A design ready to be created … to be added to a futuristic new building in 1935 … yet …. the wait goes on – a dream that was never fulfilled … too expensive to be fulfilled, while Europe was in disarray … the draft remains to this day on paper …
… but an artist, Roy Voss, has reinterpreted ‘the pier’ as a new exhibition … to look at it is perhaps not immediately very inspiring … but if one is an artist, or an architect, or a carpenter … I am certain it resonates …
|My iphone pic of the exhibition -|
NB the white line: mentioned below
… when I went there was no information obviously available – a table with books … not much good to me … no articles that I could see – yes a wall board with some explanation … and a video situated outside the gallery was available to watch. I was struggling …
… perseverance pays off … a two page article was found, a brochure of future and present events, which highlighted the pier, was available outside (near the video) … as I was leaving.
|Front of this art deco building|
This has been addressed – and I’m sure information will be available to all visitors. The exhibit was fairly precarious … so a white line had been drawn round it to give a barrier over which one should not cross: again not very obvious … until each visitor is called back from stepping over the mark … then the reason is given –makes sense …
|Columnar tulip trunks|
I hope it holds up … as it is being exhibited in Blackpool and then over on the east coast in Berwick-upon-Tweed … longish journeys: (325 miles and 185 miles respectively).
The sculpture is made from the North American tulip tree, also known as canary whitewood … it is:
- 38 metres (125 feet) long x 3 metres (10 feet) tall
- There’s a roof type cover at the beginning of the pier – this measures 3m x 4m (10 feet x 13 feet).
This part is push-jointed – which allows the piece to be constructed without screws or nails.
- 2,344 pieces of wood make up the structure
- 5 moulds were used to shape the curved pieces
- The wood has been painted with casein paint … this is derived from milk casein (milk protein) – a fast-drying, water soluble medium used by artists.
Casein paint has been used since ancient Egyptian times as a form of distemper, and is still used today. (Distemper is an early form of whitewash).
- The sculpture took around 18 months to construct …
|A close up of the sculpture structure|
It’s a fascinating piece of art to see in situ – near where the pier was intended to be constructed in the 1930s …which can be clearly seen in the ‘About history’ of the De La Warr Pavilion … it’s fascinating to watch – not long … 6 minutes …
… the video describes the construction of the building … the steel frame was very innovative ‘hitting the headlines’ in the Welding Industry magazine …
|The auditorium - with the 'cup' acoustic|
… as too the suspended ceiling … made out of plaster impregnated gauze … giving an amazing acoustic system. The suspended ceiling is a remarkable piece of engineering – an excellent example of a modernist public building in this country – as shown in the video.
|A poster graphic of the|
de la Warr Pavilion 1930s
The Duke and Duchess of York visited for the Grand Opening on 12 December 1935 … within a year they would be King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother to be) …
|The flag 'Wave' on the front of the building|
It is another fascinating exhibition … where one (meaning me!) had to uncover relevant pointers to bring the exhibit to light – not being an artist … this can be challenging … but worthwhile in order to construct a post.
I don’t know how many of you remember a previous article I wrote about the “A Secret Service … Art, Compulsion, Concealment” – an exhibition on Pietro Antonio Narducci held at this Art Deco style contemporary arts centre – where I’d remembered the exhibition for seven and a half years … and wanted to chase it down – I did … I found my answer.
|View from the Pavilion looking to where|
the pier would have been
It’s interesting what one learns via blogging – I delve into subjects far more deeply than I used to … just to finish this post off … Herbrand Sackville, 9th Earl De La Warr, a committed socialist, after whom the building is named …
|Another poster for the|
de la Warr Pavilion
… ensured that the site would have an entertainment hall to seat at least 1,500 people; a 200-seat restaurant; a reading room; and a lounge … it was to be a public building for this socially minded Earl – and would be built in the Modernist style.
|Looking through the sculpture towards|
the English Channel
Now it has been given a Grade 1 Listed Building status and restored appropriately … it is a magnificent space for a contemporary arts centre … with plenty of exhibitions, activities and events being staged.
This where the romantic longing for a pier still exists … but now satisfied for a few months – before the exhibition goes north … the dream will live on …
de la Warr Pavilion - history ... see here: a building tour
Ray Voss' exhibition 'The Way Things Are'
Pietro Antonio Narducci and his "Sacra Mantra" - my post ...
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