Upstairs at Gallery 1 (with 10 independent rooms)
Open Evening Saturday 23 September 6-8pm

September 21-24 and 28-1 October
Open Thursday to Sunday, 11am – 5pm
St Andrews Mews, Waldegrave St. (off Queens Road), Hastings, TN34 1SP

Featuring solo exhibitions by: Sophie De-Roe, Agnieszka Szuba, Alison Bettles, Richard Butchins, Justine Devenney, and Frank Francis.
+ PAGAN – Group Show

Exhibitions by Room

SOPHIE DE-ROE

Room 1. Sophie De-Roe

F L O A T

Relax… breathe in… breathe out… and… dive. Ever since I learned to swim, I’ve been fascinated by the underwater world beneath the surface. It’s like diving into a dream, or a fantasy world where I can fly, float or become a mermaid.

I have spent years researching and investigating capitalism and its effects on humanity, the planet, and the way we live our lives. The more I have learned, the more I have endeavoured to unplug from the capitalist matrix we all live in. Part of this process has involved tuning into spirituality as a way of transcending the material world to experience the higher power that exists within all of us. As we re-learn how to breathe, we clear our minds, we meditate, and we become conscious of the unconscious.

Under the water, the noise is shut off, we control our breath, and we submerge into silence. We focus on the way our body moves and feels. We allow ourselves to be comfortable in our own skin, we trust that we are safe and allow our minds to create whatever universe it desires in front of our unseeing eyes.

spiritandwildphotography.com | @spiritandwildphotography

RICHARD BUTCHINS - FLOWERS DREAMING

Room 4. Richard Butchins

Floricide

Exploring the rich tradition of floral symbolism in Nature Morte, whilst deploying a darker more visceral lexis, contemporary symbolic representations of exclusion and otherness.

richardbutchins.art | @thewitheredhand

Lightforms and lovesongs (2022-2023)

Room 2. Agnieszka Suzba

Lightforms and Lovesongs (2022-23)

Suzba is a Hastings based photographer and musician.

Using photography to reclaim the connection with the so called ‘real world’, Agnieszka strives to find the meaningful relation between objects and light, pulling light from the darkness like gold and silver threads, she is a weaver, a wave whisperer – forming tangible textures, scratching the surface of water, shaping the unseen, painting with light.

“It’s purely a result of holding the camera and chasing the light. It’s a conversation with my camera, lovingly held in my hands and the unexpected pattern of moving water and light. It writing my siren’s songs to bring back to my life someone once lost.”

tbwcreative.com | @tales_of_mist_and_light

Justine Devenney - Southern Waters

Room 5. Justine Devenney

Southern Waters

American Photographer Emmet Gowin once said of his nostalgic images “Photography is a tool for dealing with things everybody knows about but isn’t attending to. My photographs are intended to represent something you don’t see” . My exhibition images do not avoid evoking the nostalgia and affection we have for the seaside, but they call for a less blinkered perspective. In these disorientating times we can no longer afford to simply escape into an idealised past. My images seek to draw attention to a range of coastal issues that we chose to ignore. These might be social, economic, or environmental. Tentative swimming in polluted seas, social isolation, post covid amnesia or avoiding environmental issues that are staring us in the face. The seaside is where we go to escape and revel in nostalgia for a false idea of the past. My work calls for an ‘anticipatory nostalgia’ with its grieving for potential lost futures, in the hope that this might encourage more reflection.

This series focuses on the problematic nature of seaside nostalgia and how this blinkers us. The beach is a liminal space.

This image was taken late one evening during a heatwave in June 2023. Three boys tentatively contemplating a swim. The water was warm – their reticence maybe due to ongoing terrible sewage pollution along the south coast caused by Southern Water Company practices. Communities are united in their anger and as a result, activism is becoming more organised and more vocal. But after the curtailed freedoms of pandemic, it seems that young people’s freedoms are being further denied. The water regularly poses a serious risk to health….no longer is a sea swim a carefree pursuit.

The beach should be an unspoilt, precious, democratic space which we all have a claim to, but this freedom feels precarious. The environmental and economic uncertainty we feel now we know will significantly affect the next generation. We ignore social, environmental, and economic challenges at their expense.

justinedevenney.wixsite.com/justinedevenneyphoto | @justinedevenney

Alison Bettles - Hollt 4

Room 3. Alison Bettles

Hollt (2023)

People are inextricably linked to the environmental landscape relating, interacting, mapping, framing or shaping their explorations. Through photographic studies these images are a documentation and exploration from walking, touching, being and connecting to the wild.

Using various image making approaches from digital to camera-less the resulting photographs are an examination of light, scale, texture and perspective exploring something so familiar whilst asking us to slow down, to be still, to look, and look again.

alisonbettles.co.uk | @alisonbettles

Frank Francis - Doggone

Room 6. Frank Francis

A Journalist that Dabbles

Frank Francis is a journalist who dabbles in photography. He is drawn to the quirky, sometimes whimsical, nature of street life, documenting the ordinary and the less
ordinary around Hastings and beyond.

@frankandal

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