A Waterfronts commission as part of England's Creative Coast
Holly Hendry makes sculptures that look at the insides, backs and edges of things. The material specificity, shifting scales and unusual positioning of her works encourage visitors to consider sculpture in dialogue with their apparent and hidden surroundings, considering hollow spaces and undersides.
For Waterfronts Hendry presents Invertebrate, a giant composite form that will worm its way around the outside of De La Warr Pavilion, stretching from the seafront lawn to the first floor balcony and the roof; while inside an accompanying exhibition by Hendry titled Indifferent Deep will show the after-effects of the invertebrate’s actions, the gallery walls apparently munched and excavated.
The worm’s anatomy joins together different materials that resonate with the Pavilion’s seaside location. Sandbags made out of boating canvas, wrinkly and filled with pale local sand, connect with segments made using the casting techniques used to create tetrapod sea defences. These join onto wobbly metal ducting and sections in brick, the contrasting materiality of each segment conveying corporality and vulnerability to the elements. Suggesting hydrological functions both small and large — the transition of stone to sand and sand to glass, for instance — and notions of decomposition and re-emulsification essential to organic renewal, Hendry’s invertebrate form is a metaphor for precarity and change.
In successfully invading the De La Warr Pavilion, Hendry’s Invertebrate re-imagines the iconic modernist building as a porous body. Her inspiration comes from her fascination with borders:
“Making an artwork for Waterfronts, for me, is a consideration of edges,” Hendry has explained. “This deals with ideas of above and below, inside and outside, on the land, in the sea or under the ground. Edges seem to be definitive, a beginning or an end, a perimeter of sorts, and a line that highlights contested notions of ownership and free movement. Strange things have been revealing themselves in Bexhill-on-Sea, and further afield, like the wreck of the Amsterdam on Bulverhythe beach, dinosaur fossils in the Bexhill brickworks and environmental effects of our own waste materials. To make an artwork for Waterfronts is to consider our horizontal or flat perspectives to think about things more deeply than the surface world.”
Holly Hendry was born in 1990 in London, where she continues to live and work. She gained her BA Fine Art at The Slade School of Fine Art (2013) and her MA Sculpture at the Royal College of Art (2016). Recent solo exhibitions include: Stephen Friedman Gallery for Frieze London (2020), Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2019), Frutta Rome (2018-2019); and major group shows include the Biennale de Lyon (2019) and Liverpool Biennial (2018).
Discover England’s Creative Coast GeoTour and green spaces across Bexhill on sea through a newly commissioned series of geocaches. Follow hints on the official Geocaching® App while on location to find a constellation of hidden sculptures, log your finds and uncover local voices.
The series of geocaches have been developed by artist Sam Ayre in collaboration with All Saints Church of England Primary School and the 3rd Bexhill Scout Group, using artist Holly Hendry’s outdoor sculpture Invertebrate as a springboard for discussion and ideas.
During online workshops the collaborators shared stories about, experiences of and ambitions for local green spaces. They considered how these sites are used, shaped, tended and connected with the rest of the natural world. Meandering conversations linked ideas about energy cycles, creativity, worm poo, play, environmental responsibilities and wider philosophical questions.
Ayre has produced an audio piece and animation that reflect the idiosyncratic associations the children made. These are held within sculpted forms which allude to the humble yet essential worm cast.
More information on how to take part in England’s Creative Coast GeoTour will be available on the DLWP website from 27 May.
England’s Creative Coast is a landmark project between seven outstanding arts organisations to create a new outdoor cultural experience that connects art with landscape and local stories with global perspectives. It brings together the Waterfronts commissions and the world’s first art GeoTour, with each partner presenting their own section of the project and a local engagement programme at its heart.
Turner Contemporary presents Michael Rakowitz: April is the cruellest month
Margate, 1 May – 12 November
Cement Fields presents Jasleen Kaur: The first thing I did was to kiss the ground
Gravesend, 22 May – 12 November (launching with Estuary 2021)
Metal presents Katrina Palmer: Hello and Retreat
Southend-on-Sea, 22 May – 12 November (launching with Estuary 2021)
De La Warr Pavilion presents Holly Hendry: Invertebrate
Bexhill-on-Sea, 29 May – 12 November
Hastings Contemporary presents Andreas Angelidakis: Seawall
Hastings, 29 May – 12 November
Towner Eastbourne presents Mariana Castillo Deball: Walking through the town I followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman’s profile
Eastbourne, 29 May – 12 November
Creative Folkestone presents Pilar Quinteros: Janus Fortress Folkestone
Folkestone, 29 May – 12 November 2021 (featuring in the 2021 Folkestone Triennial, The Plot)
Waterfronts curator Tamsin Dillon states:
“Waterfronts offers audiences the chance to consider the natural, historical and political aspects of England’s porous coastline through the eyes of seven artists from five countries. Each spent time exploring the layered histories and complexities of their partner’s specific locations, bringing to these their own unique working methods and personal perspectives on this liminal space between land and water. Their responses propose a new take on this rich and varied region which stretches from the Thames Estuary to the Sussex Downs, encompassing Britain’s busiest trading and immigration routes, popular seaside resorts and the white cliffs of Dover.
“In recent years Brexit and the climate crisis have brought greater scrutiny to Britain’s borders, and now— because of the pandemic — crossing international borders has become so much more difficult and so much more of an issue for us all: with social distancing has come national, or international, distancing. Meanwhile, the public realm — always a fertile and sensitive context for art — is now more vital than ever. The seven Waterfronts artists engage with important issues, while the ‘re-set’ we have all been experiencing during the past year means that their outdoor works have a new and reinforced relevance, both conceptually and in terms of their physicality.
“Michael Rakowitz’s sculpture, placed ‘in conversation with other figures on the shores of Margate’ references very particular stories and histories. It is a meditation on the nature of the ‘conventional’ memorial statue, who can decide to create it and what might happen to it over time. On the south coast Holly Hendry’s three-part sculpture, referencing contemporary life as well as the history of Bexhill, will reside in and around the iconic De La Warr Pavilion building; while in Hastings, the idea of the cast concrete accropode system of flood defences is reconfigured as a group of soft sculptures by Andreas Angelidakis.
“Evolving over the course of its presentation, Pilar Quinteros’ monumental and interactive Janus-faced chalk head will gaze both across to Europe and inland to the town of Folkestone; whilst Mariana Castillo-Deball introduces geoglyphs into the streets of Eastbourne and its surrounding South Downs, re-inventing an archeological story of an ancient woman and literally weaving it into the landscape. Katrina Palmer’s two-part sculptural project; a sound-mirror and a powder magazine (that leads to a short story, a moving image work and an audio file) located at Shoeburyness, explores stories of Englishness and thwarted attempts to move forward, where defensive military ruins sit alongside recreational coastal culture; while Gravesend’s rich history of migration was the starting point for Jasleen Kaur’s sculpture and sound-based work.”
England’s Creative Coast is led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent, and principally funded by Arts Council England and VisitEngland through the Discover England Fund.
- 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. 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.