Working together, artists Jonathan Baldock and Emma Hart have radically re-imagined the traditional seaside show, Punch and Judy.
Following ACT II at Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool this summer and ACT I at PEER in London last year, Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock’s LOVE LIFE concludes this autumn with ACT III at the De La Warr Pavilion.
LOVE LIFE is Jonathan Baldock and Emma Hart’s most ambitious collaboration to date: a radical reimagining of the traditional seaside show Punch and Judy. LOVE LIFE ACT III draws on the history of the Pavilion, originally designed as a ‘people’s palace’ to provide culture and entertainment for all.
Through sculpture, moving image and sound, the artists transform Punch and Judy’s puppet booth living quarters into an oversized, darkly humorous place in which the pressure of domestic life is combined with the ever-present threat of violence.
A giant thumb made by Blackpool Council’s Illuminations Department sits on top of enclosed interiors, presented like room sets in an Ideal Home exhibition. Each booth contains sculptures: an oven stacked with anthropomorphic pots and pans, an ironing board with a human head, and a washing machine spewing out its blood-red contents. Beneath the booths, a misshapen raspberry-coloured carpet oozes out into the gallery space. Nearby, a giant infant with Cyclops head sits in a large pink baby walker. On the walls, a string of sausages spells out the warning ‘YOUR BACK’ and ceramic speech bubbles reminiscent of Punch’s aquiline profile give the impression of a silent chorus. Visitors are invited to sit on a
sofa and watch a film that shows the darkening domestic tensions between the Punch and Judy pair as they go about their daily rituals.
Accompanying this mise en scène are the melodramatic strains of Jon and Emma (2016), Baldock and Hart’s collaborative soundtrack. The song is adapted from John and Marsha, the comedian and puppeteer Stan Freberg’s 1951 cult record parodying soap opera dialogue.
Emma Hart lives and works in London. In 2016 she won the sixth Max Mara Art Prize for Women and from 12 July to 3 September 2017 will present Mamma Mia!, a new large-scale installation at Whitechapel Art Gallery. The commission is the result of the artist’s six month bespoke residency which began following her award in June 2016 in three Italian cities: Milan, Todi and Faenza. In 2015 Hart was also supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists. She has exhibited extensively across the UK and Europe including at Camden Arts Centre, Folkestone Triennial, Whitechapel Gallery and La Galerie CAC Noisy Le Sec, France.
Jonathan Baldock (b.1980) is London based artist and has exhibited internationally including solo shows at SPACE, London; OneWork Gallery, Vienna; Nicelle Beauchene, New York; Kunstvereniging Diepenheim (NL); The Apartment, Vancouver; Wysing Arts Centre; Cambridge; Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff; and Mansfeldský Palác, AMoYA, Prague. Group exhibitions include: Fondazione Memmo, Rome; Hull Maritime Museum; The Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai ; The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, The Mackintosh Museum, Glasgow and The Arp Museum, Rolandseck. Forthcoming solo shows include CGP London (June 2017). Baldock and Hart met on a residency at Wysing Arts Centre and have collaborated on projects ever since, including SUCKERZ in 2015 at L’etrangere, London.
LOVE LIFE is a collaboration between PEER, Grundy Art Gallery and De La Warr Pavilion supported by Arts Council England through the National Lottery.
- 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 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.