Saturday, 16 July 2011

Lighthouse Stories 1.


What images or words are in your head after watching the film Lighthouse? Do you have any lighthouse stories? What do lighthouses mean to you?

Make a drawing or collage, write a poem, illustrate a word or be in a short video for the Pavilion's Thinking Aloud exhibition blog.

That was the proposition for a gallery interaction on an unseasonal Saturday afternoon, the Pavilion a refuge from rain & wind. The Sovereign Lighthouse was invisible until it suddenly brightened up around 4pm. We had two big tables outside the 1st floor gallery where Lighthouse by Catherine Yass is showing, by the cafe.

Lots of talented people stopped by to sit down and make something. Ana wanted to talk to camera. Too noisy to do it indoors due to a wedding reception upstairs, kept from this summer's rooftop beach by the horrible weather, so we had to contend with the roar of the sea on the balcony. Penny remembered her wedding reception here in 1968. Sophie & Rolf, on a 4 day trip from Brussels in their beautiful car to attend an Austin A35 rally in Liphook, had found the De La Warr Pavilion on the internet and took the time to make an ingenious model lighthouse.

Some of what we tacked to the wall or photographed before it was taken home is below. Thanks to wonderful volunteers Penny & Jess.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Gallery Interaction with Sheridan Quigley: Colouring the light

Catherine Yass' images, still and moving, were eliciting very enthusiastic responses from gallery visitors on Saturday afternoon. Watching people viewing the work, there was a sense that they were both enthralled and unnerved.
One of Yass' tradmarks is the intense colour that radiates from her lightboxes, either as negative light that glows, such as the "Decommissioned" series, or the surreal solidity of the atmosphere in the "Sleep" series, which looks as if you could prod it.

The idea behind the gallery interaction was to give visitors an opportunity to make their own images from layers of translucent colour, which we then hung in the stairwell to collect the light from the seafront.

There was a wide array of responses, from young and old, some taking inspiration from their own dream landscapes, others responding to the sea views and the underwater qualities of the materials.

Yass' films in particular caught the imagination of the people I spoke to, with the sensation they evoke of floating or falling through spaces where up and down are not fixed. A particular favourite seems to be the "Lock", on the Three Gorges Dam of Yangtze River: quite a number of visitors commented on the menacing sense of environmental damage it expresses. The Sovereign Lighthouse film, while inducing a surprising amount of seasickness, is a fabulous sense-surround of this extraordinary local landmark.

Lift the Lid: Dream Windows

For this month's Lift the Lid we took our inspiration from the new exhibition of lightbox photos and films of Catherine Yass. The artist creates quite dreamy (perhaps even slightly nightmarish) experiences for the viewer. We echoed this work by creating " dream windows", imagining we were fast asleep, going to the bedroom window and recording the dreaming landscape we could see through it.

The first task was to draw the vision with oil pastels on deep blue paper. Then we folded and cut shapes out of white paper, cutting the resulting lattice into two window frames and sticking them to the edge of blue paper. When the windows were shut, you could see glimpses of the dream land through the cut-outs. When the windows were opened, the full view was revealed.

My team (Jess, Ben and Nick) and I had a busy afternoon with many family visitors producing beautiful artwork. We hope you enjoy the results. Unfortunately, we just don't have the space to include them all.