Creative Coasters: Banksy, Eine and the start of Coastal Currents

Goodness, things are getting interesting in Hastings and St Leonards.

We've been following the lively debates unfold around the Tubman pub mural on Cambridge Road, and the bold dog mess posters that have been placed prominently around town (notably in one case, alongside our own Coastal Currents festival poster on the promenade).

But the last couple of days people's attention to the 'is it or isn't it' Bansky piece on the sea front, and the artist Eine (his spray painted letters appear on shop shutters throughout the town) who is creating a large-scale portrait of Prince Charles on the side of a building on Norman Road, St Leonards.

It's all creating quite a buzz, and great timing for us, as this weekend the Coastal Currents festival launches, and our own public artworks are in the process of being installed.

In the festival last year, one of the most popular pieces was Bread Bird Houses by Nathan Burr: scooped out loaves with breadstick perches that hung quietly in the Memorial Garden in Hastings Old Town. Part of the work's appeal was the absolute simplicity, people didn't feel intimidated as is often the case with contemporary artwork. They may not have been aware of the festival, or looked to see who the work was by, but they looked up and saw something they weren't expecting.

This year the festival will be featuring more outdoor public works - performance, sculptures and installations, in parks, on the beach, in shop windows, on advertising panels, and beach huts through Hastings, St Leonards and along to Bexhill. Most of these run throughout the month-long duration, and although some are bold interventions and obvious art works (i.e. Jorg Rost's illuminated washing line stretching along the sea front on the final weekend), others are more subtle, unexpected, and harder to spot.

If you'd like to explore all of the Coastal Currents artworks you can take part in a free tour that runs every Saturday throughout the festival (including family tours on Saturday), or pick up a free map with suggested trails from the Tourist Information Centre, that can be followed at any time until the end of September.


For anything else, you'll just have to keep your eyes peeled!