DLWP X FLATLAND Studio Development Programme

We are delighted to announce the 2024/25 cohort for the DLWP x Flatland Studio Development Programme. This year-long programme offers artists based within East Sussex an opportunity to focus on developing and sustaining their practice in readiness for progressing their career within the supportive network of Bexhill’s Beeching Road Studios. We are delighted that this programme moves forward into its second iteration which celebrates our shared ethos as two organisations focussed on emerging artists’ development in the region.

The artists are :

Richard Lockett ( @_richardlockett )

Sarah Gomes Harris ( @sarahgomesharris )

Flo Wright ( @flo_wrightsart )

Vannessa Farinha ( @vanessafarinha_art )

 Alastair Laas ( @laas_artist )

Congratulations to them all.

This opportunity would not be possible without the significant support towards artists from Rother District Council


Artist biographies:

Richard Lockett is an artist based in Brighton and London, and studied at the The Slade (2006), Goldsmiths (2014) and The Royal Academy Schools (2019). Richard works across drawing, photography, digital media, video, collage and sound often coming together as installation. Richard’s works attempt to record sensorial experiences in a sculptural and spatial manner. Areas of interest include the arrangement, potentiality and psychology of interior spaces; neurodivergence through recording and mark making; mapping as aesthetic tool for finding different neural connections between subject and objects.

Sarah Gomes Harris / SGH  is a Hastings based animator, artist and campaigner. Her work is often an overt political response to housing, climate or social injustice, playfully engaging the viewer and/or community. The works include interactive animatable sculptures, soft sculptures, puppets or ‘rides’, a board game, a comic or zine, a single sheet newspaper found on a bus. Some works are seen as performative art eg walking round the UK dressed as a house to raise awareness of the housing crisis. All blur lines between cartoon, politics and reality, regularly taken out onto the streets or non-typical artist environments.

Flo Wright is an artist based in East Sussex. She studied Fine art painting at Wimbledon school of art. Her practice examines dynamics in the domestic space. She draws on what objects people surround themselves with to create an image of their lives. Using references from pop culture, the historic, a queer perspective and science fiction. Primarily through paint, she uses storytelling techniques to imagine and rebuild spaces. Which the objects can re-inhabit; and become sentient. In her paintings she examines how these objects can reflect their owners and act as hauntings of the past. And be used in the present to play out alternative realities.

Vanessa Farinha explores the labels and signs we cling to so that we might understand who we are, individually, collectively and between the in-between. She’s never limited to a single medium and is often a little tongue-in-cheek. She has created performance, photography, collage, installation, painting and video work and has exhibited internationally. Vanessa Farinha grew up in North London, studied Fine Art at Goldsmith’s University, London, later becoming a creative producer and is now living in Hastings.

Alastair Laas grew up in the industrial heart of England called the Black Country, where he was exposed to the multifaceted aspects of capitalism. From humble beginnings, he worked in a tattoo parlour, built luxury yachts, cleaned offices, and sold insurance to art collectors, before moving into TV and advertising. His professional experience continues to provide a unique perspective on the intricacies of labor and human value that are fundamental to his vision and approach as an artist.


Two architectural practices have been appointed for the Bexhill and Sidley Levelling Up Capital Projects. They are:

· HAWORTH TOMPKINS for the De La Warr Pavilion

· BAKER ARCHITECTURAL for the new Sidley Community Hub


Haworth Tompkins   is a Stirling Prize-winning architectural studio with an international reputation for intelligent, purposeful design.

Previous capital projects include:

· The National Theatre (2015) – Dennis Lasdun’s modernist masterpiece.

· Lightroom, London (2023) – an immersive exhibition venue in King’s Cross

· @sohoplace (2022) – the first new-build West End Theatre for 50 years.

· Theatre Royal Drury Lane (2021) – major restoration of the grade I listed theatre

· Battersea Arts Centre (2018) – the rebirth of a town hall for community and theatre use

· V&A Collection and Research Centre (2018) — open-access facility to house the V&A’s collection of two million artefacts.

· The Chichester Festival Theatre (2014) – the renewal and expansion of Powell and Moya’s landmark Modernist producing theatre.

Haworth Tompkins’ projects have won over 180 major design awards, including the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2014, and were named AJ100 Practice of the Year in both 2020 and 2022. The practice has over 30 years’ experience of collaborating with socially driven organisations who share their belief in creating spaces for people and communities.

The core Design Team for the project have also been appointed. They are:

· MEP & Sustainability: Buro Happold

· Civil & Structural Engineering: Price and Myers

· Transport : Caneparo

· Planning: Lichfields

· Fire Engineer The Fire Surgery

· Acoustics CharcoalBlue

· Landscape JCLA Landscape Architects

· Accessibility HADA

· Theatre CharcoalBlue

Stewart Drew, Director and CEO of the De La Warr Pavilion says:

“We couldn’t be more excited to have such a considered, thoughtful and innovative conservation-based architectural practice as Haworth Tompkins committed to securing and transforming our Grade One Listed building into a place for creativity, community and skills.

Haworth Tompkins, along with a team of leading experts in their field, will ensure that the Pavilion can continue to deliver culture-led regeneration for the region, positively impacting on some of the highest areas of deprivation in the southeast. In our improved spaces, we will continue to offer culture, entertainment, learning, and social interaction all in one place whilst remaining a viable, sustainable and relevant part of our community for many years to come.”

Lucy Picardo, Director, Haworth Tompkins says:

“We are thrilled to have been awarded the opportunity to work alongside Rother District Council and DLWP to develop proposals for the refurbishment of the iconic, modernist, Grade I Listed De La Warr Pavilion.
Alongside our experienced and creative team, and with valuable input from the local community, we are looking forward to creating a renewed Pavilion for the arts for staff, performers, exhibitors, and visitors alike.
Building upon our extensive experience in delivering cultural heritage projects including ‘NT Future’ for the National Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre and the remodelling of the modernist Chichester Festival Theatre, we are well placed to work with all the partners and stakeholders to deliver an ambitious vision for the Pavilion”.


Baker Architectural  is a multidisciplinary architectural practice of award-winning Chartered Architects and Chartered Technologists, proudly rooted in Rother and Hastings. This local connection provides the community with the distinct advantage of being guided by a company deeply invested in delivering excellent opportunities. Baker Architectural comprehensively grasp the challenges inherent in community projects and are committed to crafting buildings that cater to everyone’s needs, including the youth, elderly, and disabled. Moreover, they ensure forward-thinking designs that seamlessly integrate sustainable concepts into every aspect of the new community hub.

The core Design Team for the project has also been appointed. They are

· Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing: IWA

· Project Manager/ Principal Designer: Potter Raper

· Civil Engineer: Borne Project Services

· Structural Engineer: Waller Gray

· Planning: GRF Planning

· Landscape: ACTA

The Heart of Sidley Community Partnership says:

“The tireless efforts of our community association stand as a beacon of pride, dedicated to providing a nurturing home and vibrant hub for our neighbourhood. With unwavering commitment, we are excited to provide essential facilities that enrich the social fabric and enhance the well-being for all in Sidley. From recreational spaces to educational resources, a new café and sporting facilities, this project will foster a sense of belonging and unity. The hub will provide every member of the community with the opportunity to thrive with access to a hub which also serves as a catalyst for economic development, fostering prosperity and vibrancy within our neighbourhood.”


The projects are being made possible thanks to £19 million awarded to Rother District Council from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for community, creativity and skills in Bexhill.

Cllr Doug Oliver, Rother District Council leader, said: “These projects will make a huge difference to the district, and I am delighted that they are moving forward with the appointment of design teams. Whilst there is still some way to go for both projects, I look forward to seeing them progress and help transform our communities.

“We are confident that the investment by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and other funders will improve the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.”


For further information on the DLWP Capital Project please contact Sally Ann Lycett at the De La Warr Pavilion on sally.ann.lycett@dlwp.com or Dawn Hepburn at Haworth Tompkins on dawn.hepburn@haworthtompkins.com

For further information on the Sidley Community Hub, please contact Tanya Vice at Heart of Sidley on Tanya Vice heartofsidley@gmail.com



1. In January 2023, Rother District Council announced that it had been awarded £19m from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, £17m of which was allocated to go towards the redevelopment of the De La Warr Pavilion and £2m towards a Community Hub for Sidley. Both projects will create new jobs, upskill local residents and bolster career progression in the area’s creative and cultural sectors, particularly for young people.

This investment will enable the delivery of cultural-led regeneration to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Rother.

The money will go towards the transformation of the De La Warr Pavilion on Bexhill seafront and the development of new community facilities in Sidley.


2. The De La Warr Pavilion Design Team

· Haworth Tompkins https://www.haworthtompkins.com
· Buro Happold https://www.burohappold.com/
· Price and Myers https://www.pricemyers.com/
· Caneparo https://caneparoassociates.com/
· Lichfields https://lichfields.uk/
· The Fire Surgery https://thefiresurgery.com/
· Charcoalblue https://www.charcoalblue.com
· JCL https://www.jcla.co.uk/
· HADA http://www.piginkpress.com/about.html


3. The Sidley Community Hub Design Team

· Baker Architectural www.bakerarchitectural.co.uk
· Potter Raper www.potterraper.co.uk
· MGAC www.mgac.com
· Borne Project Services www.borneprojectservices.co.uk
· Waller Gray www.wallergray.co.uk
· ACTA www.actaland.com
· IWA M&E Consulting Engineers www.iwa.uk.com


See previous press release for further details of the projects here.

Further details can be found here.


Image credits:

De La Warr Pavilion, Ariel shot: Clear Air Flying

DLWP Design Team and Sidley Hub Design Team: Burst Photographs

Record turnout for 2024 Jobs Fair

A record number of people visited the 2024 Bexhill Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair on Friday 15 March. Almost 700 visitors came through the doors of the De La Warr Pavilion to explore live job vacancies, apprenticeships, placements, courses, skills development opportunities and back to work support.

The 2024 fair, in association with Bexhill College and East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, saw visitors queueing ahead of opening, and continued to be busy and vibrant through to the afternoon Quiet Time, introduced this year for visitors with access requirements or who might feel more comfortable in a quieter environment.

Visitor feedback on the fair has been hugely positive: “What a wonderful and well-organised event and very inclusive.” and “Engaging stalls were the best – a great way to find out about roles.”

Exhibitor feedback has included: “We are a small local business and successfully recruited at last year’s Jobs Fair so as we are expanding, we are back this year to fill our new roles.”  and “This is our first time at the Jobs Fair. It’s been really busy since the doors opened and we have had lots of interest in the jobs we are looking to fill. It’s also been good to meet so many other local businesses and organisations. Everyone has been so friendly.”

Huw Merriman MP said: “It was fantastic to see so many visitors, businesses and organisations at this, the 8th, annual Bexhill Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair. The event continues to be a crucial milestone in the local recruitment calendar with many exhibitors returning year in year out because it’s so productive for them – I heard from one accountancy firm that they recruit all their apprentices at the fair every year. Visitors can come to the fair confident in the knowledge that every business and organisation exhibiting will have something tangible to offer. Matching genuine opportunities with people who are actively looking for work, develop their skills or learn is what continues to make the fair so successful.”

Stewart Drew, Director & CEO, De La Warr Pavilion said: “Another amazing Jobs Fair, busy and buzzy from the start, the Auditorium packed with exhibitors and visitors deep in conversation. Once again, there was a brilliant mix of exhibitors – large corporates and organisations rubbing shoulders with small businesses and community groups – and a fantastic range of visitors of all ages. It was great expanding the fair out across the building with workshops taking place in the Studio and Learning Zone as well as on the Auditorium Stage and the new Quiet Time worked really well, making the fair feel even more welcoming and inclusive. Huge thanks to the all the exhibitors and visitors for making the fair such a special community event and particular thanks to East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Bexhill College, Gatwick Airport, Govia Thameslink Railway, Hastings Direct and the other 2024 fair sponsors for their invaluable support.”

Image Credit: Burst Photos

National Apprenticeship Week 2024: Alex’s Story ( Creative Industries Production Technician Apprentice)

It’s National Apprenticeship week and we are celebrating the value and opportunities they provide for young people breaking into the creative industries. We spoke to one of our apprentices, Alex, who is currently at the De La Warr completing his Creative Industries Production Technician apprenticeship. Having started in October 2023, Alex has been learning on the job, gaining new skills and confidence with support from his team. He finds his role exciting and would recommend it to others who may be interested. ‘No day is the same, daily tasks are varied depending on the gigs and the possibilities after completing the apprenticeship are vast. You can go into so many different environments from working on cruises to being a touring technician.’

Alex will be joined on his apprenticeship training here at DLWP with apprentices from The Dome Brighton and Eastbourne Theatres. All training is delivered by East Sussex College Group in the DLWP auditorium under the guidance of our Technical Manager Mat McQuade.

It’s not too late to join! If you are a venue looking to extend your technical team adding an apprentice is an excellent way to grow your own! Get in touch with Kim Byford Project Director Talent Accelerator for more information kim.byford@dlwp.com

Exhibitions Programme 2024


Manuel Mathieu: The end of figurationFebruary 17–May 27Manuel Mathieu (b. 1986, Haiti) is a multidisciplinary artist working with painting, drawing, ceramics, and installation. His work investigates themes of historical violence, erasure and cultural approaches to physicality, nature, and spiritual legacy. Mathieu’s interests are partially informed by his upbringing in Haiti and his experience emigrating to Montréal at the age of 19. Freely operating in between and borrowing from numerous historical influences and traditions, Mathieu aims to find meaning through a spiritual mode of apparition.

Mathieu’s exhibition at DLWP will be his first major institutional presentation in Europe and will bring together new and existing artworks.

Clara Jo: Nests of Basalt, Nests of WoodFebruary 17–March 31Clara Jo (b. 1986, United States) works with film, photography and installation to re-engage socio-political understandings of the world in ways that entangle the senses. She plays with speculative narratives to offer alternative readings of certain terrains, examining their material imprints and deep erasures. By reimagining these contexts through her work, Jo questions how these stories can feed into collective imaginations and fictions during moments of crisis.

At DLWP, Jo will present Nests of Basalt, Nests of Wood. This new film installation presents a speculative narrative of labour and ecological histories in Mauritius, filmed in Albion and Flat Island, with a fictional layer of computer-generated animation.

Laetitia YhapApril 6–May 27Laetitia Yhap (b. 1941, UK) is best known for intricate paintings of fishermen on The Stade Beach, Hastings, UK, created on unusually shaped panels individually hand-made by the artist for each work. Yhap moved to Hastings from London in 1967, and in 1974 began her cycle of work depicting raw glimpses into the lives of the fishing community, documenting daily scenes as they unfolded on the beach.

Enraptured by the ritual of their activities, Yhap began to draw the fishermen from life before returning to her studio to make the paintings. She would continue making works of this community for twenty-five years, bringing forth their resilience and spirit in the face of such dangerous labour conditions. Yhap’s oeuvre serves as a unique picture of an industry that today looks completely different, as rapid industrialisation and environmental shifts render the lives of those working at sea increasingly precarious.

This exhibition at DLWP celebrates Yhap as a unique voice within British art history and highlights the relevance of her work to pressing ecological concerns within our local and wider landscapes.SummerJune 22–September 1

Barbara KastenSpace as a stage of a changing reality is the central motif of Barbara Kasten’s (b. 1936, United States) photographs and film installations, which she produces in an ‘interdisciplinary performance’ between photography, sculpture, architecture, and painting. Since the 1970s, Kasten has been constructing expansive installations made of architectural ‘props’ such as glass, mirrors, or wood constructions in front of the camera for her abstract ‘photographs’. These theatrical arrangements are restaged with coloured light, an approach going back to Kasten’s roots as a painter and sculptor.

Through her cross-genre practice and continued use of analogue photographic materials, Kasten’s visionary practice has influenced a new generation of contemporary artists amidst the prevalence of digital imagery, Photoshop and 3D rendering today. Kasten’s exhibition at DLWP will be her first institutional solo presentation in the UK and will centre upon a new installation responding to the distinctive architectural features of our Grade I listed building.

Rebecca BellantoniRebecca Bellantoni (b. 1981, UK) is a London-based artist who draws from everyday occurrences and abstracts them. She works across moving image, installation, performance, photography, textiles, printmaking, sculpture, sound-text, and ceramics.

Through investigations into the layered lens of Black women’s writing (fiction and nonfiction), metaphysics, philosophy, religion and spirituality, geography and the aesthetics of them, Bellantoni gently prises apart the concept of the accepted/expected ‘real’ and the experiential ‘real’, looking at how these removed borders may offer meditative experiences and portals to self, collective reasoning and healing thought and action. Bellantoni’s presentation at DLWP will be her first institutional solo exhibition.AutumnSeptember 21–November 17

Mike SilvaMike Silva (b. 1970, Sweden) is a London-based artist whose work explores intimate connections to personal memory. By delving into an ongoing archive of photographs, Silva paints portraits, interiors and still lifes that often feature acquaintances, friends, and lovers of past and present.

Rooted in the London of the ‘90s or early ‘00s, many of the photographs that Silva paints from carry the allure of the past, but also the inherent poignancy in looking at an image of a moment that no longer exists. Whilst the paintings are a way of remembering, they are also cathartically about letting go. Silva’s interiors or domestic spaces expose quietly observed moments, such as when light hits a particular wall or floor of a shared bedroom, kitchen or living room. Using white generously in the painting process offers a milky or hazy quality to the works, perhaps a reflection on the ungraspable and transient nature of memory.

At DLWP, Silva will present a selection of new and existing works in our light-filled Ground floor gallery. This will be his first institutional solo exhibition.

Michelle RobertsMichelle Roberts (b. UK) is a Bexhill-based artist whose paintings and drawings are ambitious in scale, conception and realisation. Her subjects arise from the realm of lived experience, such as a holiday, a visit to the ‘Dinosaur World’ exhibition, or the thrill of an Air Show, whilst other works celebrate events such as the Diamond Jubilee, Remembrance Day, or films that she has seen. While photographs serve as references, they are mere hints and prompts rather than images to be copied. Roberts’ meticulous drawing style intricately dissects shapes and forms, creating patterns with unwavering precision and control, with compositions that come to life through vivid colour. Through detailed yet joyful execution, Roberts invites the viewer to explore each of these vibrant universes, drawing our attention to the different ways that we remember.

Roberts’ solo exhibition is programmed in collaboration with Outside In, following the artist winning first prize at Outside In’s national open exhibition, Humanity, in 2023. Roberts is a member of Project Art Works, a collective of neurodiverse artists and activists based in Hastings, and was previously included in the group exhibition, In the Realm of Others at DLWP (2015).

WinterOpening November 30

Callum HillCallum Hill (b. 1987, Canada) is a British/American artist filmmaker whose work moves between psychological enquiry, gender, politics, and poetry. Unpredictable and erratic in narrative, her films slip between documentary and fiction, inhabiting an existential and psychedelic mentality towards the human condition.

For her solo exhibition, Hill is developing a major new film work, commissioned by DLWP.