3 October 2022
Monday 8pm, £4
The Pig, 37 White Rock, Hastings TN34 1JL
A survey of 19th century photographic portraiture with a focus on Hastings and specifically The Memorial Studio in the town centre. There will be different presentations including Beatrice Lacey, Toby Shaw and research by David Simkin of Sussex PhotoHistory on the histories of The Memorial Studio and Victorian photography in Hastings.
The Memorial Studio is a rare survival. More than a thousand photographic portrait studios were established in the UK between 1839 and 1901. Fewer than two dozen are known to remain. Purpose built in 1864, The Memorial Studio was an attraction in Hastings for 54 years until 1918, then disappeared for 104 years. Among many other things it became storage for British Telecom, an insurance company office and a workshop making orthopaedic supports.
In 2012, artist Beatrice Lacey took it over as her painting and photographic studio and removed the false ceiling that had long concealed the North skylight. In 2022 Beatrice invited photographers Alexander Brattell and Toby Shaw to collaborate in exploring, reviving and celebrating this exquisite space.
In October, The Memorial Studio will re-open as a portrait studio for one month only. Pets and props welcome.
Visitors will be invited to become part of The Memorial Studio Project, a portrait record for future exhibition and publication. Toby Shaw and guest photographers will offer free individual and group sittings, to include a still or moving image file. Visitors will also be invited to contribute their own portraits and selfies made in the studio.