Tschabalala Self’s “Seated”: Thank You

On Sunday May 21, the community of Bexhill and beyond came together in an act of restoration and  resistance to the vandalism of Tschabalala Self’s sculpture Seated . The sculpture of a Black woman looking out to sea was spray-painted white, covering the entirety of her skin.

It was incredibly powerful to see over 300 people come together to make a start in cleaning the sculpture with scrubbing brushes and white spirit.

Through this process of care and healing we were able to make it clear that these acts will not be tolerated in our community and we will continue doing the necessary work to combat racism in all its forms.

We would like to thank everyone who came to restore and support as well as the hundreds of messages we received online. Tschabalala Self says:

Painting the skin of my sculpture white is an obscene act and I feel horribly for individuals in Bexhill-on-Sea for whom this event may have shocked or frightened. To my supporters there, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and a promise that I will continue to make work that provokes meaningful change and progress in our shared society.

See the full statement from the artist here  

Seated will continue to be restored professionally and will re-open on Saturday 3 June, where we invite everyone to enjoy a picnic with the artist on the lawns around the sculpture and celebrate the power of art to galvanise and connect people and communities. Details to follow.


Tschabalala Self’s “Seated”: our response to the vandalism

On Monday 15 May, Tschabalala Self’s public sculpture, Seated, was vandalised.

The sculpture, which has been temporarily installed outside the De La Warr Pavilion, is of a seated Black woman positioned looking out to sea. The perpetrator covered the entirety of the woman’s skin with white spray-paint.

In conversation with the artist, we have been considering what steps to take in order to protect the artwork and the wider impact of this act on our staff and communities. We have received considerable support in response to this vandalism and the sculpture will be uncovered so that the restoration is visible to everyone.


The De La Warr Pavilion invites you to
In response to the vandalism of Tschabalala Self’s Seated

Sunday 21 May
11am – 1pm
De La Warr Pavilion Lawns, Bexhill

On Monday 15 May, vandals attacked Tschabalala Self’s public sculpture of a seated Black woman positioned looking out to sea. The entirety of her skin was spray-painted white.

Following conversations with the artist, the Pavilion invites you to join us on Sunday 21 May, 11am – 1pm to help remove the paint and bring the community together in an act of peaceful resistance.

This event has been organised by the De La Warr Pavilion and supported by Tschabalala Self, the artist.

You will be provided with gloves and tools. Please wear suitable clothing to protect your skin whilst using white spirit. We recommend long trousers and long sleeves for protection. 

Members of the community have asked how they can donate towards the cost of the restoration. You can donate in several ways:

By Text
Text DLWP to 70507 to give £5.
Standard network rates apply/ De La Warr Pavilion will receive 100% of your donation.
Registered charity number 1065586.

You can donate online here

In the Pavilion
Use the Tap To Donate device in the gallery or on the Box Office counter




BBC South East talks to DLWP about women in music

On the day that the Independent Musician society gave evidence to a Parliamentary Committee on misogyny in the music industry, the BBC reported that

  • Only 1 in 10 festival headliners are women
  • Glastonbury Festival 2023 has all-male headliners
  • At the 2023 Brit Awards, only 1 in 3 nominees are women

At the Committee, Deborah Annetts, CEO of the Independent Musician Society said:

“It is still the case that women are told if you want to get ahead you have to sleep with the person who has influence over your career. And because by and large they are freelancers and have very few rights.  if they say anything they will not work again.”

BBC South East talked to DLWP  about our music programme, and our Live Programmer Ed Frith spoke about our brand new music festival, Colours which, this year has an all-female line-up. Ed said:

“As always, we were aiming for gender parity in this new seafront festival – but what we ended up with a list of very, very talented musicians who ended up being women”

One of those musicians is Dana Margolin, from Porridge Radio, who said:

“There are so many festivals which are full of men and bands that are mainly men and it does get a little bit boring.  But when I saw the line-up it was more that I thought  “oh, these are great artists” not “oh these are all women”.  I want to be  part of a female festival because for me it’s not about the fact that its tokenistically a festival for women, its about the fact that these are artists who I really respect.”

The Pavilion continues to strive for  gender parity (with artists of all genders) in our programmes.


24 June, 2023
All beachside Festival
On the lawns at the De La Warr Pavilion

Weyse Blood

The Big Moon

Katy J Pearson

Porridge Radio (solo)

Emily Barker

Click here for tickets

Rother District Council secures over £19m Levelling Up funding for community, creativity and skills in Bexhill

Rother  District Council has been awarded over £19m for community, creativity and skills in Bexhill.

The investment of £19,192,000 from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund will enable the delivery of cultural-led regeneration to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Rother.

The money will help fund the transformation of the De La Warr Pavilion on Bexhill seafront and the development of new community facilities in Sidley, creating new jobs, upskilling local residents and bolstering career progression in the area’s creative and cultural sectors, particularly for young people.

Cllr Doug Oliver, leader of Rother District Council, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded government funding to level up community, creativity and skills in Rother. This investment gives us the opportunity to harness the potential of the iconic De La Warr Pavilion, providing learning and skills opportunities as well as creating new jobs. It will also enable us to work with Heart of Sidley (Big Local) to develop a much-needed community and recreation facility in the heart of Sidley, which will support the local community. The funding will be transformative for our communities.”

The De La Warr Pavilion is a pioneering centre for arts and culture that plays a pivotal role in driving the local economy through tourism, regeneration and skills development in Rother, East Sussex and the wider South East region. The proposed development includes improved accessibility for audiences, new auditorium technical and other learning facilities, the redevelopment of spaces for outdoor community events, and new environmental systems to help meet net carbon neutral ambitions. The total cost of the scheme is £23.4m and funding will be sought from other sources to cover the remainder of the project costs.
Stewart Drew, Director & CEO, De La Warr Pavilion, said: “Earl De La Warr’s vision for our amazing building was a People’s Palace that would drive the growth, prosperity and culture of the area. We want to be more relevant to more people and are hugely excited about the potential of this project to reach the more disadvantaged communities in our area and continue to be a catalyst for growth and prosperity. More spaces and better facilities mean we will be able to dramatically increase creative engagement, deliver high quality skills training including T Levels, provide flexible learning spaces, and attract new visitors.”

In a project led by Heart of Sidley (Big Local), the Levelling Up investment will also fund crucial community facilities in Sidley, one of the most deprived wards in the country. The proposed community hub at Sidley Recreation Ground will connect Sidley with the De La Warr Pavilion and the town centre, providing increased opportunities for residents to develop their skills and access education and employment.
Jay Carroll, Chair of Heart of Sidley, said: ‘As Heart of Sidley approaches the last two years as a Big Local area, this is some very exciting news. Enabling us, without question, to align our vision in fulfilling a lasting legacy in fully transforming the old toilet block at Sidley Recreation Ground, into a state-of-the-art community hub and sports changing facilities. We want local people to have as much opportunity as possible to be actively involved, and to feel proud to be part of a community with such a commitment to its future.”

Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle and sponsor of RDC’s Levelling Up Fund application, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Rother has been successful in this hugely significant Levelling Up bid which I have been proud to support. This £19m funding demonstrates the government’s commitment to levelling up extends to communities in the South East which are often, mistakenly, considered to be affluent. We have six of England’s most deprived wards in Rother and this funding will improve access to vital learning and training opportunities as well as giving tourism and the local economy a tremendous boost. The De La Warr Pavilion already does great work in working with our local communities and this bid will enable to do so much more. It is really important to me that this project will deliver opportunities for the residents of Sidley.”

Read our Frequently Asked Questions here

De La Warr Pavilion
The De La Warr Pavilion (DLWP) is a centre for arts and culture in an iconic modernist building by the sea, designed by refugee Erich Mendelsohn and émigré Serge Chermayeff. It opened in 1935 as the ‘people’s palace for art and culture’ and now produces an innovative and integrated cultural programme of exhibitions and learning programmes as well as a diverse and popular programme of live music and comedy.
The Pavilion takes the lead in the development of cultural tourism and skills in the region and plays a central role in the cultural and economic growth in Sussex.
For more information visit www.dlwp.com

Heart of Sidley (Big Local)
Heart of Sidley is a Big Local area. 8 years ago, we were awarded £1milllion by Local Trust to make a massive and lasting positive difference to our community. The Heart of Sidley started to use its funding in 2014 and is due to finish in 2025. The idea behind the Big Local is about bringing together all the local talent, ambitions, skills and energy from individuals, groups and organisations who want to make their area an even better place to live.
Heart of Sidley is a community-led partnership, led entirely by local residents, in partnership with local organisations, businesses and others. We’re supported by a Big Local representative and two locally trusted organisations – Rother Voluntary Action and Optivo.
As we prepare our charity, Heart of Sidley Community Association, for the exciting future ahead, we continue to work with the community to ensure that we work towards the community’s priorities. We have a very proactive and driven group of people on board, who are all part of the Sidley community themselves. We ensure voices are heard and action is taken in our commitment to improving the area and opportunities for local people.
For more information visit https://heartofsidley.co.uk/

DLWP Chair Julian Bird awarded OBE in New Years Honour’s List

Huge congratulations to our Chair of Trustees, Julian Bird who received an OBE in the New Years Honours List!
Julian has been instrumental in leading the De La Warr Pavilion Charitable Trust, joining as a Trustee when he was Chief Operating Officer at Tate, and becoming Chair when he was CEO of the Society of London Theatre and Theatrical Management Association (SOLT) and the Executive Producer of the Olivier Awards, the UK’s main annual theatre awards ceremony (pictured here).
Julian’s knowledge and years of experience in the live performance industry was essential in steering the sector through the darkest days of the pandemic, supporting us to ensure that the business emerged intact from the economic challenges of the past three years. Earlier this year Julian announced his departure from SOLT to launch a new production company, Green Room Ents, with producer Nica Burns. He also broadcasts a weekly show for Bauer Radio’s station Magic at The Musicals.
Julian’s family are local and he has been a regular visitor and fan of the Pavilion all his life.
Thank you Julian for your ongoing dedication to DLWP!

Peace & Goodwill, Christmas 2022

At the end of another year, we would like to thank you all for your continued support.

Whether you are a ticket buyer, gallery visitor, artist, musician, young person, workshop participant, Instagram follower or just here to meet your friends in the Café, we love that we are at the heart of such a wonderful community of people.

And as we head towards economically challenging times, we are grateful for the support of over 1000 Members & Patrons, Arts Council England (NPO) and Rother District Council.

We would like to say thank you and wish you all  “peace and goodwill” this festive season. You can hear these words spoken in over 30 languages in Peace and Goodwill, a winter soundscape on our north staircase by artist Mary Hooper, which acts as a soundtrack to a new commission of illuminated lanterns – Ice and Snowflake – created by Radiator Arts and our own Blueprint Collective. If you can’t get to visit us this Christmas, then you can still hear Peace and Goodwill on our soundcloud here.

The Pavilion is a registered warm space, ready to welcome you throughout the holiday season.  Originally built in 1935 with a grant from the Ministry of Health the Pavilion, with its large glass windows and doors, was acknowledged as a natural solarium, harnessing the sunshine of the south coast to create a bright, warm place where people could rest and restore.

We hope you will do the same here this holiday season –  visit our free exhibitions, shop, eat and enjoy all the Pavilion has to offer.

With peace and goodwill

Stewart Drew

Director & CEO

DLWP Volunteers win Volunteer of the Year Award 2022

Congratulations to the DLWP Volunteers Team who won Rother Voluntary Action’s Volunteer of the Year Award 2022!

Our nomination said:

Our fantastic  volunteers work on a range of projects but most regularly they support our Art Sundays and our Holiday Art Activities. These are free creative activities that targets young people and families from low socio-economic backgrounds. The volunteers work every second Sunday from 1 – 5pm and also during holidays, for example our Sunset Screenings during August.

Each volunteer welcomes participants and makes them feel comfortable. They talk them through the art activity and support them in learning skills like cutting out shapes, collage, painting, drawing and 3D making. They give them encouragement and guidance. Each Art Sunday we cater for 60 – 100 participants, which we could never achieve without our volunteers!

Overall as a team they work about 800 hours a year to support all our community activity. The group also leads Building Tours giving an insight into the history of Bexhill, the De La Warr Pavilion Building and architecture, popular with the older members of our community. They also volunteer and help with our accessible inclusive gigs for adults with physical and learning disabilities. Their support is vital to us being able to help so much of our community.

Pictured is Ron Wood, who has been a volunteer for ten years, who accepted the Award on behalf of the team.

Introducing Kim Byford, Project Director for Talent Accelerator

Kim Byford, Project Director Talent Accelerator is offering one-to-one 30-minute  free online coaching session available all day on 19th, 20th and 21st December – follow the link below to book:


If these times don’t suit or you would prefer to meet in person, please contact Kim Byford kim.byford@dlwp.com to book a time.

Kim Byford  joined DLWP as Project Director for the Talent Accelerator from Bexhill College where she was Head of Performing Arts and Associate Principal (Community). In this role she took a wide-angle view of the College’s relationships within the local community as well as forging relationships with the arts community to ensure clear career progression routes for young people.

Kim was part of the steering group, with Rother District Council, De La Warr Pavilion and Flatland Projects, for the development of Beeching Road Studios, a new creative hub for Bexhill. She understands the local context for young people and is committed to supporting them to fulfilling creative careers.

Kim has had a long career post-16 education working in a variety of Colleges and Sixth forms across the country since 2000. She is committed to introducing  children and young people to new experiences, believing that this builds confidence which increases achievement across the curriculum and raises aspiration. Previously she has taken students to perform in Venice, receive conservatoire actor training in Prague as well as a host of performances in festivals and venues.

Kim will use her experience to lead the Talent Accelerator programme – to develop stronger ties between industry and education to create a unique framework enabling education settings and creative industry employers to co-design new learning and real-world skills programmes. Talent Accelerator will help our young people:

• Understand the different types of companies and organisations in the creative, cultural and digital sectors and the range of roles and opportunities on offer.

• Increase their creativity, identify the skills needed for those roles and support them to develop and add to their own skillset.

• Give them valuable experience working alongside creative people in vibrant and exciting places and spaces.

• Prepare them take advantage of the growing creative, cultural, and digital employment opportunities East Sussex has to offer – or even create their own.

Read more about Talent Accelerator here


Artist Mary Hooper is composing a sound track for this year’s Christmas lantern installation in the north staircase of the Pavilion. The sound track will be compiled from recordings of winter woodland sounds, footsteps in the snow, ice melting, and reindeer.

Mary would like to feature  voices of people from different countries saying “peace and goodwill” speaking in their own languages.

If you would like please follow the instructions  below – any age or gender or nationality is welcome to join in!

How to record:

  • Please record on your phone yourself, or a friend or relative saying “peace and goodwill” in your/their own language
  • Try to record without too much noise in the background.
  • Leave a short pause – count to 4 and say “peace and goodwill”
  • After you have spoken the words count to 4 again, stop recording and save.
  • Email the recording to  to ma.hooper1@btinternet.com with the subject line “Christmas message” or share to whatsapp on 07939645939 with the subject title Christmas message.

Thank you for taking part!  The deadline is Tuesday 6 December.

If you would like your name mentioned then  please write your name in the email or message.

Arts Council NPO announcement: standstill award of £517,785 p.a. 2023-2026

 The De La Warr Pavilion announces a standstill award from Arts Council England of £517,785 per annum as part of their National Portfolio of organisations for 2023 -26.

The De La Warr Pavilion is delighted to announce that we have been selected as one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations for 2023-26, along with other celebrated arts and cultural organisations across England. Considered “strong” on all ACE measures, this award represents a standstill in our funding and reflects the Arts Council’s continued belief in the Pavilion to make a difference through culture in our communities and beyond.

We would like to thank the Arts Council England and the National Lottery UK who, alongside Rother District Council, have supported us for many years, and in particular during the acute challenges of the pandemic. We will support Arts Council England to deliver their Let’s Create strategy, with the ambition that by 2030 England will be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish, and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences.

This funding will complement Arts Council’s recent award of £400,000 from their Capital Investment Fund towards a significant Auditorium Technical Upgrade – the first step towards securing further significant capital investment in the building. Read more here

In addition the Pavilion, in partnership with Artswork and Skills East Sussex, has received £196,000 for Talent Accelerator – a pioneering Skills programme that supports young people from areas of high deprivation, rurally-isolated locations and under-represented backgrounds to access and reach their potential within the creative industries. This is the spearhead of DLWPs emerging Skills programmes which include partnerships with Little Gate Farm and the Bexhill Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair to create new opportunities for young people.  Read more here

We are thrilled that our partners Outlands Network have also been welcomed into the Portfolio. Born out of an ACE Strategic Touring grant led by the De La Warr Pavilion, Outlands is an open membership network that supports and unites producers of experimental music and interdisciplinary performance across England.

We will continue to closely work with and support our many partners and networks within the region, some of whom have serious funding challenges ahead.  We will continue to :

  • Work with our partners in Sidley to create new cultural opportunities for young people aged 10-16 in one of the top five deprived wards in the UK.
  • Support artist networks through our strong partnership with Towner Eastbourne, Beeching Road Studios (Bexhill) and Flatland Projects to extend opportunities for emerging artists and curators in our area.
  • Develop programming and new industry placements for skills development of young people with Eastbourne Winter Gardens.
  • Attract funding to conserve the heritage of our unique Grade I Listed modernist building.

Stewart Drew, Director & CEO says,

“Thank you to Arts Council England for recognising the significance of the De La Warr Pavilion in bringing creativity and culture to communities in an area of high deprivation, and 420,000 visitors each year. It is brilliant to have the security of this standstill funding as we face new challenges with the cost of living crisis and energy costs.

As part of our bold vision as a flagship centre for arts and culture in our region, we will continue to deliver free exhibitions from major international artists, a varied live programme of 90+ performances a year, and a diverse programme of learning, participation and schools’ activities. Working with our partners that include the Refugee Buddy Project, Bexhill Museum, Heart of Sidley and Turner Prize nominated Project Art Works, we will co-create with our diverse communities to deliver meaningful creative engagement for young people, families and children, neurodiverse people, those with disabilities and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Our continued support for Beeching Road Studios, Bexhill, and Flatland Projects will allow emerging artists and curators to thrive in the region, building a vibrant cultural economy, where young people will want to live and work.

Our ambitious music and comedy programme will continue to bring headline, international acts to Bexhill, and we will lead region-wide music development and skills initiatives with partners Create Music, Eastbourne Winter Garden, and #1066musiccity.

We are a catalyst for cultural regeneration, driving the cultural, tourism and economic health of the region by taking a lead within our networks, including Sussex Modern, 1066Country, Culture East Sussex and fulfil the potential of the region through Towner Eastbourne’s delivery of the Turner Prize 2023.

Our beautiful Grade I Listed building is at the heart of what we do. We continue to conserve and protect the important heritage of the Pavilion and develop a viable business model so that we can remain as a much-valued community asset for the next 85 years.”

Arts Council England Chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “As well as continuing our commitment to our many established and renowned cultural organisations, I am deeply proud of the support we will be giving to those new organisations which will help ignite creativity across the country.  We are facing economic pressures at present but this funding is about an investment in our future. This portfolio will support the next generation of visionary inventors, makers, performers and artists. In particular, the growth of our funding for organisations that support and develop work for children represents a profoundly important long-term investment in our country’s talent.”

Arts Council England Chief Executive, Darren Henley, said: “Together, each of the 990 organisations that have been offered funding today will contribute to a portfolio that is rich, varied and truly national. This is our widest ever spread of investment across the country, ensuring that many more people will have access to a wider choice of exceptional art, culture and creative opportunities on their doorsteps. We are in tough times but we must remember creativity brings with it extraordinary dividends, boosting our country’s economic growth, creating jobs, bringing communities closer together, and making us happier as individuals. Everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits it brings, and with this investment, we believe we’ve taken a decisive step towards making that vision a reality.”

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said: “Thanks to this new government funding package, spreading more money to more communities than ever before, people living in areas from Wolverhampton to Wigan and Crawley to Chesterfield will now get to benefit from the deep economic and social rewards culture can bring.

“We continue to support our icons such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Shakespeare Company, but today’s announcement will see organisations in places all too often overlooked get the support they need to transform access to the arts for everyone – no matter where they live.”

See more on Arts Council England’s 2023-26 Investment Programme on their website: www.artscouncil.org.uk/investment23