Catherine Yass, Still from Flood Barrier, 2023. Courtesy the artist.

Turner Prize-nominee Catherine Yass will present her new moving image commission titled Flood Barrier alongside her DLWP commission Lighthouse, which was part of our exhibition programme in 2011.

Flood Barrier by Catherine Yass is centred around Barking Creek Flood Barrier, which straddles the River Roding where its estuary meets the River Thames. Engineered in 1983, the barrier was originally built to prevent devastating flooding expected to take place every thousand years. However, with East London boroughs now prone to future flooding, the barrier has taken on new critical meaning. The huge guillotine-like structure poised above the water is likely to come down and cut off flooding routinely in coming years, as predicted in a recent environmental study by Climate Central (2021) warning that East London boroughs are now prone to future flooding.

Flood Barrier by Catherine Yass was commissioned by Create London, funded by Art Fund and Arts Council England, with additional support from The Elephant Trust. The associated engagement programme, Breaking Waves, was made possible with the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with additional support from Arts Council England and Art Fund.

The film Lighthouse is of the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse situated five miles out to sea, just visible from the Pavilion and void of human occupation. Yass is fascinated by the structure of the lighthouse, balanced precariously on the corner of a square platform, which is in turn balanced on a single concrete post. To the viewer, the platform appears top-heavy as though it might topple over at any moment. Lighthouse reflects the seemingly hazardous nature of the structure as the camera slowly moves up, down and around the platform and into the sea, making it appear to be moving or falling.  The resulting film is exciting but unnerving, giving the viewer a sense of disorientation and instability.

It is particularly fitting that we show this film at this time as the lighthouse, a much loved landmark along the coastline for decades, is being dismantled.

Watch this film, made in 2011, where Yass talks about Lighthouse.

A new Limited Edition print to mark the decommissioning of the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse, a landmark structure off the coast of Eastbourne that has been part of the view from the Pavilion since 1970. See below for details

5.30pm: Doors

6-7.30pm: Screening and Q&A with Professor Jean Wainwright

The screening will take place in the Auditorium.

This is a ticketed event. Booking via Box Office.

£3 for Members & Students

FREE for Patrons


About Professor Jean Wainwright

Professor Jean Wainwright is an art historian, critic and curator living in London. Her areas of expertise are in contemporary art and photography, Her Audio Arts Archive (begun in 1996) is still continuing and to date she has interviewed over a 2,300 international artists, makers, photographers, filmmakers and curators, 177 of her published interviews conducted for Audio Arts went online at the Tate in 2014. Many of her chapters in books and her writing are linked to primary source interviews and she has curated a number of international exhibitions.  She has also appeared regularly on the radio and television discussing contemporary art.  She exhibited Catherine Yass work in Ship to Shore Art and the Lure of the Sea (Southampton City Art Gallery and John Hansard Art Gallery) and in Powerful Tides: 400 Years of Chatham and the Sea. In The Historic Dockyard Chatham both of which she curated. She has written about Yass work in her book Ship to Shore and in Falling Away with her essay To the Lighthouse.

Limited Edition : Lighthouse (NNW), 2023

Based on the work originally commissioned by the Pavilion in 2011, Catherine Yass has created this new Limited Edition print to mark the decommissioning of the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse, a landmark structure off the coast of Eastbourne that has been part of the view from the Pavilion since 1970.

Catherine Yass
Lighthouse (NNNW), 2023
Ink Jet Printing on Fine Art Paper
605 x 506 mm
Edition of 30
Price: £250.00

If you would like to own an edition of this remarkable and very special print, please contact to reserve. Prints will be available for collection from 22nd November 2023.