Hastings connects with all the world's other Hastings

An unusual and thought-provoking socially distanced event on Hastings’ seafront will herald the end of lockdown.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 7:05 am

Semaphore, a site-specific blend of sound, light and performance, will take place as the sun goes down. The event will highlight exchanges of coded messages from Hastings to some of the 24 other places on earth called Hastings. Created by MSL Projects as part of The Sea Beneath project, Semaphore is described by director Margaret Sheehy as ‘a hypnotic, interactive experience with many parts, exploring what it means to be human on a changing planet.’

Developed with a host of local artists, Semaphore combines movement, light, original sound, spoken word, performance, film, puppetry and a choreographed semaphore display from young performers from White Rock Theatre. It revisits and revives work by the late Chris Wainwright, a respected photographer, environmentalist and Hastings’ resident. In 2011, Chris and his partner Anne Lydiat Wainwright created a series of powerful light works entitled What Has To Be Done? on the shoreline of Aldeburgh, a few miles from Sizewell B nuclear power station. This was influenced by the work What Is To Be Done by German artist Joseph Beuys.

Margaret said “Semaphore echoes the message at the heart of both these pieces of art. Richard De Marco captures Joseph Beuys’ message when he says ‘There is a kind of energy that’s been there from the beginning of time. And that is the energy of human beings, animals, plants, glaciers, icebergs, rocks and any kind of pebbles. The power and energy of the sea. We should be in harmony with all of that. If we do not love and respect everything that we have on this planet, we will find the planet will take a certain kind of revenge.

“Covid has created a space in which questions about humanity’s relationship with Earth have bubbled to the surface. How will we respond to these questions?’

“Semaphore will take place on Monday 17 May at sunset. The date, which is Covid and weather dependent, may change. Updates will be emailed to ticket holders Semaphore is free, although donations are welcome. Numbers are limited and audiences are advised to book soon to receive event updates and interactive content via their mobile phone.”