This summer, the De La Warr Pavilion will host two major new projects by artist Holly Hendry addressing subjects that include borders, edges, bodies and machines.
Her solo exhibition in the Ground floor gallery, Indifferent Deep, features a host of sculptures situated within an apparently half-eaten landscape, while a major new public artwork, titled Invertebrate, burrows through the building’s rooftop and balconies, emerging on the lawn outside.
Holly Hendry imagines the De La Warr Pavilion being chewed up. Almost 100 years ago, in 1923, its architect Erich Mendelsohn spoke about machines and buildings as part of a network of ‘organisms’ that continue to evolve according to human need. Altering in relation to their surroundings, living organisms grow, consume energy and decay: the Pavilion’s position on the coastline is vulnerable due to rising sea levels, and rough sea winds can erode the clean lines of its modern structure. Extending Mendelsohn’s idea, Hendry visualises the De La Warr Pavilion’s ‘body’ becoming porous before dissolving into its surroundings. Invertebrate’s journey will tear holes in the gallery’s walls, revealing the Pavilion’s fragility and making it into a vessel whose leaks and holes cause artworks, the building and its surroundings to appear and disappear from view, while blurring the boundaries between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’.
Hendry will create an environment in the gallery using sheets of MDF donated to the artist from a building project that was halted because of COVID-19. She will also incorporate waste aggregate from Bexhill’s nearby brickworks, excavated from ground rich in fossils. By focusing on the building industry’s leftovers, Hendry highlights the unimaginably vast cycle of production in which the earth’s ancient resources are endlessly processed and spat out.
Hosted within this environment are a series of semi-figurative sculptures, some of which move. Different concepts of time have informed many of the works, including short, miniature changes within our bodies, hydrological cycles and deep, geological time periods spanning millions of years. A number of sculptures refer to anatomical illustrations that show the inner, digestive workings of the human body, described by physician Fritz Kahn (1888-1968) as 2the most competent machine in the world”; but in Indifferent Deep, some of these machines are sad, exhausted or defunct. Other works refer to technologies such as the X-ray. Architectural historian Beatriz Colomina has proposed that the X-ray’s development in the late 19th/early 20th century inspired the transparent, glass-filled aesthetic of Modernist architecture. She also observes that light, airy surroundings without clutter were recommended for recovery from tuberculosis, which, in the early 1900s, was a leading cause of death in the Western world.
While Indifferent Deep and Invertebrate expose the process of bodies, machines and buildings consuming and being consumed, they also prompt us to consider what forms of regeneration and renewal can emerge as a result.
Invertebrate is a major outdoor commission presented in collaboration with England’s Creative Coast as part of Waterfronts: a landmark series of seven outdoor art commissions that celebrates and connects the creative coastlines of East Sussex, Kent and Essex.
Please note that the opening date may change according to Government restrictions.
Indifferent Deep is supported by the Henry Moore Foundation
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).
Invertebrate is 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. It is a Waterfronts commission as part of Englands’ Creative Coast.
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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.
Follow Your Nose is a webapp created by artist Sam Ayre that you can use in our galleries. A random sequence of questions and statements will appear which will prompt you to trust your own feelings rather than being influenced by other people’s opinions and perspectives.
Open the app, choose something in the exhibitions to look at and respond to as many questions and statements as you like. Follow your nose and see where your instincts take you!
The questions and statements are in English, Spanish, French, Turkish and Arabic.
Open the web app here
Read more on our blog here.
Take a trip to England’s Creative Coast and discover one of the most vibrant cultural destinations in the UK. Kent, Essex, East Sussex and West Sussex have some of the most outstanding galleries, arts organisations, events and festivals in the country.
Each unique destination will feature work by the world’s leading artists in coastal towns pulsating with creativity. In 2021 seven new outdoor artworks will connect and celebrate the breathtaking 1400km coastline that spans from the Thames Estuary to the English Channel.
Find out more here
There are plenty of welcoming and good value B&Bs & boutique hotels in Bexhill. The De La Warr Pavilion regularly uses the following :
- 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.