Inflatable art with an English Channel setting

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The De La Warr Pavilion is delighted to present Buoys Boys, an exhibition incorporating a new site-specific sculptural performance by leading British artist Fiona Banner.

Inspired by the Pavilion’s situation overlooking the sea, the immersive installation takes place both inside and outside the gallery, and is a play on digital versus material experiences, while continuing the artist’s ongoing interest in conflict and language.

In Buoys Boys, Banner references the limitations of language through a series of full stop sculptures or “anti-texts”. The artist has previously rendered full stops in 3D; here they are massively blown up, in scale but also literally, as they take the form of helium-filled inflatables. Their mammoth forms, in a variety of typefaces, Capitalist, Courier, Bookman etc, float from the roof of the Pavilion in two happenings, for the opening of Buoys Boys, and for the closing of Hasting’s ROOT 1066 International Festival.

Banner is particularly interested in how historical events become fictionalised over time. Buoys Boys is part of ROOT 1066, in which artists loosely respond to the cultural and linguistic legacies of the Norman invasion. Said the artist, “The full stop inflatables have the English Channel as backdrop. They are big black empty texts in one way, just floating buoys in another.

“There’s something beautiful but also dark about the Channel. Britain was invaded across this stretch of water in 1066, the same stretch that today is both a route of attempted refuge and the increasingly contentious divider between Britain and mainland Europe. The black abstract forms are markers within language but also markers within space and time, sometimes they seem absurd, comical, or even surreal.”

Buoys Boys runs from 24 September 2016 – 7 January 2017, De La Warr Pavilion, every day 10am – 6pm. Admission is free.