Laetitia Yhap, Dark Shed with M, 1985-1986, Oil on board. Image courtesy the Artist and Hales London and New York. Copyright Laetitia Yhap.

Laetitia Yhap (b. 1941, UK) is best known for intricate paintings of fishermen on The Stade Beach, Hastings, UK, created on unusually shaped panels individually hand-made by the artist for each work. Yhap moved to Hastings from London in 1967, and in 1974 began her cycle of work depicting raw glimpses into the lives of the fishing community, documenting daily scenes as they unfolded on the beach.

Enraptured by the ritual of their activities, Yhap began to draw the fishermen from life before returning to her studio to make the paintings. She would continue making works of this community for twenty-five years, bringing forth their resilience and spirit in the face of such dangerous labour conditions. Yhap’s oeuvre serves as a unique picture of an industry that today looks completely different, as rapid industrialisation and environmental shifts render the lives of those working at sea increasingly precarious.

Born in London during the Blitz to an Austrian mother and Chinese father, Yhap has often grappled with a sense of displacement and not belonging and ultimately found solace in art making and the fishing community of Hastings. This exhibition at DLWP celebrates Yhap as a unique voice within British art history and highlights the relevance of her work to pressing ecological concerns within our local and wider landscapes.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Yhap has exhibited extensively in institutions including Serpentine Gallery, London (1979); Hayward Gallery, London (1982); Tate (The Hard-Won Image, 1984), London; The Barbican Art Gallery, London (1987); Whitechapel Gallery, London; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (1974, 1982, 1985 and 1987) as part of the John Moores Painting Prize, where Yhap was one of the awardees in 1974.

Yhap’s solo exhibitions include Laetitia Yhap: Fishing Paintings, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings (1984); Laetitia Yhap: The Business of the Beach, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (toured Berwick Museum and Art Gallery, Camden Art Centre and others in 1988-89); My Vital Life, Laetitia Yhap at 80, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings (2020); Laetitia Yhap: Longings and Belonging, Yanlan Arts and Culture Foundation, Beijing (2022).

Selected public collections which hold Yhap’s work include Tate, Arts Council of Great Britain, British Council, Contemporary Art Society, Government Art Collection, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hove Museum and Art Gallery, Walker Art Gallery, and others. Her work is also held in numerous private collections in UK, Switzerland, USA and China.

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 7pm. 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.