Artists mark 20 years of twinning

By Desmet and Van Dorpe
By Desmet and Van Dorpe

A COLLECTIVE of artists from Hastings and its twin town in Belgium has set up an arts project.

Eleven people from 1066 Country will be creating a range of new works, consisting of installations, painting, photography, film, and video in several venues across the Belgian town of Oudenaarde.

These include BrandWoeker, a former fire station now used as a cultural centre, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts and House de Lalaing, Oudenaarde’s tapestry conservation centre and workshops.

At the same time in Hastings and St Leonards, 10 artists from Belgium, France and the UK will be producing similar work in disused buildings, outdoor sites and art centres.

The project, INTERFACE, commemorates the 20th anniversary of the twinning partnership between Hastings and Oudenaarde, and runs from August 26 to October 2.

It will also be an integral part of the upcoming annual Coastal Currents arts festival here in 1066 Country, which starts on August 27 and runs until September 30.

In addition to the project, there are various events coordinated with INTERFACE. A 20-foot shipping container adjacent to the old lido site in west St Leonards will house a programme of artists’ films over four weekends, from August 27 to September 18, starting at noon to 4pm.

An artists’ talk takes place at The Reading Room, Claremont Studios, 12 Claremont on Thursday, September 22, giving an insight into the works produced for Hastings and St Leonards by participating artists Chloe Brooks, Cécile Colle, Ralf Nuhn and Bob and Roberta Smith.

INTERFACE events are also included in Hastings and St Leonards Heritage Open Days, from September 8 to 11, with artists’ performances happening throughout the project.

Christine Gist, artist and curator, said: “INTERFACE promises to bring challenging and innovative projects to Hastings and St Leonards. It’s also a unique opportunity for Hastings artists to work in Oudenaarde and to attract the attention of new audiences. INTERFACE would not have been possible without significant support from The National Lottery through Arts Council England. “Hastings Borough Council has also played a crucial role in realising INTERFACE and the support of Hastings Association of Twin Towns has benefited the project.” For more information log onto or