Residents unveil their new community artwork

Residents from Southwater together with artists Elise Liversedge and Mary Hooper and Southeastern staff
Residents from Southwater together with artists Elise Liversedge and Mary Hooper and Southeastern staff

RESIDENTS from the Southwater area in St Leonards unveiled a new community artwork ‘The Southwater Biography’, at Southeastern’s St Leonards Warrior Square Station on Monday (June 2).

Composed of four ceramic tile panels and designed by local artists Elise Liversedge and Mary Hooper, the artwork commemorates the hard work and contribution of residents to the regeneration of the area.

Commissioned by the Southwater Area Residents’ Association (SARA), it tells the story of the Southwater area from 1595 to the modern day.

Cllr Peter Chowney, the council’s lead member for regeneration, said: “We are pleased to have supported this community arts project which was funded by Awards 4 All.

“Artists Elise and Mary researched and designed the panels working with SARA and design students from the University of Brighton.

“Local residents took part in the research and design workshops and contributed family history, memories and photographs for the panels. Hastings Museum and the library also supported the project together with East Sussex County Council Record Office, The Hastings History House, and local historians.”

The panels were unveiled on platform two and will provide a colourful welcome for passengers using the station.

Natalie Simcox, duty station manager for Southeastern, said: “We’re delighted to be able to host this spectacular artwork at the station. It’s very important for us to support our local community and we’ve worked closely with residents to make sure the project is a success.

“We’ve got a host of other initiatives lined up for the future and look forward to working with more local groups to make the station more of a focal point for the community.”

Artists Mary Hooper and Elise Liversedge added: “We hope lots of people will enjoy the Southwater biography panel for many years to come and become fascinated and inspired by the rich history of the area.

“We wanted to create a landmark that gave another dimension to the Southwater area and wider St Leonards - ‘a sense of place’ and stronger identity.”

“We owe a great deal of thanks for help with the research and source material to Dennis Collins, our history guru and local historian based at the History House in Courthouse Street, the museum and library and local historians and residents.

“This has been a community project from start to finish and credit for that goes to SARA who steered it through all its stages.”