauer’s project brings the past into the present, looking at migration and sea-travel as a fundamental aspect of the human condition.

From May 23

Holly Hendry’s exhibition is presented alongside a major new outdoor commission by the artist, realised in partnership with England’s Creative Coast as part of Waterfronts, a new series of commissions connecting the South East coast. Emphasising the Pavilion’s proximity to the coastline and its resulting vulnerability, Hendry’s presentation breaks down the boundaries between inside and outside, dissolving the Pavilion into its surroundings.

Rock Against Racism (1976-82) was a grass-roots movement that fought racism and the rise of the National Front in the UK through music and culture, underpinned by the belief that racism in the UK is a result of its colonial past. Hundreds of bands played RAR gigs, and their carnivals often began with anti-fascist marches. This exhibition, which includes posters, photography, sound and ephemera, presents RAR within the socio-political context of the time and highlights its contribution to feminist and LGBTQI+ struggles.

From September 19

Spanning both of the De La Warr Pavilion’s galleries, Zineb Sedira’s solo exhibition will be her first in a UK public gallery since 2009. Through photography, moving image and sculpture, her work manifests an on-going investigation into concepts of modernism, modernity and its manifestations, often paying particular attention to conditions of transnational trade and migrant consciousness. This exhibition brings together works within which the industrial debris of the naval world and the sea are recurring motifs.

Our exhibitions are accompanied by Learning and Participation activities for all ages.

Join our mailing list to receive information on events related to our exhibition programme when they are announced.


Zadie Xa’s Child of Magohalmi and the Echoes of Creation is co-commissioned by Art Night, London, Tramway, Glasgow, Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, and De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea.

Mal Ȇtre / Performance by Marc Bauer is a collaboration between Drawing Room, London and De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea.

Holly Hendry’s new outdoor commission is part of England’s Creative Coast, led by Turner Contemporary, Margate, and Visit Kent.

arts council englandRother District Council

Play circle at DLWP – Monday 9 December

Storyteller Kevin Graal talks about Play Circle – our new series of monthly creative sessions for toddlers.

The idea of transforming one thing into an imaginary other thing – the essence of ‘let’s pretend’ – is central to the play-world of very young children. In this month’s Play Circle we played with the idea of transformation as embodied in artist Renee So’s textile and ceramic works, and in particular Woven Past (2019) – her wall-hanging made out of recycled woollen jumpers.

First we played with a range of brightly coloured fabrics – turning them into imaginary coats, jackets, scarves, shawls and hats. Then a rectangular piece of cloth became a bed and we played a sleeping/waking game in which ‘the sleeper’ is woken – over and over again – when everybody calls out, ‘Wake up!’ (‘Again’ is one of the first words most children learn to say. Their thirst for repetition is insatiable!) After this I told The Tailor’s Tale – a shaggy dog-type folktale about a tailor who made a coat which eventually wore out so he turned it into a jacket. And then a waistcoat. And then a hat. And then a bow-tie. And then a button. In the end, even the button wore out so the tailor turned it into … a TALE – the tale that’s just been told! What appealed to the children was not the witty story-ending – its punchline was pitched at the adults present – but the rhythmic and interactive cutting, stitching, sewing and weaving as the tailor transformed each item of clothing. These essential elements of the child’s play-world – transformation, repetition, rhythm, interaction – are at the heart of a child’s cognitive and emotional development. And they are at the heart of Play Circle too.

More than 2000 years ago the Roman poet Ovid said:
“In our play we reveal what kind of people we are.”
But perhaps what the poet really meant to say was:
“In our play we DISCOVER what kind of people we are.”

Play Circle takes place on the 2nd Monday of every month with a session at 10.15am for members of the general public

Book your spot at an upcoming Play Circle session by clicking here.

Sessions will be facilitated either by storyteller Kevin Graal or dance artist Anne Colvin together with experienced DLWP volunteers.

South East Creatives: The Success Stories – Holograph

Challenging the conventional and re-defining the possible

Tucked behind a shop front in Hastings town centre, the team of ‘digital explorers’ at Holograph are shaping the future of how we interact with technology.

Holograph combine advanced technology with insights into human psychology to develop ground-breaking products, systems and platforms in fields ranging from real-time analytics and eCommerce to AI and Robotics. ‘Problem solving,’ is how CEO Marc Woodhead describes the business.

The Journey

Marc is the driver behind Holograph. His passion for the creative and the digital – influenced by his French artist mother and computing-expert father – emerged at an early age and spurred him into becoming a digital artist and embarking on a career as a digital architect at Hastings-based design and marketing company Brooker & How. Hastings was one of the first five places in the UK to get ADSL broadband creating a unique opportunity for Brooker & How to venture into new-media 19 years ago. Then, twelve years ago, Marc, with the support of long-standing  colleague, engineer and software developer, Ben Clayton, decided to strike out on his own.

Holograph has grown by reputation, moving from developing websites and eCommerce systems into Machine Learning (A.I.), Robotics and Wearable technology. The company’s expansion  has been helped by the area’s legacy as a hotbed for businesses working in the defence and aeronautics sector and attracted a pool of some of the very best mathematicians, software engineers, physicists and developers in the country.

Holograph now has 30 staff, a turnover of £2m and a world-class client list including Ribena, Lucozade, Britvic, Mars Petcare, the NHS and global shipping organisation, the Baltic Exchange. FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) projects include generating easy-to-use on-package coding to help increase engagement with consumers. And for the Baltic Exchange, the team developed a global platform which gives indices of world-wide freight and shipping costs and enables 24/7 online futures pricing, trading and settlements 4 times a day for different time zones. As well as developing the technology, Holograph also create content in their on-site production facilities for projects including their own children’s story-telling app PickaStory.

Marc puts the business’ success down to the incredible team which has evolved around the projects they have won.

‘We have a collective of really interesting and talented people – software engineers, physicists, mathematicians, designers, customer experience, user interface and marketing experts – all working together to blur the line between the human and the digital.’ Marc Woodhead, Holograph

He is particularly proud of Holograph’s diversity and equality. The multicultural team hail from different social backgrounds and 60% of the senior management team – Operations Director, Platform Producer and HR & Finance Director – are female.

Exploring new worlds

One of the team’s current projects is Lookinglass®. Developed out of their work in the FMCG sector, Lookinglass® enables a person to interact with a screen simply by looking at it. There’s no need to touch anything – smart camera technology tracks the movements of a person’s face, FocusTrack®, prompting the screen to react and respond.  Marc is excited about the new product’s potential benefits. ‘Selecting a drink from a vending machine through a window, tracking interest in properties for sale,  even triggering a call for help in the home, with Lookinglass® all this is possible with just a look.’


Holograph has stayed at the forefront of a rapidly evolving industry by re-investing profits including spending around 20% of its turnover each year on R&D. To support a project aimed at helping non technically-minded people easily manage their own web content, dubbed Content Stream v3, the business has received a grant from the South East Creatives programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

‘The grant from South East Creatives has been fantastic, helping to pay for two new members of staff, including a front-end designer.’ Tricia Jenkins, Holograph

Future plans

In addition to Lookinglass®, Holograph have a number of other ground-breaking projects in train including Dynamo® an exciting new product that creates virtual holograms using traditional screen technology. Marc’s enthusiasm is infectious. ‘It’s a fantastic industry to work in,’ he says. ‘Every day is different and throws up endless opportunities and possibilities.’

Marc Woodhead