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Alexi Marshall: Cursebreakers, installation shot, photo by Rob Harris

Cursebreakers is artist Alexi Marshall’s first solo exhibition in a major national art gallery.

This is a new body of work that includes linocut prints, mosaics and embroidery that refer to representations of hybrid female figures and fantastic landscapes. Driven by a need for new mythologies, Marshall constructs imaginary worlds that encourage a purposeful examination of, and dialogue between, multiple traditions and histories.

Borrowing from paganism, folklore and animism, Marshall uses anthropomorphic and solar motifs, talismans, and ritual embroidery to challenge and subvert historical representations of women. She uses large-scale linocuts depicting female figures – part human, biblical and animal – in fantastical yet deeply personal landscapes that are simultaneously unnerving and alluring, and that seem to defy fixed narratives. Unapologetic imagery of women in their sexuality, dark femininity, divinity and unconstrained freedom recur in these landscapes and the figures break through old cycles through regeneration and rebirth.

The title of the exhibition refers to occultist Aleister Crowley’s alleged curse cast upon Hastings, East Sussex. The story goes that he cursed the town and its inhabitants, so that they could never free themselves from it; anyone who left would feel compelled to return. The only way to truly leave is to always carry a pebble with a hole in it, taken from Hastings beach, in your pocket. Marshall interweaves this legend as well as pagan histories and practices, and their current celebrations such as Hastings’ Jack in the Green Festival, which sees a ‘Jack’ cloaked in leaves to release the spirit of summer.

This exhibition is a collaboration between Flatland Projects and the De La Warr Pavilion. Originally, Cursebreakers was to take place at Flatland Projects – an artist-run exhibition space in Hastings which had to close due to the pandemic. In response, the De La Warr Pavilion and Flatland decided to collaborate on its presentation in our First floor gallery.

More about Alexi Marshall

Alexi Marshall (b. 1995, London, UK) is a London-based artist who graduated from the Slade School of Art in 2018. She works in print, fabric, drawing and embroidery, investigating themes of spirituality, folklore and regeneration. Linocut printing is a recurring medium in Marshall’s practice. Her prints and drawings convey a temporality, as lines, bodies and worlds fold into each other to create theatrical tableaux and morality plays, populated by saints and sinners. A certain kind of violence is projected as the images are scratched and carved into the medium in these labour intensive, detailed carvings. Marshall has exhibited her work in a solo exhibition at Public Gallery, London in 2019 and in selected group shows including: Dancing at The Edge Of The World, Sara Zanin Gallery, Rome’, We Always Dance Here, Flatland Projects, Hastings, UK (2019); Pareidolia, Space Station Gallery and Daniel Benjamin Gallery, London (2019); Inaugural Exhibition, Guts Gallery, London (2019); Young Gods, Charlie Smith, London (2019); Figurative NOW’ Daniel Benjamin Gallery, London (2018); and Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2018, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool and South London Gallery, London (2018).

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 www.nationalrail.co.uk 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.
    OR
    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.
Accessibility

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.