Soco Exhibitions, Installations and Reviews

Making Waves, April 2012


photograph © Brian Rybolt


Exhibiting artists: Sinéid Codd, Rose Miller, Anny Evason, Brian Rybolt, Charlotte Snook, Marylyn Edwards, Carly Ralph, Pip Carpenter, Angela Braven, Alex Leadbeater, Mary Morris, Lesley Cornish, Jean Davey Winter, Anna Pontunotti, John Hacker, Kathleen Mullaniff, Helen Hunt, Geoffrey Johnson, Eugene Palmer, Harry Snook, Susan Watts, Lynne Bingham, Mary Hooper, Tim Cross, Roz Cran

Guest Curator: Sharon Haward


There were more than 1000 visitors during the two weeks of the exhibition. 170 visitors signed the visitors book and made positive and enthusiastic comments:

‘Super Show SoCo’

‘Brilliant perspectives on the seascape and other themes.’

‘Superb. Really enjoyed!!’

‘Wonderful thought provoking work, inspired and moving.’


The Stade Hall continues to be an excellent venue for SoCo, attracting a wide and varied audience. It was good to see the number of children and young people who visited, some of whom returned for a second time.

As an important part of the exhibition programme, excellent talks were given by exhibitors Jean Davey Winter and Alex Leadbeater about their work and careers. Rose Miller ran a very successful writing workshop, which she has reviewed on the SoCo Workshops page of the website.


 twist at Stade Hall

A visitor twisting and turning in front of paintings by Pip Carpenter and Angie Braven

photograph © Sinéid Codd


copy of article in Observer, 13 April:

The spring exhibition by South Coast Artists (SoCo) Making Waves, confirmes the importance of Hastings & St.Leonards artists and celebrates the vital contribution that they make to life on the South Coast.
Work in the exhibition has been selected from members' submissions, which have been newly created to mark the event.  Alongside the exhibition, there is a programme of talks and workshops.
On Wednesday April 18 at 6pm. Alex Leadbeater will give a talk entitled 'The Tide is Turning'.  She will talk about her recent paintings and prints, and how living by the sea and in Hastings has changed her work, and also her outlook. 
On Saturday April 21, artist Rose Miller will lead a Writing workshop centred on pieces in the exhibition.
This will take place from 2pm to 4pm, and admission is free.  Both events are at Stade Hall.


Images from the exhibition © Sinéid Codd


Masquerade, November 2011

A collaborative exhibition presented by SoCo and PhG (Photo hub Group) at St. Mary in the Castle(Cafe Entrance, 6-8 Pelham Arcade) Hastings.

Private View: Saturday 19th November, 6.30pm to 8.30pm. With a performance by Judy Dewsbery and friends at 7.30pm.

Artists in residence: Nicole Falber and Louise Kenward.

Exhibiting Artists: Sin Bozhart, Angie Braven, Lynne Bingham, Patrick Burton, Nicky Clark, Roz Cran, Lesley Cornish, Nicol Falber, Tracy Jones, Cathryn Kemp, Louise Kenward, Grace Lau, Bob Mazzer, Rose Miller, Steve Rutter, Helen Siverlock, Charlotte Snook and Tim Cross.

Exhibition continues until 18th December. Opening times: Thursday to Saturday, 11am to 3pm, Sunday 12pm to 3pm and selected performance times.

private view / exhibition photographs © Sin Bozhart

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Openings - at Stade Hall, June 2011


11th to 26th June 2011 

We were delighted to have the opportunity to exhibit at the new Stade Hall, Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings, as part of Project a community arts space delivering contemporary arts exhibitions and community engagement projects. Project is managed by Creative Coast from their base at Stade Hall until October 2011

Twenty eight SoCo artists responded enthusiastically to the recent opening of this new space with work which explored both internal and external interpretations of 'Openings"

1400 people visited the exhibition during the two week period.

End of Year Show, St Mary-in-the-Castle, November/December 2010


End of the Year Show: November/December 2010

A Soco members exhibition in St.Mary-in-the-Castle included artworks from across the spectrum, with good use being made of the atmospheric crypt area, including an on-going wardrobe installation by Louise Kenward, delicate veneer constructions by Patrick Burton and a paper sculpture by Judy Dewsbery.

 Works from the exhibition

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 Louise Kenward:  Wardrobe – work in progress


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Wardrobe, closet, cupboard, cabinet, press, armoire, drawer - spaces hidden, contained, sometimes secret. Things are kept within, on top, at the bottom, out of sight. Private, personal, intimate spaces. Spaces of fantasy and wonder – the possibility of worlds beyond. 

Mr Ben comes to mind in thinking about the possibility of what lies within a wardrobe, dressing up and other states and places we can go to depending on what we wear. Although my principle interest is in the furniture itself, bedroom furniture. In ‘The lion, the witch and the wardrobe’ it is a transitional object, from one world to another, and considered by some as a Christian metaphor. 

Things kept at the bottom of the wardrobe can be secret, special, long forgotten. A place for letters, photos, things we hang on to but don’t use or look at until a ‘spring clean’ or tidy up. Rediscovering these items can trigger a re-look, reminiscing and transport us to other internal spaces and worlds long forgotten.
We hang on to things, and this can be a space that allows us to do so. A clear out can be a significant step in letting go of the emotional attachment and associations we have with the things we have kept there for so long. 

This was my nan’s wardrobe. I inherited several pieces of furniture and this is something I like for its size and shape, but is not very useful. It has moved around to different places, and is something I can’t part with but can’t find a practical use for either. It seemed a useful starting point in working with this space at St Mary’s in the Castle, the crypt and its alcoves having long been a place I have wanted to work in. So using this object as a starting point to explore the space within and my own internal space seemed like a useful one.

I will spend time each weekend working in this space to experiment and translate ideas of working with the space ‘between’ (e.g. the internal and external; the real and unreal). I will document this in photographs and display these to map my development between the start of the exhibition and the end.

Louise Kenward, 31st October 2010

Obsessions and Collections, September 2010


Obsessions & Collections, September 2010

Voted one of the best exhibitions in last year's Coastal Currents festival, and situated in a perfectly preserved Victorian shop, 18 artists made playful use of the title and produced a diverse and well considered show, including swans, figurines, soap, and a dolls house with unusual occupants.
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Coastal Currents Open Studios, September 2009

Coastal Currents Open Studios 2009 :  The Beacon    

Always an enjoyable experience for us, an opportunity to spend a few hours chatting to visitors and catching up with each other.  

Showing in the main exhibition:  Judy Dewsbery (paintings and drawings):, Patrick Burton (possibly veneer kimonos); patrickinhastings@google, Rachel Heavens (paintings);, Loulou Cousin (papier mache artist);, Nick Long (treen); dinsdale, the Tuesday Life Drawing Group and Ed Boxall who, as usual, will be giving us the pleasure of his songs as well as his illustrations. 

Also, on the first weekend Mike Williams will be hosting a sculpture workshop in the garden. (makingsculpture for enquiries). 

There are usually refresments available, relaxing in the garden. 

Artists with open studios at the Beacon: 
Judith Rowe (potter) 
Marian Anderson (glass and ceramics): 
Mike Williams (sculptor): 
Kate Orr (painter): (01424 729031) 
Ben White (painter). 
Carl Carzana (illustrator) 

Reflective Space:   Louise Kenward

These images (seafront ones) are from a project Reflective Spaces which ran as part of Coastal Currents 2009 - there were a series of photographic images re-installed into the window frames of 12 seafront shelters along the coast from Old Town, Hastings to Bexhill, in parallel, there was a wall based exhibition of images as part of the Soco/Phg exhibition at St Marys in the Castle and related seminar.

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Reflective Space

I have exhibited a selection of some of the photographs I have taken through the windows of the seafront shelters along this stretch of coastline. I was interested in the shelters as permanent structures in the transient and ever changing environment of the seafront. In particular, my interest became focussed on the people who use the shelters.

With reference to the brief, the ‘edge’ here refers to the structures as being at the edge of the coast and the photographs are taken over the edges of the windows, but also in reference to them often being refuge to those at the edge of society – the street drinkers and homeless who seek shelter. The view through the window creates a degree of distance and disconnectedness, separate from the figures on the other side of the window. The window is also somewhat dysfunctional, the view is around the other side, they are not windows that would be used to look through. As places for contemplation they are also sites where individuals maybe more aware of their internal state, so attention maybe on the edge of the internal and external.

In these images, the viewer is looking through a window, the frame is within the picture and there are layers of images captured in the surface. The Perspex windows are often covered with dirt, scratches and graffiti; there are reflections of what was behind me at the time of the photo, and there are painted brush marks around the edges.
Through the window there are (often anonymous) shapes of people sitting in the shelters and beyond this are figures walking/cycling past with the view of the prom and the sea beyond this.

My interest in the shelters is about their architecture and the variety of this along the coastline. The towns existing because and in response to the coastline. I sought to also explore their function and role – providing shelter from the wind and rain, spaces to sit and look, places to think and talk. What particularly interests me is how they can be easily overlooked, walked past unnoticed. In a constantly changing space, these structures are the only constant.

The photographs I have taken are also of scenes easily overlooked, of ordinary unremarkable events and figures. It is slightly voyeuristic image of people going about their day without awareness of being watched of photographed. With attention drawn to them, there is something really appealing about them for me, maybe it is something nostalgic or familiar that is reassuring or comforting. They represent a cross section of society living and visiting the seafront. Highlighting these individuals makes me wonder about who they are and what they are doing. People who you may walk past unnoticed, and like the shelters, this work draws attention to them in a quiet way.
In a parallel piece of work I have installed prints of the views through the windows, replacing them in the windows they were taken through, providing a permanent view which captures a moment of this transient space. These are also easily overlooked and I like the subtlety of them, I also like the accessibility of it. People can readily engage with the piece in a place they find accessible rather than a gallery which many visitors to the shelters may never go to. It has spurred dialogue and interaction, a sense of mystery and many have gone in search of other pieces, creating further interaction with their environment and a curiosity about the work and the spaces. It draws attention to the shelters and the environment they inhabit.

In returning to the brief, my ‘conversation’ has therefore been in part with those who use the shelters and also with myself, and the installation of images installed in the shelters. I have learned how there are routines and habits associated with the shelters, people often have their preferred shelter and time of day to visit. I was struck by some people’s apparent loneliness and isolation in talking to them, of their openness at times and their ability to completely ignore what is going on around them.
For many, during the summer, the seafront is a vibrant and busy place to be, sunshine and ice cream. This is just a fraction of what goes on though, people and places under our nose, which all have a story, and I am interested in how these shelters can be a leveller, a place for anyone to use at anytime, a sanctuary.
I hope these images portray some of this, I certainly hope to develop this work further, to continue to photograph the shelters through the changing seasons and to extend it beyond Hastings and Bexhill, linking other places along the coastline.

My work is influenced by my interest in people and the ordinary, what lies beneath. Of developing an awareness of place and person. I love living by the sea and the coastline is an ongoing inspiration. I also enjoy working with found objects and images, things with their own history. I am interested in considering a sense of place and identity. Artists who interest me include Annette Messager and Sophie Calle and photographers include Richard Billingham and Nan Goldin.

27th September 2009
St Mary’s in the Castle show – PhG and Soco Seminar

Soco celebrates Christmas, November - December 2008

SoCo celebrates CHRISTMAS 

Exhibition at the Burton Gallery
5 Marine Court, St. Leonards-on-Sea 

An exhibition of works by SoCo members 

Private View Friday 28th November 6.30 - 9 pm

Open Sat 29th November - Weds 3rd December
12pm to 6 pm 

Seeking Sanctuary, September 2008


Seeking Sanctuary:  A Multi Venue Exhibition 

Local people and artists working together to explore their interpretation of the meaning of Sanctuary. 

See below for exhibition venues & times.

When ? 

Saturday 13 Sept- Monday 15 Sept 
Saturday 20 Sept - Monday 22 Sept 
(Opening times vary - see details below) 

Where ? 

1 St. Clements Church, Croft Road, Hastings  Old Town  Open 12.30pm – 4.30pm 

2. Friends Meeting House, 5 South Terrace 2pm to 5pm (Open Saturdays & Sundays only) 

3. South Lodge, St. Leonards Gardens. Private Event Saturday 20th September 2 pm - 4 pm only
Public Event Sunday 21st September 2 pm - 4 pm only

4. St. John the Evangelist Church, Pevensey Road, St. Leonards Open 12.30pm  - 4.30pm 
(except Sundays: Open 1.30pm to 4.30pm) Main Entrance on Brittany Road 

5. Beach Hut 1, West Marina, St. Leonards 12.30 pm – 4.30pm 
(Open Saturdays & Sundays only) 


Grace Lau at Brighton Museum, August - November 2008




SoCo member Grace Lau's 
"21st Century Types: A Photographic Study"
is at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery Café Balcony from 12th August to 10th November 2008. 

To download a PDF poster please click here.


Thursday 9 October 1pm 
Picturing the Chinese 
Grace Lau discusses her photographic work inspired by 19th century travellers' representations of the Chinese. 
The Old Courtroom, Church Street, Brighton 
£5 (£3.50 concessions)


Grace Lau’s project began during research for her book "Picturing the Chinese: Early Western Photographs and Postcards of China". In it 
she explores photographic portraits taken in China by Westerners during the years between the Opium Wars (1839–60) and the Boxer Rebellion (1900). 
The book is to be published in August 2008.

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