On Sunday May 21, the community of Bexhill and beyond came together in an act of restoration and  resistance to the vandalism of Tschabalala Self’s sculpture Seated . The sculpture of a Black woman looking out to sea was spray-painted white, covering the entirety of her skin.

It was incredibly powerful to see over 300 people come together to make a start in cleaning the sculpture with scrubbing brushes and white spirit.

Through this process of care and healing we were able to make it clear that these acts will not be tolerated in our community and we will continue doing the necessary work to combat racism in all its forms.

We would like to thank everyone who came to restore and support as well as the hundreds of messages we received online. Tschabalala Self says:

Painting the skin of my sculpture white is an obscene act and I feel horribly for individuals in Bexhill-on-Sea for whom this event may have shocked or frightened. To my supporters there, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and a promise that I will continue to make work that provokes meaningful change and progress in our shared society.

See the full statement from the artist here  

Seated will continue to be restored professionally and will re-open on Saturday 3 June, where we invite everyone to enjoy a picnic with the artist on the lawns around the sculpture and celebrate the power of art to galvanise and connect people and communities. Details to follow.


Posted by sally on Monday 22 May 2023