Arts festival is back and even more creative

NOW in its fourteenth year, Coastal Currents Arts Festival 2013 will be upping the ante in terms of creativity with a number of playful and interactive events included in the programme of free live performances, exhibitions, and open studios.

This year it will run from September 21 to October 6, and for the first time, the festival is directed and managed by local team Creative Coast in collaboration with Home Live Art a company of creative producers.

Events will take place at a range of venues and studio locations, both indoors and out, around Hastings and St Leonards, and Bexhill.

This year, Coastal Currents has its very own public information service in the form of artist duo Hunt and Darton. Famed for their pineapple outfits, smiling service and charming eccentricity, and fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe they will be on hand during the opening Saturday (September 21) to provide up- to-date festival information, recommend shows or answer questions...but not necessarily with the right answer.

On both Hastings and Bexhill seafront over the weekend of October 5 and 6, Save Me, by Search Party will see two performers set far apart from one another, attempt to communicate using only semaphore flags and a little help from passers-by.

Bodies In Urban Spaces (September 21 and 22), an exceptional outdoor event by Austrian choreographer Willi Dorner, will feature performers, who have been sourced and auditioned from lithe local volunteers.

By cramming themselves into doorways, alcoves and just about any gap they can find between the new and Old Town, they offer often hilarious interpretations of urban architecture as well as extraordinary feats of strength and stamina.

The popular Open Studios over two weekends (September 21/22 and 28/29) will see visitors welcomed into artists’ studios and workplaces, from locations in the heart of town, to countryside hideaways and seafront beach huts.

The trail runs along the coast from Bexhill to the east of Hastings.

There is plenty more on the programme, from Kate McIntosh’s Worktable interactive installation in shipping containers by the swan boating lake, to experimental soundscapes in Alexandra Park, talks, workshops, cabaret, and illuminated cycle rides.

Councillor Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration at Hastings Borough Council, said: “Coastal Currents has become one of the south coast’s most established and well-known visual arts festivals, showcasing the wealth of creative talent we have in Hastings and the surrounding area, as well as bringing in high quality artists and performers from elsewhere.

“Once again, this promises to be an unmissable festival.”

For full details pick up a free programme or visit coastalcurrents.org.uk.