Coastal Currents opens in fantastic style

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Coastal Currents Arts Festival opened this weekend to capacity crowds, cheers and partying and ended with a mass fall into the sea courtesy of artist Amy Sharrocks.

Bank Holiday weekend saw this fantastically popular regional arts festival draw in even more crowds than ever with an opening event in Bottle Alley followed by a packed crowd of revellers at the After Party in the brand new Observer Building.

Saturday saw the official first day of the festival with hoards of families flocking to the seaside town to search for the hidden sculptures by Isaac Cordal and visit the Museum of Water and associated Water Bar by artist Amy Sharrocks.

Some brought their carefully chosen donation of water to join the growing museum with their personal story attached via a beautiful little tag.

Coastal Currents even took over Stade Saturdays for the evening, presenting Yumino Seki’s Butoh dance MANJUSAKA which lit the night sky with LED’s and took the audience on a journey with them exploring worlds of immortality.

Altered States kicked off the festival’s film programme showing a mass of submitted films from all over the world in Electro Studios. Curated by Mark French and Toby Tatum, the festival was inundated by such quality material that the festival will continue to screen these brilliant short films at the outdoor projections coming next week.

What better and more fitting way to end the weekend than with a mass fall into the sea. Amy Sharrocks led between 40 and 50 participants into an assisted fall into the almost glass like water on Bank Holiday Monday.

This marking the end of her piece WATERWORKS but also creating a sense of communal togetherness which was unexpected from such a simple but clearly deeply meaningful act.

There is much much more to come with two whole weeks left of the festival. From a stage show about boredom next weekend by dry and uber witty pair Hunt & Darton to the invasion of the Red Ladies next Saturday.

Tod Hanson, artist-in-residence for a whole month so far, also launches his piece, he main commission of the festival, next Wednesday 9th September in Hastings Museum and Arts Gallery at 6pm.

Free and all welcome, don’t miss this incredible 9m x 9m installation influenced by the collection at the museum and hand painted with Farrow and Ball floor paints.

This huge painting will be deconstructed piece by piece and transported to the Museum where is will be carefully fitted to the exact the dimensions of the room, giving a seamless finish which can be walked on by the visitor and allows for a 360 degree visual arts experience.

Coastal Currents also had 40+ submitted events and many trails of Open Studios to explore stretching from St Leonards through to Rye taking in the views from Fairlight on the way. On until 13 September you can see more at www.coastalcurrents.org.uk