funny goings – on in Bexhill-on-Sea

July 7, 2011

Firstly, no apologies for not photoshopping these pix into things of beauty. Also no apology for the rant! Rother Council have been ‘doing up’ the promenade. Incidentally, you’re not allowed to cycle on it so this poor chap has to rethink.  And they’ve succeeded in bringing in a load of clutter – kerbs, huge lights, concrete walls and dolls house scale planting – to the sea front. Why?

Bins for rubbish, bins for dog’s rubbish, bollards and many more items of street furniture ‘necessities’ in a narrow strip along the sea walk . . .

Other countries can do this better. Two examples from Manhattan:  Manhattan Waterfront Greenway

Note the position of benches here – pedestrians walk behind so not obscuring the view from the seating – but also seating where a group of folks can have decent conversation. Note the simple but appropriate scale of the planting that is relatively low management – unlike Bexhill who must have large numbers of  landscape maintenance teams – I think not!  Another example from pragmatic but aesthetically interesting Manhattan is the narrow High Line. Planting design with an appropriate scale along with  well-selected and placed street furniture makes a delightful experience even in an exposed situation.

Back in Bexhill, patches of grass because we’re English! Strange structures on the grass – so is it a play ground next to the road?

And how do we walk around the benches without stepping into the planting. Oh such basic design faults!

Better to look at the sea on the way to the de la Warr pavilion and forget the frustration of poorly conceived and executed landscapes. Onto another ‘landscape’ installation on the roof terrace. I was looking forward to Dune . . .

. . but not to be. So 2 images from the website to give an indication of why one might want to sit on a roof terrace with some sand as against the beach right next door!

There’s more construction work happening around the pavilion – more refurbishment to improve the quality of our lives – and Rother County Council are spending again.

I’m not confident but hope I’m proved wrong. Another exhibition is a video by Catharine Yass .  Yes it is disorienting, as the poster warns, and also causes giddiness. Help! The viewer is whisked up in the air by helicopter, thrown around up side down and then dropped into the sea. Mmmm! Could I do this to the Council?

Like a ride at the fun fair. A strange visit to Bexhill – maybe I was just out of sorts.

As they have safely reached the Church,
It seems a thing to smile at
That, to direct them in the search,
We had a Pounch-as Pilot.    John Banister Tabb   An Incongruity

4 Responses to “funny goings – on in Bexhill-on-Sea”

  1. Cloudier Says:

    You know what you have to do now… Copy & paste & forward on to the culprits. Oh, The High Line, a high point of that visit! I liked the sound of the video, like a gull’s flight or more agitated?

  2. julia fogg Says:

    Not as fluid as a gull’s flight. unfortunately the viewer is left on the ocean floor as against floating gently on the crest of a wave. Ah well, it’s art. On your other point, the ‘famous’ designer’ from elsewhere and his team from London are proud of their work on the sea front. There are two perfectly competent and more talented designers living in the town (cheaper on expenses of course) but then the Council know best! That’s it I’m shutting up now.

  3. maryshoppins Says:

    this reminds me of the Save Our Streets campaign English Heritage ran in 2009. twas a great idea and actually allowed EH to work with what people want, rather than against them (tsk tsk), not sure what’s happened to it now. looks like the Bexhill council has got carried away by ‘space management performance regulations’ rather than appreciating space as a civic good. awful.

  4. […] Jerwood opens in Hastings next month and Bexhill is the home of the De La Warr pavilion and new landscaping for what its worth!  Eastbourne houses The Towner Gallery and everyone knows about Brighton. A bit […]

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