Artist Carl Gent, raised in Bexhill, explores their artistic practice, alternative histories of Bexhill and their career so far with DLWP Head of Exhibitions Rosie Cooper.
ONLINE EVENT VIA ZOOM MEETING
FREE, donations welcome
This event is exclusively for DLWP Members & Patrons.
Please ensure you are logged into your account before booking tickets for this event.
Carl Gent is an artist, musician and writer from Bexhill. They seek out stories passed down through generations, using performance and objects to ‘smuggle’ possible truths under the radar of official histories.
Much of Gent’s work concerns histories and materials from Bexhill itself. Since 2016, Gent has been engaged in an ongoing project about the eighth century Queen Cynethryth. Cynethryth co-founded Bexhill and was the wife of King Offa. Whilst his name is familiar to many, Cynethryth has been largely erased from history…
To date, Gent has presented installations at galleries across the UK, as well as public realm works including floats at past Bexhill Carnivals.
In 2019, their work was shown at the De La Warr Pavilion in Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance Act II and is now on display at Bexhill Museum.
In conversation with Rosie Cooper, Gent will discuss their artistic practice, with a focus on alternative histories of Bexhill and how ground-up, grass-roots work can change historic narratives. They will explore their journey since Still I Rise, which has included mentoring from Rosie and national recognition through further exhibitions and awards.
The talk will commence at 4pm, followed by a Q&A.
It will take place online via a Zoom Meeting, exclusively for DLWP Members & Patrons. During the event, you will have the option to turn on your camera, but we will ask attendees to remain muted.
Attendees are welcome to join the DLWP Team and fellow Members for an informal chat from 5pm, once the event has concluded.
BSL interpretation will be provided.
Carl Gent is an artist from East Sussex. Since 2016, they have been engaged in an ongoing project about the eighth century Queen Cynethryth, who co-founded Gent’s coastal hometown, Bexhill-on-Sea. In 2019, their work was included in Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance Act II at the De La Warr Pavilion.
Commanding the throne when the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia was aggressively expanding its territory and influence, Cynethryth was a woman of power like no other in Europe at the time. Exiled from France, she was married to King Offa of Mercia, and wielded power in the Church long after her husband’s death. Despite being excluded by later writing about the period, we find Cynethryth scattered across several artefacts central to the formation of the English psyche. She is mentioned in Beowulf, the earliest written iteration of English literature; her profile is stamped into Mercian coinage, the only woman in Europe at the time to appear in this way, and her name is recorded in ecclesiastical documents involved with land and crop transfer. She has inspired characters in TV series Vikings and Game of Thrones.
Gent seeks out stories passed down through the generations, transmitting them in the form of performance and objects as ways to ‘smuggle’ possible truths under the radar of official histories that often leave out important people and events.
Gent has re-told Cynethryth’s story through performance, folk song and sculpture. Central to their project is a substance the artist calls ‘Bexhillian materiality’. This includes: locally-sourced daub, a material associated both with ancient buildings and the eco-dwellings of the future; soap that symbolically ‘cleanses’ history, leaving a smell nonetheless; school uniforms from the artist’s own junior school, King Offa Primary Academy; and fuchsias, commonly seen in flowerbeds along the English coastline. The fuchsia flower hangs upside down from the stem, so it is pollinated from the ground up. For Gent, this is symbolic of the kind of ground-up, grass-roots, on-going work that needs to be done to change historic narratives.
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- By Rail
Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for up-to-date train travel information.
Town Taxis: 01424 211 511
Parkhurst Taxis: 01424 733 456
- By Car
If driving from the London area:
Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
From the Brighton area:
Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 8pm. After this time parking is free.
Within the limits of this Grade One listed building, the De La Warr Pavilion strives to be fully accessible with a range of facilities to support your visit.
Assistance Dogs are permitted into the building.
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Facilities for disabled visitors
- Ramped access at the front of the building
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- Disabled toilets on two floors
- A lift to all floors
- Accessible galleries on both floors
- An accessible Café
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- Ramped access into the Studio
- Two travel wheelchairs are available for use at the De La Warr Pavilion. To reserve, please call our box office and information desk on (01424) 229111 or ask a member of staff on arrival. The chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and are intended for use inside the Pavilion. Please contact us for more information.
Facilities for blind or visually-impaired
- Large print season brochures
Facilities for the hard-of-hearing
- An T-Switch induction loop in some areas of the auditorium (please indicate when booking as this facility is not available on the balcony)
- British Sign Language interpretation tours of the building and exhibitions are available on request.