People often make sense of the world through language, maps, museological classifications, military codes and routines: Simon Patterson manipulates these mechanisms, shifting our perceptions as a result. Safari combines works from the last twenty-five years of Patterson’s career with two new commissions.
This exhibition takes the visitor on a mini safari throughout the De La Warr Pavilion where they will encounter, interspersed with Patterson’s own work, objects drawn from Bexhill and Hastings Museums.
These objects include artefacts collected by Hastings resident Annie Brassey (1839-87), an English writer and traveller who amassed an extensive collection of ethnographic objects during her voyages around the world on her steam yacht, the Sunbeam. Patterson’s display will also include several rather more questionable objects, such as those relating to the notorious Piltdown man, Grey Owl and other local fraudsters, charlatans and fantasists.
For the De La Warr Pavilion, and working in conjunction with the Bexhill-on-Sea Sailing Club, the artist will stage a temporary public spectacle entitled Seascape. On the occasion of the exhibition’s opening, the Club will stage a ‘sea-battle’ during which coloured smoke grenades will be set off: a daytime display that references the way that artists were commissioned in the 17th and 18th Centuries to design spectacles, including mock battles and firework displays, for their patrons. This will be the fifth incarnation of ‘Landskip’, originally commission for ‘Art in the Park’ at Compton Verney, Warwickshire (curated by Locus+), 2000.
Escape Routine (2002) is the first work visitors encounter on entering the gallery. In this video, flight attendants alternately demonstrate in-flight safety procedures and feats of escapology, whilst a smooth voiceover reads extracts from Harry Houdini’s writings on magic and stagecraft. By combining these unlikely acts, the artist opens up a range of alternative meanings.
Meanwhile, Manned Flight (1999-), a man-lifting kite inscribed with the name of the first person in space, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, will be positioned in the De La Warr Pavilion’s iconic North Staircase, visible from outside. An itinerant work, Manned Flight (1999-) has been displayed around the world, with the aim that it will ultimately reach the site outside Moscow where Gagarin was killed in a routine training flight.
Simon Patterson, b. 1967, is a graduate of Goldsmiths College, London. He first came to public attention in 1988 when his work appeared as part of the influential Freeze exhibition. In 1996, he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize. Patterson’s paintings, sculptures and films frequently co-opt and subvert traditional sources of information. He lives in London.
Patterson’s work features in many public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Tate Collection; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Kunsthaus, Zurich. Solo shows include: The Grey Art Gallery, New York (1993); Lisson Gallery, London (1996); Kunsthaus, Zurich (1997); Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2005); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2005); Haunch of Venison, London (2007 and 2012); The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London (2008); Galeria Nieves Fernandez, Madrid (2013); Serlachius Museum, Mantta, Finland (2014). Group exhibitions include Freeze, London (1988); Doubletake, Hayward Gallery, London (1992) and Vienna Kunsthalle (1993); Aperto, Venice Biennale (1993); Mapping, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1994); The Sense of Order, Museum of Modern Art, Lujbljana (1996); Sensation, Royal Academy, London (1997) and The Brooklyn Museum, New York (1998); Sydney Biennale (2002); 100 Artists See God, ICI, Jewish Museum San Francisco (touring show) (2004); Eye on Europe, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006); Print the Legend: The Myth of the West, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2008).
Bexhill Museum was founded in 1914 by nurse and explorer Kate Marsden and Reverend J.C. Thompson FGS. The primary purpose of the Museum is to collect, conserve, display and interpret objects and associated information related to the history and natural environment of the surrounding area. The emphasis of Bexhill Museum’s activities is on education through displays and exhibitions in the gallery and by outreach work in the community. The orginal (1934) model of the De La Warr Pavilion is housed at the Museum.
Hastings Museum and Art Gallery is a family-friendly museum with amazingly diverse collections. The Museum opened 125 years ago and has always offered local people and visitors to the town the opportunity to explore art, culture and history from around the world. The Museum’s collections continue to grow and it now has around 100,000 objects of local history, natural sciences, fine & decorative arts, and world cultures.
Bexhill Sailing Club was founded in 1947. For 70 years, it has provided the people of Bexhill and the surrounding area with the opportunity to take part in sailing. The Club is an RYI recognised establishment, and a registered Community Amateur Sports Club. It provides sailing and powerboat courses for both adults and cadets, and are proud to be a Volvo Championship club, which was awarded in recognition of excellence in the provision of facilities and training for young people. It has an extensive calendar of sailing events taking place between March and November every year.
- 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.