Smear (for Cynethryth) is a carnival float designed by artist Carl Gent for Bexhill Carnival’s annual procession.

Starting in Sidley at 1pm, travelling up through the Old Town, along Buckhurst, Western and Devonshire Roads before finally passing
the De La Warr and congregating at the Polegrove at 3pm.

As it winds its way through the streets of the town, Smear (for Cynethryth) will play host to folk singing, daub-mixing and hairdressing, whilst an on-board printer will produce pamphlets containing literature about Queen Cynethryth, eighth century Queen of the Mercians, the co-founder of Bexhill-on-Sea.

Commanding the throne at a time when Mercia was fiercely expanding its territory and influence, Cynethryth was a woman of power like no other in eighth century Europe. Exiled from France, she was married to Mercian royalty (King Offa), mother to British Queens, and yielded power in the church long after her husband’s death. Posthumously, her legacy was eclipsed, overwritten by biographers writing 300 years later. Precious little written information remains of Cynethyth’s life.

Smear (for Cynethryth) continues Gent’s ongoing efforts to access a new story for Cynethryth, turning to folk-art practices as a location of alternative histories: identifying stories passed through generations in the form of performance and objects, ways to ‘smuggle’ possible truths under the radar of more official accounts. Joining Bexhill Carnival, the float will travel through a settlement founded by King Offa in his wars in Sussex, commemorating Cynethryth in a town that holds her imprint, hidden or otherwise.

After the Carnival, the float will travel to London to participate in the Young London 2018 exhibition at V22’s Silvertown Studios. Smear (for Cynethryth) has been commissioned by V22 and produced in partnership with the De La Warr Pavilion.

For routes and all information about Bexhill Carnival, please see here.

Booking information

Please note that Booking Fees apply on the following transactions:
Online: £1.25 per ticket + £1.50 postage or free collection at the Box Office
Telephone: £2.50 per transaction + £1.50 postage or free collection at the Box Office
In Person: Free

Please note that we are only able to post tickets within the UK. If you live overseas please select box office collection or print at home tickets. Tickets purchased for post will be send 10 – 14 days before the show date.

Staying locally

There are plenty of welcoming and good value B&Bs & boutique hotels in Bexhill. The De La Warr Pavilion regularly uses the following :

Travel information
  • 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 for up-to-date train travel information.
  • Taxis
    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.
  • Parking
    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. There is also lmiited free car parking along the seafront.

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.

Please contact the Box Office on 01424 229 111 to arrange a visit.

Facilities for disabled visitors

  • Ramped access at the front of the building
  • A low counter at the Box Office and  Information Desk
  • Disabled toilets on two floors
  • A lift to all floors
  • Accessible galleries on both floors
  • An accessible Café
  • Spaces for wheelchairs in the auditorium for seated events
  • Ramped access in the auditorium for events during the day
  • 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.