• Fiona Banner: Buoys Boys, Installation View, De La Warr, Bexhill-On-Sea, Photography by Nigel Green

  • Fiona Banner: Buoys Boys, Installation View, De La Warr, Bexhill-On-Sea, Photography by Nigel Green

  • Fiona Banner: Buoys Boys, Installation View, De La Warr, Bexhill-On-Sea, Photography by Nigel Green

  • Fiona Banner: Buoys Boys, Installation View, De La Warr, Bexhill-On-Sea, Photography by Nigel Green

Leading British artist Fiona Banner presents an immersive installation exploring her ongoing interest in language and its limitations.

In the sculptural performance Buoys Boys, five large inflatable full stops, each in a different font, float above the roof of the De La Warr Pavilion. This series of happenings, which take place throughout the duration of the exhibition, are documented in the film, Buoys Boys, which is shown as part of Fiona Banner’s solo exhibition of the same name. When the giant inflatables are not floating from the roof, they are presented in the centre of the gallery. The full stop sculptures or “anti-texts” reference Banner’s concern with the limitations of language.

Buoys Boys is set to the 1966 pop song Snoopy Vs The Red Baron. The track was recorded during rehearsals for two live performances of the song organised by Banner, one featuring Viv Albertine from English punk group The Slits, and the other with Sir John Cass School Choir in London. A series of large-scale posters that fill the back wall of the gallery also relate to Banner’s live performances, each with an intriguing story behind them.

Ha-ha, installed along the full length of the gallery windows, punctuates the landscape  – cut outs in the shape of more full stops.  This work cleverly plays with the outside and the inside, the beautiful seafront and Banner’s interest in creating a ‘pause’.

The entrance to the gallery is marked by Font (2015), a found 1920s marble baptismal font marked with its name: Font.  It creates a playful slippage between naming, language, object and image – a recurrent theme in the artist’s work.  Her book The Nam (1997), once described as ‘unreadable’, contains descriptions of well-known Vietnam films, is displayed on a plinth and represented as a giant sculpture as you walk further into the space.

The Nam was published by The Vanity Press, which has been the backbone of Banner’s practice for the past decade. She uses the pejorative term Vanity Press to playfully refer to the practice of self-financed publishing for personal satisfaction. A flickering neon sign in the gallery depicts the ISBN number that registers the neon work under the title The Vanity Press. It is accompanied by routine paperwork from the British Library that asks her to submit copies of her published work. The reply she sends explains the impossibility of their request given the one-off nature of much of Banner’s published works.

The exhibition is suitable for all ages.

Buoys Boys was part of the ROOT 1066 International Festival in September and October this year where artists loosely responded to the cultural and legacies of the Norman invasion.

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.
    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 7pm. 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.