Viva Brighton Issue #72 February 2019


ISSUE 72 FEB 2019


ook your



We are a new dental practice in Brighton

with a difference. What makes us different is our

single focus on patient care and patient journey.

now accepting new

Give us a call to speak to one of our

friendly receptionists who will make a

convenient appointment for you to

embark on your painfree journey with us!


17 Bristol Gardens | Brighton | BN2 5JR

: 01273 694 812




#72. FEB 2019




Viva Magazines is based at:

Lewes House, 32 High St,

Lewes, BN7 2LX.

For all enquiries call:

01273 488882.

Every care has been taken to

ensure the accuracy of our content.

We cannot be held responsible for

any omissions, errors or alterations.

I’m inclined to agree with Ed Ikin, the Head

of Landscape and Horticulture at Wakehurst,

when he describes winter as “the more

challenging season”. It’s not so much the cold or

the long, dark winter nights that get me down:

it’s the lack of colour.

Even the most tenacious leaves have long since

been blown from the branches and I expect it

will be a few weeks yet until the daffodils split

the monotone landscape with their acid yellow

trumpets. So, to tide us over until nature does

its thing, we’re dedicating this issue to colour,

and – this being Brighton – it’s not been hard

to find people who have resolutely turned their

backs on beige.

We’ve got the colourful design duo hello

DODO on the cover, and the fully-saturated

photographs of a colour forecaster who travels

the world in search of inspiration. We’ve advice

from the confidently colourful interior designer

Sophie Robinson, and the talk turns technical

with Alexandra Loske, whose (latest) book – this

one on the history of colour – is about to be

released. Dr Loske then casts her curatorial

eye over the work of the 19th-century colour

researcher Mary Merrifield – another Brighton

woman with an obsessive passion for colour.

Plus, we visit the technicolour studio of abstract

landscape-artist Sophie Abbott and hear about

the University of Sussex researchers who are

putting babies’ colour perception to the test.

By the time you’ve finished reading the issue,

colour might just about be returning to the

landscape. It can’t come soon enough.






EDITOR: Lizzie Lower

SUB EDITOR: David Jarman


ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman


ADVERTISING: Hilary Maguire,

Sarah Jane Lewis



CONTRIBUTORS: Alex Leith, Alexandra Loske, Amy Holtz, Ben Bailey,

Cammie Toloui, Charlotte Gann, Chloë King, Chris Riddell, David Jarman, hello DODO, JJ Waller,

Jacqui Bealing, Jay Collins, Joda, Joe Decie, John Helmer, John O’Donoghue, Lizzie Enfield,

Mark Bridge, Mark Greco, Martin Skelton, Michael Blencowe, Nione Meakin

PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden

Please recycle your Viva (or keep us forever).



Bits & bobs.

8-27. hello DODO ‘Brighton up’ the

cover; 19th-century Brightonian and

pioneering colour researcher Mary

Merrifield is on the buses (again); JJ

Waller snaps a cheerful six-foot icecream-cone,

and Joe Decie is in awe of

the little green men. We talk to our very

own colour aficionado Dr Loske about

her latest book Colour: A Visual History,

and to Philippa Stanton about her guide

to living more creatively. Plus, there are

green shoots of hope at the Martlets

gardening group for bereaved men, and

a misunderstood moggy called Alby.

My Brighton.

28-29. Colour consultant Sam Reece on

duck noodle soup and finding inspiration

in the ever-shifting colours of the sea.


Photo by Philippa Stanton



31-37. Colour forecaster Anna Starmer

and her international search for ideas.


39-43. The Enfields are (still) tickled

pink, Amy Holtz is blue sky thinking,

and it’s a dark day for John Helmer.

Photo by Anna Starmer

On this month.

45-55. Ben Bailey rounds up his pick

of the gigs; Gus Watcham muses on

what became of Red Riding Hood in

her one-woman play; Joan Baez bids

a fond farewell at the Dome; and Dr

Matt Pope unearths Ice Age Brighton

in a talk at The Keep. We venture out

to Wakehurst’s new Winter Garden;

visit an unlikely Folk Club at Brighton’s

Toy Museum, and find out about a

....6 ....



music festival inspired by 12th-century

visionary and protofeminist Hildegard

von Bingen, at ACCA. Plus we expect

lively conversation at The Old Market

this month: Catherine Mayer, co-founder

of the Women’s Equality Party, and

McMafia author Misha Glenny are both

on February’s playbill.

Art & design.

57-67. The colourful, quirky maps of

Max Gill at Ditchling Museum of Art +

Craft; feminist resistance and intersectionality

at De La Warr; interior designer

Sophie Robinson encourages us to

be more confident with colour, and just

some of what’s on, art-wise, this month.

The way we work.

69-73. Adam Bronkhorst meets some of

the city’s hair colourists, and asks them

‘what’s your favourite colour?’

Photo by Alex Leith



74-79. Get familiar with fermented

foods with Olivia Wall’s recipe for golden

sauerkraut. We talk beer with Steve

Keegan of Holler Brewhouse, and we’ve

news of what’s being served up in and

around the city this month.


81-87. We discover that Sophie Abbott’s

studio floor is as colourful as her artwork;

talk inclusive arts for the elderly

with Eve Turner-Lee, and how do babies

understand colour? Researchers at Sussex

are putting them to the test.


89. Michael Blencowe is waiting for a

flash of Brimstone.

Photo by Sophie Abbott


Inside left.

90. Brighton’s Sunken Gardens, in glorious

Polychrom, circa 1934.

....7 ....



This month’s cover is the work of hello DODO,

a printmaking and design business run by

professional and marital partners Ali and Jam.

hello DODO has been running for over seven

years, springing from the couple’s desire to teach

themselves to screenprint and make things. Ali

explains that “We started just from posters, then

brought out a greetings card range, and it got

out of hand from there”.

Ali and Jam both went to Plymouth University:

Jam studied graphic design with typography and

Ali analogue photography. Jam: “We sort of fuse

those things together, screenprinting is a happy

medium between us.” Ali explains further: “We

wanted to do something hands on, inky, actually

making things.” Ali’s CV includes stints in

clothes shops and the ever-colourful Legoland,

whereas Jam worked as a freelance graphic

designer up until about 14 months ago, but hello

DODO is now a full-time concern. Jam: “You

definitely have to put a lot of day job hours in,

but it’s so worth it in the end”.

Browsing hello DODO’s Etsy page and

Instagram feed at the office makes for a

refreshing jolt of colour, playfulness and positivity,

as well as welcome helpings of their pug Hero,

the George Martin-like third Dodo. Jam: “One

of the main reasons we do the work we do is to

make fun work that

makes people smile,

and makes us happy to

make it.” Ali and Jam

opted for a red, yellow,

green and blue palette

from the beginning

of hello DODO, and

their vivid Viva cover

design is no exception.

....8 ....



Ali: “We’ve called it ‘Brighton Up’ for the colour

angle, and then you’ve literally got Brighton

Up. If you start at the bottom you have the sea,

then the beach huts, then the Pavilion, the i360

on the right, then the streets of Hanover.” Can

you guess what the white triangles are? Brighton

regulars might know them as food-thievin’

tyrants, whereas visitors might see them more as

playful, swooping curiosities.

Brighton itself is not the only inspiration for

the design however, with Ali and Jam’s big box

of kids’ building blocks informing the aesthetic

of the cover. We love the starkly delineated

look of the Brighton tableau, as well as the

complementary colours, sometimes symmetrical,

sometimes not, but always well balanced. It’s also

a real feat to recreate such clearly discernible

Brighton landmarks using only their building

block aesthetic.

hello DODO share some similar views on colour

to Viva Lewes cover artist Cressida Bell in fact.

When discussing her work, Bell commented that

older people often seem to wear more muted

colours and commended Prue Leith for bucking

the trend. Jam concurs: “What’s weird with

colour is that when you’re a kid you’re given

all of the colours in the world because it makes

you happy, but this gets stripped back a bit when

you get older. It’s amazing how powerful some

colour can be to make people happy”. Joe Fuller

....9 ....




“Never mind Klimt’s masterpiece

at the Leopold Museum

in Vienna, Austria...” says

Shoreham resident Chrissie

Berridge, “I’ve got to read January’s

Viva Brighton!” Chrissie

works at The Royal Pavilion

& Museum and reports that it

was great to be a tourist herself

for a change, visiting Vienna

for the first time with her

partner Andrew. The city didn’t

disappoint. “I’d long wanted to

see Klimt’s artwork for real – so

Vienna was the place to come!”

Meanwhile, Clare Mackie of

Montpelier took our December

issue along for the ride on the

Tippu Express from Bangalore

to Mysore. A very civilised (if

fragrant) way to travel through

Karnataka, India.

Keep taking us with you and

keep spreading the word. Send

your photographs and a few

words about you and your trip



Howlett Clarke

Friendly local solicitors,

serving Brighton since 1773

Call us


01273 838 674

No obligation

Legal specialists in:

• Will Writing

• Powers of Attorney

• Probate &

Estate Management

• Conveyancing

• Divorce & Separation

• Arrangements

for Children

Branches in Brighton & Southwick

01273 838 674


Mary Philadelphia Merrifield (née Watkins) featured in this spot in

our ‘botanical’ issue, in July last year. Back then we were lauding her

for her acclaimed knowledge of botany, a subject that only fully occupied

her in her retirement. Before that she’d had a busy academic

career (and five children) and become a leading authority on Fine

Art, colour pigmentation and the art of dress.

Born in Southwark in 1804, she moved to Brighton with her

husband in 1827. Having taught herself several languages, she

completed the first English translation of 15th-century painter

Cennino Cennini’s Il libro dell’arte [Treatise on Painting], published in

1844. The Royal Commission on the Fine Arts then commissioned

her to travel to France and Italy to identify and transcribe manuscripts on colour, and to research the

make-up of early pigments and Italian methods of painting. This became an exhaustive and rigorous

study, and Merrifield’s Original treatises: dating from the XIIth to XVIIIth centuries on the arts of painting, in

oil, miniature, mosaic, and on glass; of gilding, dyeing, and the preparation of colours and artificial gems; preceded

by a general introduction; with translations, prefaces, and notes was published in 1849. Her diaries from the

research trips, and letters home to family in Brighton, are held at The Keep. Dr Alexandra Loske –

herself an art historian and colour aficionado – writes in further detail about Mary’s pioneering work in

Curator’s City (see next page).






The only known portrait of Merrifield, taken between 1877 and 1885. Courtesy of East Sussex

Record Office, The Keep, East Sussex. Photograph: Alexandra Loske

teacher Mary Gartside (active in London 1781–

1809), who presented her books as watercolour

painting manuals for young ladies, but they were

actually important works on colour theory, with

astonishingly beautiful abstract illustrations.

I couldn’t believe my luck when I realised that the

next significant woman in colour history, Mary

Philadelphia Merrifield (1804–1889), had spent

most of her life in Brighton. Merrifield was a remarkable

self-taught artist, researcher and writer,

who left a significant mark on colour research

and literature in the 19th century. She started her

career by translating and publishing the works of

15th century Italian painter Cennino Cennini,

and wrote several more books on art and colour,

as well as a remarkable book on dress history,

the first of its kind, in which she highlights the

detrimental effects of corsets on women’s bodies.

I have been researching colour history for many

years and have made it my mission to create a

library of women who have written and published

on colour. The subject was firmly in male hands

until well into the 20th century and examples

of women in the field before then are extremely

rare. Many women taught painting in watercolour,

some even carved out careers as artists, and

the majority of allegorical figures of colour are

female, but those who wrote and lectured about

colour were mostly men. Traders in pigments and

other artists’ materials were known as Colourmen,

of which the most remarkable 19th century

British example was George Field.

The earliest example of a woman publishing on

colour that I have identified is flower painter and

Vignette from Merrifield’s 1851 essay for the Great Exhibition. Photograph: Alexandra Loske




A selection of raw pigments. Photograph: Alexandra Loske

A plate from a popular 1840s artists’ manual.

Photograph: Clive Boursnell

In 1850 she exhibited

her paintings in the

first art exhibitions

held in the Royal


In her translation of

Cennino Cennini’s

Libro dell’arte she

refers to the great

George Field, praising

the high quality

and permanence of

his pigments. We know that she studied many

other works on colour meticulously. Apart from

her interest in historical texts and the materiality

of colour, Merrifield also wrote about the application

of colour theory in art and architecture.

In 1851 she provided a critical essay about

Owen Jones’s colour scheme for the interior of

Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace, site of the Great

Exhibition. The essay was included in the

accompanying illustrated catalogue,

published by The Art Journal.

From the early 1850s onwards, Merrifield

also authored several guidebooks with

practical advice on painting and drawing,

published by Winsor & Newton. In these she

condensed her remarkable knowledge of many

aspects of colour. These little books went into

many editions and were still being reissued by

Winsor and Newton after her death. Merrifield

continued to publish widely on colour in journals

in Britain and America and later turned to other

subjects, in particular marine algae and the natural

history of Brighton. She was actively involved

in the creation of the natural history collections

at Brighton Museum.

To acknowledge Merrifield’s contribution to Brighton’s

history we are planning to install a small

semi-permanent display about her at the Booth

Museum of Natural History, to open in March

2019. Alexandra Loske, Art Historian and Curator,

and author of Colour - A Visual History (Ilex/Tate,

March 2019), see pg 22.


Small-format practical guides for artists by Mary Merrifield and George

Field, later 19th and early 20th century. Photograph: Clive Boursnell




'Fantastic place, full of beautiful magazines. I just love this shop.’

the world of great indie mags is here in Brighton.

22 Trafalgar Street






Painting by Jay Collins

It’s just before

Christmas, and

I need a curly

black wig because

I’m going to

a fancy-dress

football game as

80s Albion star

Steve Foster. I’m

alarmed to find

that Revamp,

the fancy dress

shop in Sydney

Street, has gone.

I wander into Dave’s Comics to consult that

oracle of all things Brighton, the inaccurately

nicknamed Smelly. “Ask Chris at the Albert,

he’s got about twenty black wigs.”

Chris is the pub’s owner, responsible for the

idea of the ‘dead rock star’ mural that attracts

so many visitors to the corner of Trafalgar

Street and Frederick Place. It all started with

a picture of John Peel, and became famous

as the spot where Banksy sprayed his Kissing

Coppers graffito. In 2013 Chris commissioned

street artists SinnaOne and Req to

paint 28 deceased pop icons (plus Oliver

Reed) on the wall. In 2017, after the previous

year’s ‘celebrity death curse’, he asked Req to

repaint the wall to include 14 new recruits,

including David Bowie and Prince.

The Prince Albert, of course, is one of

Brighton’s most popular pubs, and has won a

deserved reputation for being a place where

you can rely on good ale and live music. It’s a

free-house ‘offering unusual beers to unusual

people’, and there’s a gig on most nights at the

upstairs venue.

Bands I’ve seen

there in recent

years include

The Golinski

Brothers, Spizz,

and Peter and the

Test Tube Babies,

which is a reflection

of my age:

they host plenty

of contemporary

music, too.

It’s worth

taking a look at the facade, which was given

a rainbow makeover at the same time as the

second mural. The building is Grade II-listed,

and the English Heritage description picks

out the ‘giant pilasters, the outer pair with

palmette ornament to the capitals, the inner

Ionic’. You can see the date ‘1848’ painted

on the second-floor frieze; there has actually

been a pub called the Prince Albert on this

site since 1845.

It’s a bit of a warren inside, with three different

bar areas and a well-used smoking yard.

Pint of Burning Sky Aurora in hand, I find

Chris in the tiny vestibule behind the bar,

where he normally sits. I explain my need of

a black curly wig, he wanders off, and comes

back with one in his hand, inside a box labelled

‘Scouser Set’. He refuses to take anything

for it. I ask him why he has an abundance of

such things. “We used to get the barmen to

wear them when Liverpool came to play Brighton,”

he says. “But we got in a bit of trouble

about it.” Alex Leith





Hat: ‘Sharawaggy’ Spring Summer 2012, Chinoiserie-on-Sea collection. Illustration by Jacky Marshall

at the



7 February to

9 June 2019

in partnership with



03000 290900










JJ Waller kept a morning free to shoot a picture on the theme of colour

and decided to take the short train ride to Portslade.

“I find plaster ice cream displays pretty alluring, so was very happy to come

across this one on the eclectic Boundary Road. It’s good to be reminded

that characterful colour exists outside the bubble of central Brighton.”





Neighbourhood Bruiser Hungry for


Name: Alby

Age: 7

Occupation: Bouncer

Me: Bit of a bad boy, prone to dust-ups with

any cat who dares invade my manor, and I’ve

got the scars to prove it. I like to think of

myself as the Khal Drogo of Eastbourne, but

my tough-guy image is only fur-deep: underneath

you’ll find a soppy lover boy who

likes nothing more than a cuddlewuddle.

Interests: Weaving figure-eights between

human legs, especially guests who dislike

cats; visiting the neighbours for chin

scratches and cheeky treats; going on long

explores – with my hunting skills I usually

bring home special souvenirs for my favourite

humans. Hobbies include lap kneading,

catnip drooling and macramé.

Seeking: A home with an abundance of

affectionate humans.

Dislikes: Waiting at the shelter for months.

Words and picture by Cammie Toloui / Insta: @cammie669

Find Alby and his friends at Raystede Centre

for Animal Welfare.

Valuation Day


Pyecombe Golf Club, Pyecombe

18 February 2019 10am - 2pm


01483 504 030


Pyecombe Golf Club

Clayton Hill, Pyecombe

West Sussex, BN45 7FF




Sold for £20,000

Prices shown include buyer’s premium.

Details can be found at




Earthworks is a bereavement

allotment group for

men. We have a bereavement

service here at Martlets Hospice

that is open to anyone

who’s been bereaved, but one

of the groups that we know

we’re not reaching through

our traditional ways is men.

Led by a counsellor and a

volunteer gardener, we use

the allotment on Mondays

specifically for them.

We’re now opening

Earthworks up to men who

have been bereaved in the

last two and a half years in

Brighton and Hove, who

might like to meet with other men who’ve also

been bereaved. It’s a space where they can have a

shared experience, and work on the allotment.

If it’s bad weather, we’ve got a shed with a

wood burner and cover so it doesn’t have to

be just a fine-weather place. People don’t have

to have any particular knowledge of gardening

or allotments and they don’t even need to be

physically fit and well. A day would typically

start with everyone arriving and having a cup of

tea, just checking in on how people are since the

last week. After the work’s done they’ll sit down

and have a snack, more tea, and chat with each

other about how they are. It’s very fluid, but the

intention is also to help men to talk about the

things that they find really difficult to talk about,

in a way that feels quite safe.

People who use gardening and allotments

are outside, so they’re actually in nature,

which gives them a very different space. They

can think about and

access their feelings and

thoughts about what’s

going on for them in a

different way. It’s very immediate,

it’s very concrete.

They planted some broad

bean seeds the other day

which are now growing in

the greenhouse, looking

quite strong, which shows

that it’s possible that there

is new growth and new

life. At first they might

not relate to that at all,

but a few months down

the line they can look

back and think ‘when

we sowed those broad bean seeds I felt utterly

hopeless, but a number of months on I’m feeling

a little bit more like there might be something

for me’.

At the same time, life can be very tough and

bad stuff happens to us. Sometimes at the

allotment a crop might fail or only half of the

seedlings might have grown. When things don’t

go right, we might link that to ‘when have things

not gone right in your life?’, ‘who was around to

help you?’, ‘what did you do then?’. This builds

up their reconnection with the fact that this is

really tough, but they have managed in the past

and that they are able to find a new way.

As told to Joe Fuller by Jane Cato, Counselling and

Bereavement Services Manager at Martlets Hospice

Earthworks takes place on Mondays throughout

the year at Weald Allotments in Hove. To find out

more contact Anne Clay on 01273 273400 or email




Photo by Charlotte Gann



Alexandra Loske is on a roll. Her guide to all

that’s groovy on our doorstep, 111 Places in

Brighton & Lewes That You Shouldn’t Miss, was

published in June last year, followed four months

later by Moon: Art, Science, Culture, co-written

with astronomer Robert Massey. We meet in a

café near her place of work, the Royal Pavilion –

she also teaches Art History at the University of

Sussex – to talk about her new book, her third in

less than twelve months, which is all about colour.

How did the book come about? She tells me that

much of it was informed by her postgraduate

work at the University, where she undertook

doctoral research in the decorative scheme of

the Pavilion. She was particularly interested

in George IV’s design ideas in the context of

European colour theory in the Romantic era.

The theory became practice recently – Dr Loske

was a member of the welcoming party when the

Sussexes came to visit the refurbished Saloon

back in early October.

Our coffees arrive and she warms to her

theme. “It comes into the modern age with

Isaac Newton splitting white light. And that

goes all the way to the image of the prism

in our collective consciousness through pop

culture, most memorably the cover art of Pink

Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.” Newton

published his Opticks in 1704, a comprehensive

study of light and colour, the result of years of

experiment and investigation, and this is where

Dr Loske’s book starts. She tells me that the

book comes right up to the present day, taking

in the likes of Goethe, van Gogh, Klee, and the

Bauhaus, to contemporary artists such as David

Batchelor, and Olafur Eliasson, one of the first

artists to have an installation in Tate Modern’s

Turbine Hall. She tells me that Eliasson




George Field comparing colour order to musical scales, 1817

created a walk-through rainbow in Denmark,

which gently blows my mind as darkness falls on

Pavilion Gardens.

The book will be published in the UK by Ilex

and Tate, in the US by the Smithsonian Institute

in March, and German and French editions will

follow shortly. It will be a sumptuous production,

a book for the coffee table as much as the study

or the bedside cabinet. I can almost see it in front

of us on this dark winter’s afternoon, a solid book

with diagrams and colour wheels and paintings,

the kind of book you might want on your shelves

in the same way you’d want a piece by Clarice

Cliff or René Lalique.

And what about Dr Loske’s own sense of colour?

She tells me about a conference in China where

every delegate wore black, except her – she wore

a vivid red dress. She shows me the photo, her

in the middle of a sea of dark suits. I think of

this image as I walk home, of the old snide tag

‘bluestocking’. The wheel – the colour wheel –

has come full circle.

John O’Donoghue

Colour: A Visual History, Ilex Press, in partnership

with Tate, £30

A hand-coloured colour wheel by Moses Harris from the 1770s



100% community owned

ONLY football club in the world

to pay women & men EQUALLY

1,400 owners and rising...

Sign up online at

Buy a share in Lewes Football Club

for yourself or as a gift

Just £30

This is not an investment and there will be no return on, or of, your money.




Ok. Here’s the – not trivial

but obvious – thing to say

about this month’s magazine.

It’s the most colourful magazine

we have in the shop. I

hope that the pic accompanying

this review zings as much

in the pages of Viva as it does

when you actually see it. It’s

just bursting with colour, as

is the whole of the magazine.

Bright, bright blues, pinks

and yellows are everywhere,

throwing into contrast a

range of muted colours, too.

But there is more, of course. Some of you will

remember that the gal-dem team were invited

in 2018 to take over an issue of the Guardian

Weekend magazine. There’s got to be something

deeper going on to get that invitation, not to

mention showcasing a Windrush exhibition at

London’s City Hall.

It’s Windrush that gives the clue to what is

going on with gal-dem. It’s both a physical and

an online magazine in which, since 2015, all

of the content is produced

by women and non-binary

people of colour. The aim

is to counter the under-representation

of women and

non-binary people of colour

in the mainstream media and

they are doing an outstanding

job of it.

The magazine is a great

read. In this issue you can

read about the secret life

of beekeepers, repair work

post-Grenfell, the perceived

sexuality of women in the

music business and, as we always say, so much

more. The mag is organised in six sections –

places, traditions, institutions, bodies, home

and relationships. It’s all good.

It’s not easy – which is why they are rare – to

find magazines that deal with super-important

issues without sounding preachy. gal-dem does

just that, which perhaps explains its popularity

here in Brighton.

Martin Skelton, Magazine Brighton



WALLS’ comes the rallying cry in this bathroom

stall, to which someone has responded

with the sound of *Quiet burbling*.

We know which camp we fall into (burble,


But where is all this brilliance and burbling?

Last month’s answer: North Laine Brewhouse




Conscious Creativity

by Philippa Stanton

It’s quite tricky, at the

moment, for creatives. I

think Instagram is an amazing

tool to get work out there

but you have to be confident

in what you are doing not

to be affected by a lack of


I joined Instagram really

early on when no one was

interested. The image of

my table became a bit of a

motif. I was chosen to be on

the ‘suggested users’ list at

the point there was a massive

switch to Instagram from

blogging and Flickr. I was in

the right place at the right

time, but I had really started

honing this ‘corner of my

table’ and I loved what I was

doing. It was an experiment

every day.

My book, Conscious

Creativity: Look, Connect,

Create was published by

Leaping Hare Press last

November. I had become

synonymous with the eruption

of Instagram ‘cups of tea on

tables’ and so it took time to

realise what I actually wanted

to write a book about. By

writing about process, I feel

I’m offering people more than

just ‘how to take a good photo’.

The book is about getting

you to connect to a slightly

different way of looking at

things. Really looking, and

sensing, and then using that

enlightenment of your visual

landscape to prompt your

creativity… It’s about gaining

confidence in your own way of

perceiving and feeling.

I want the book to be for

anyone who wants to enjoy

the world. It’s a guide to

help you create a foundation.

However, true creativity comes

when you veer off that path.

You often have to dare to do

something a bit different.

I quite enjoy zoning out,

looking at shapes with my

eyes closed. When I was in

my teens, I remember my dad

driving me home. I was being

quiet in the back seat with the

window open, my eyes closed,

looking at all the shapes of the

sound of the wind… I loved




Photo by Alun Callender

that. It feels like a luxury to me

when I give myself the time to

indulge in synaesthesia.

I just need to work with

colour. Everything feels a

bit more manageable if I

have things in colour order.

I like to consciously pick a

colour to observe – I just

love how it opens up your

day in a different way. At the

moment, I’m also fascinated

by coincidences and how

artists utilise them, what

Orson Welles called ‘Divine


I think it’s quite difficult for

people to accept that a major

part of being, is abstract. A lot

of our adult life is about being

proper, being grown-up…

I’m more instinctive, more

childlike, I suppose. I have a

particular way of being in the

world that I have sort of made

work for me.

Art and aesthetics are an

integral part of life. It’s

the process. It’s not about

Instagram gold. That’s what

I want the book to be about:

enjoying the journey.

As told to Chloë King

Conscious Creativity: Look,

Connect, Create is available

now. See for details

of Philippa’s online courses and

sensory workshops.




Photo by Adam Bronkhorst,




MYbrighton: Sam Reece

Colour Consultant

Are you local? No. I was born in

Birmingham. I went to art school in

Newcastle, then to study textiles at Chelsea

School of Art. I went straight into the

industry after that and painted flowers for

25 years. When I decided that I needed to

get out, I wanted to go to either Brighton

or Bristol. I found a place to rent on

Brunswick Square and that was it. I could

see the sea. To have that in a creative,

energetic city was amazing.

What do you do now? My main job is

colour consulting for Farrow & Ball. I talk

about colour all day. If a customer has a

project of more than one or two rooms, I

can offer to visit them in their home. I listen

to them and I ask them how they want their

home to feel, then I translate that into paint

colours and make sure that each room flows

from one to the next. I travel the whole of

Sussex and see every type of home from one

bed flats to 18 room mansions.

Where do you find your colour

inspiration? By the sea. The colours

change every minute. You can go to the

beach at the same time every day and it will

look completely different. I love the mixing

of the subtle hues and how the changing

colours affect each other. The sea, the

clouds, the sky, the sunset, from white to

black, to indigo, to scarlet. Colour-wise it’s

just incredible.

What don’t you like about the city? All

the litter that people leave on the beach.

That breaks my heart. Just put it in your

bag and take it away with you. We need to

take better care of our city.

How would you spend a perfect Sunday?

Up early and down to the beach, with

coffee and a sandwich, to enjoy a swim

and maybe a paper. My life revolves

around food and family, so there’s got to

be good food. Chewy brown bread, proper

brunches, Sunday roasts, sitting around the

table at home, or a barbeque on the beach.

Where’s your favourite place to eat

out? Unithai Oriental Market, a little Thai

shop on Church Road. It’s sells loads of

ingredients and serves authentic Thai food

at lunchtimes and on Thursday, Friday and

Saturday evenings until eight. The family

who run it take such good care of us. Their

duck noodle soup is my favourite. V&H

café on Holland Road is also very good.

Their chef makes the most amazing bubble

and squeak.

When did you last swim in the sea?

September 27th. My daughter Tilda was

about to go off to university, so we went

to The Regency for mussels and chips and

then to the beach. It was a boiling hot day

so my son Oscar and I ran into the water.

If it’s beautiful, you’ve got to seize the

moment and dive in.

Interview by Lizzie Lower

For colour consultancy, contact Sam at or via Farrow &

Ball at 31 Western Road, Hove.


lola james harper

boy smells




seven seventeen

100 acres

maison balzac

earl of east

la montana



evolve beauty

bondi wash



terrible twins

corinne taylor


Wick Candle Boutique

is Brighton + Hove’s unique

candle, home scent and

organic bath & beauty


Find over 50 luxury &

artisan independent brands,

with free gift wrapping.

Shop online too

120 Portland Road, Hove

01273 911151



Anna Starmer

Colour forecaster, author and photographer

I have been a colour forecaster

for over 20 years. After

graduating from Chelsea College

of Art, I worked in a Textile Design

studio, as the knitwear designer. I

found that I loved the process of

creating new ideas more than I did

the garment design. I then began

working as an independent colour

consultant to high street brands,

creating seasonal mood boards and

colour direction.

Several clients asked if I could create a

trend book so, while I was on maternity leave,

I made the first Luminary Colour book, by hand.

It is now a biannual inspirational colour bible.

The 20th edition – Autumn/Winter 2020 –

comes out this February. It sells to brands like

M&S, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Ercol Furniture,

and Anthropologie, whose design teams use it

in their planning.

I travel somewhere different for each season

and use photography to gather colours and

ideas. I’m constantly taking photographs on

my iPhone or with my camera. I don’t use too

much equipment – I like shooting with natural

light – and find that my Nikon D810 gives me

a real vibrancy of colour. I also collect treasures

as I go along. It could be anything: a piece of

fabric, a little bowl which is a beautiful colour.

I use these items like a colour recipe, and work

closely with a dye house to match each shade

onto Luminary Colour fabric swatches.

Each Luminary book contains 60 new

colours, matched to both fabric and paper

for perfect technical colour communication

within the design industry. The photography

and storytelling brings these colours to life

for my clients. I suggest how to use each in

a fashion sense, in an interior

sense, the different proportions,

what should be the main colour,

and what to use as accents.

Then I look at different surfaces

and textures to show how they

change through creating still life

photographic images.

I enjoy this aspect of my

work more and more, and

increasingly work with brands to

plan future colour directions and

to visualise the products through photography.

I recently worked with the Dualit brand,

creating a colour range called New Neutrals.

I loved both designing the colours, as well as

styling and photographing the campaign.

Ten years ago, I wrote a consumer book

called The Colour Scheme Bible: a manual

for home decorators on how to put colours

together. It’s stood the test of time, selling

nearly half a million copies worldwide,

inspiring both the at-home decorator and those

in the design industry.

My latest book, Love Colour, is full of

useful and practical advice, and it uses

inspiring photography of beautiful homes

from around the world to spark ideas. We

can be overwhelmed by the colour choices on

offer, and so Love Colour suggests ways to be

a little more confident with colour at home.

Go out and collect colours that you love, take

photographs, make mood boards. Find your

inspiration and then create a home in which

you love to live. As told to Lizzie Lower

Luminary Colour is available through specialist

Trend Book Agencies.

Love Colour is published by Ivy Press.

Photo by Casey Moore




Photos © Anna Starmer




Photo © Anna Starmer




Photo © Anna Starmer




Photo © Anna Starmer




Photos © Anna Starmer




Photos © Anna Starmer





John Helmer

In Corinth

Illustration by Chris Riddell

It’s been a day of changeable weather, grey

clouds alternating with a sky of cheerful

Mediterranean blue that seems ridiculous

for the time of year. Now, sitting in a

reclining armchair, which I am taking turns

at along with my brothers, niece and inlaws,

I peer through institutional curtains

at the thinning cloud. “Looks like it’s

brightening up,” I say.

Nobody replies.

The road outside the window is familiar.

We’re close to my childhood home and it

was down this road we used to race to the

beach at Chalkwell when we were little,

returning at sundown with wet towels and

sunburned shoulders.

Now, grown up, we’re ranged around the

bed of my big sister Teri, who is propped

up on pillows, breathing hard, eyes fixed

sightlessly on the ceiling, mouth agape. It

won’t be long, but nobody – not even the

doctor or the hospice staff – can tell us

exactly how long: another hour perhaps.

Maybe a day... maybe a week?

Unexpectedly the sun breaks through,

framing Teri’s head and shoulders within

a rectangle of brilliant light, shadowed by

a cross from the fake-leadlight window.

For the space of perhaps a minute she

is transfigured, beatified – an El Greco

Magdalene raising her eyes to heaven. Then

the clouds return, and she is once again

something more modern, more macabre.

It rattles me, this momentary vision; this

throwback to a childhood faith for which my

subscription long ago ran out. “I’m going

out to get a bit of air… clear my head.”

As I leave, checking the door of the room

for a number so I can find my way back,

I am puzzled to see the word ‘Corinth’

lettered on a sky-blue oval plaque. A

floorplan in the corridor sheds a little light.

All the rooms in the Hospice are named for

places in Greece; Corfu, Athens, Rhodes…

are these holiday destinations, I wonder;

meant to remind everyone concerned

of happier times? And why Greece in

particular? I soon give up speculating.

Nothing makes any sense today.

By the time I get to the ground floor, the

weather has taken a turn for the worse and

it’s tipping down. So I climb the stairs again

to Corinth, where I notice at once a change

of atmosphere. The family is gathered close

around Teri, whose breathing is shallower.

Her hand when I hold it is cooling, the

warmth retreating up her wrist, her arm.

In half an hour it is all over, and my

thoughts go back a month or so to when

I visited her in hospital not long after

she’d had the diagnosis. “Life is precious,”

she said looking me in the eye; “All of it.

Don’t waste a day.” It wasn’t an

original sentiment, but in the

circumstances – in her

circumstances, given

what was coming

up at her in the

rear-view mirror

– it had particular

force. You could see it

in the white of her eye.

Teresa (Teri) Mitchell, née

Helmer 1952-2018




It ain’t what you view,

it’s the way that you view it.

Unique photography of Brighton and the South Downs | 52-53 Kings Road Arches | 01273 227 523



Lizzie Enfield

Notes from North Village

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)

“It’s magenta!” said my ten-year-old son, without

hesitation and with supreme confidence.

We laughed and, several years later, were still

teasing him for no reason, other than the

unlikelihood of a ten year old having such a

descriptive colour palette at his disposal.

We’d been en route to Iceland when the

‘magenta’ incident occurred, boarding a WOW

air flight. Its pinky purpley livery prompted my

daughter’s question ‘what do you call that colour?’

Nobody expected her little brother to pipe up

‘magenta’ with the speed and surety that he did.

He was a little embarrassed afterwards, as we

ribbed him about perhaps having watched more

episodes of Changing Rooms than was natural for

a boy of his age, and covered his embarrassment

with jokes about the irony of calling Iceland’s

budget airline ‘WOW!’, as if the rigid upright

seats and no frills everything were something to

write home about.

“Wow!” he said, as we took off.

“Wow!” as he pulled the tray table down.

“Wow!” as we admired the ‘magenta’ fabric of the

seat covers.

The rapid colour recognition was displaced

but not forgotten. Over the intervening years

it became a bit of a long-running, family, joke:

A ‘what colour is that?’ cue given, whenever we

spot something mauvish-crimson, a ‘guess what

brand this is?’ when son brought home a new

skateboard, made by ‘Magenta’.

And, on one occasion, a discussion of what the

kids might call their children and his siblings

unable to resist saying that ‘Magenta’ was a nice

name for a girl…

I did say it was a ‘family’ joke. I realise that this

whole column might be lost on others with

children who call a magenta thing a magenta

thing – or think they should, but it seemed

strangely amusing at the time. And my son

continued, for a while, to strangely amuse us with

deliberate colour-coded observations about life.

The Simpsons are not ‘yellow’ but ‘ochre or is it

titanium?’ The neighbour’s grass is not greener

but ‘more verdigris’ and the newly painted

hallway is decidedly ‘anthracite’.

I have a reputation in my family for keeping jokes

going long past their sell by date (food too) and it

was probably time to forget about ‘magenta’ and

move on.

And I probably would have done had it not been

for a trip to the local Co-op.

A friend was in the queue in front of me, taking

her purse out to pay.

The cashier was a teenager; perhaps a little older

than my son is now, whom I vaguely recognised. I

thought he might have been at the same school.

And when my friend flicked through the various

cards she had in her purse, I became convinced

of it.

“I can’t seem to find the right card,” she said to

him, searching for her Co-op card. “What colour

is it?”

It’s blue. I know it’s blue.

“Cerulean,” he replied, without hesitation and

with supreme confidence.










Amy Holtz

The truth is, I’m a Minnesotan

“When does the sun

set?” I ask my partner,

staring at the roaring

orange ball through the

windscreen. My dad,

stupidly, has given me the

keys to his car and we’re

speeding down Highway

71 from New London,

MN, like we’re on the

run. The temperature is

32 Fahrenheit, or 0°C,

and as the earth cools,

the sky is streaked with

fluorescence. The sun’s on

our right, just over Ringo Lake, dotted with its

tidy ice houses, and because we’ve got nowhere

else to be, I wonder how far west we can track it.

Wherever you are in Minnesota, you’ve got an

undisturbed view of the sky. If you stood in the

middle of a field and turned in a circle, your eyes

would catch a few farms, giant silver bullet silos,

the odd copse of trees. But the sky wins every

time. Of course you can’t realise the wonder of

this until you go somewhere else, somewhere the

sky lives above. And as you get older of course

you see things differently. Today it feels like, if

we could just make up the distance, we might

just catch the sun at the end of the road.

Just like the first time I took in the sea,

sweeping as far as I could hold my arms; the

magnitude of it seemed, like our neverending

prairies, almost hostile. How can there be this

much water in one place? But it’s an illusion;

like watching one of those nature clips they

always have on display TVs – harsh, vivid

vignettes of the brutality of the wild and, for a

moment, you’re in it. But

then you glance behind

and the spell is broken

– there’s a kid crying

because they tried to

chew a pebble, someone’s

just lost all their chips

to a seagull and, further

back, there’s the buses,

then the hotels and

further still, somewhere,

are the white hills that

keep us all here. They

push us back towards the

water, where the film can

start again.

My partner’s Sussex ancestors built ships, to

chase down whatever was on the other side of

the horizon. And my ancestors, after traversing

this infinity of salt, after a thousand or so of

mountains and rolling hills, looked at this

unstony, flat land and thought, ‘a good place to

stop.’ Nothing but a sea of grass that they hoped

might feed them, surrounded by the heavens.

But now, we’re pushing onwards, perfecting

the circle; we leave the city limits and I treat

my partner to the longest gravel road known in

these parts. A farm dog rushes out to greet us

and, as I try to avoid him, the brakes lock up and

we skid on the refrozen ice and stones. Don’t

worry, he’s fine. My heart might explode, but the

sun’s plummeting so we go.

Then the gravel meets the highway and we

pause. There’s no one behind us. Take a picture

but as always, it doesn’t show much. Still, it’s a

good place to stop. Until we cross back over the

sea again.


6.2 | Green Door Store

Micah P.


7.2 | St George’s Church

Dictionary Pudding presents

The Residents

8+9.2 | All Saints Centre, Lewes




22.3 | St Luke’s Church



1.4 | The Greys Pub

Melting Vinyl & terrace cred present

Rose Cousins

9.4 | The Rose Hill

Alex Rex

+ Elle Osborne

12.4 | St George’s Church

So Recordings presents

Band of Skulls

27.4 | St George’s Church

The Unthanks:

Unaccompanied, As We Are

30.4 | Komedia

C Duncan

Tickets for shows are available from your local record shop, or the venue where possible.







Prelude and Liebestod

(Tristan and Isolde)


Four Last Songs


Symphony No.1

Discounted parking

at NCP Church Street

just £6 between 1-6pm

Tickets from £12.50-£39.50

50% student/U18 discount

Brighton Dome Ticket Office

(01273) 709709



Ben Bailey rounds up the local music scene


1st Feb, The Haunt, 7pm, £10

Ska-punk seems to have

an uncanny ability to

get people moving. Los

Albertos seal the deal by

mixing it up with some

funk, klezmer and hip

hop – all played at breakneck speed. A true festival

band, and almost a bastion of old Brighton, Los

Albertos have been animating crowds with their

unique brand of “trumpet punk” since 2002. They

split up ten years later, with a rousing farewell set

at Playgroup Festival, but couldn’t keep away for

very long. Support comes from fellow skankers

The Junk, an eight-piece skacore group from

Brighton who also decided to quit and thought

better of it. Despite the weather, the dancefloor at

The Haunt is going to be sweltering.


2nd Feb, Green Door Store, 2pm, £6

Another fine slice of

local music will be

served up by promoters

Brighton Noise.

The menu this time

draws more from the

leftfield side of the city’s music scene, with your

regular portions of krautrock accompanied by

experiments in electronic and guitar noise. Local

psych heroes Soft Walls (pictured) return for their

first full band show in ages before Inwards demonstrate

the wonder of modular synths. R. Dyer will

be mixing up sax, saw and site-specific recordings

with her magic loop pedal, while noise rock trio

The International Debt provide the counterbalance

of loud and scrappy riffage.

Photo by Phoebe Fox

Photo by Agata Urbaniak


2nd Feb, The Haunt, 7pm, £7

It’s been a good few years for

White Room with the band

making regular appearances at

the Great Escape, playing some

major UK festivals and touring

with The Blinders. Their 2017

debut EP Eight turned plenty

of heads with big, bold tunes wedded to unashamedly

60s-flavoured psychedelic indie. However,

last October the band broke cover with a new

single that suggests they may have an entirely new

direction in mind. Shoot is an impressive art-pop

stomper with a disco bassline, some arch Bowieesque

phrasing and a chorus hook that’s sure to

make fans of Talking Heads take notice. If this is

the route White Room are taking it can’t be long

before they hit the next level.


20th Feb, Prince Albert, 8pm, £4

There’s something timeless

about The Emperors of Ice

Cream’s recorded sound.

Also released in October,

and captured live in one session

at Brighton Electric, their debut album has an

unfussy and organic quality that makes it seem like

it could have been recorded at any point in the last

40 years. There’s the post-punk tension of Television,

a few proggy moments and just enough discordant

hooks to place it in the post-rock era. The first

single from the record, The Sunshine Song, is one

and half minutes of frenetic punk; while the album

closer is a sludgy noise jam that comes in at just under

ten. Their wayward take on psychedelic rock is

sure to make an even bigger impact live.





What became of Little Red Riding Hood?

“It’s a series of poems

about Red Riding

Hood at whatever age

I am when I perform

it,” say Gus Watcham

of her one-woman

play, Redder. “This year

she’s 66. She’s looking

back at her past. She’s

looking for love. She’s

trying to understand

her childhood. It

unravels some fairytale myths, and sort of

rewrites them.”

I’ve interviewed Gus once before; that time

about her involvement with Three Score Dance

Company, a contemporary dance company for

those aged 60+ which, she tells me, has reignited

her creative impetus.

“There’s nothing like a deadline, I’d always been

a great one for saying ‘I’ll do that later’. When

you get older, there is no later. I realised, if I want

to set something up, the time is now. It’s great to

start a new project in later life. And a little bit of

terror is so good for you. If you can get through

that and show your work to somebody, it’s

literally encouraging.”

Gus has been working with director Mark

C. Hewitt, video artist Abigail Norris and

performance artist Isobel Smith, and describes

Redder as an ongoing reflection on aging and

discovery. “In the piece, Red Riding Hood

suddenly finds herself on the threshold of old

age and I think this is what happens to us. We

suddenly go, ‘Oh god. I’m here. Now what do

I do?’ And in many ways nothing has changed

at all, it’s all still going on in our minds. I really

liked the idea of this little old lady marching

along, still with her red

riding hood on.”

Gus has been holding

tea parties with older

people, sharing stories

and asking them to

reflect on how they

feel about aging, and

how they perceived old

people when they were

young. “Of course, they

all say that they feel

no different at all. And those people that they

used to think of as old? Well, they don’t seem so

different when you get there yourself.”

“Redder is quite grown up and a bit rude in places.

Red Riding Hood has a problem with body hair.

Her mother, who was married to the Wood

Cutter, found her life at home in the woods very

boring and spent a lot of time hanging out with

wolves. Enough said. Someone suggested that I

might perform it in care homes, and I thought,

‘I can’t take this into a care home!’ But they said,

‘look, the people going into the care system now

are the rock and roll generation. They don’t want

to hear about Andy Pandy.’

“This whole thing started when I joined Three

Score Dance. It’s been a knock-on process. I’m

braver. I’m doing things that I’ve never done

before. Things I always wished that I’d done.

‘It’s too late now’ is one of the most overused

excuses. I’ve discovered that it really isn’t. I’m

discovering stories of unstoppable older people

all of the time.” Lizzie Lower

Redder is at Bom-Bane’s, Edward Street at 8pm

on 28th of February. Tickets from littleredder. To order pre-show food contact




Joan Baez

‘time to quit bouncing around on buses’

Photo: Dana Tynan

What made you decide to

do a farewell tour? I asked

my first and best vocal

coach when I would know

if I’m to quit and he said,

oh you’ll know, your voice

will tell you. I was 30 when

he said that, and I feel as

if I know now what he was

talking about. I’d also like

to pay a little respect to

my body so it seemed like

the time to quit bouncing

around on buses. It’s not a

bad time... for a woman of my age in this job.

Ha, it’s been a long time out here.

Has it affected your choice of songs? Oh

yeah, completely. There are some things I long

to do, but I’d rather do the ones that I do well,

and there are enough of them that we have a

beautiful show. Cleverly I have this wonderful

29-year-old singer with me, Grace Stumberg.

People say you can’t do Forever Young, why

don’t you just let her do the high notes? So I

do, and it works out beautifully.

What kind of material have you been

performing on tour? Obviously it’s got to

have everything, but there are certain songs you

know will go down well. I mean, anything by

Dylan will get a huge response. It’s also nice to

have a new album that has been well received

because it gives me the leeway to sing new

songs that people at least partially recognise.

That gives the whole evening a chance to be

more fresh.

Were you compelled to address politics

on the new album? No, but my choices are

wrapped in that anyway. There wasn’t an

official theme, what

rings bells for me is

usually more than

just words and music.

These things fall into a

different kind of depth,

and you can call it

‘political’ or you call it

‘aware’, you can call it

whatever you want.

There’s a song about

Obama singing in

church after the

Charleston shooting...

I was listening to the radio and that song came

on. It’s called The President Sang Amazing

Grace, and it was by Zoe Mulford. I was driving

and I just had to pull over. I mean, I fell apart

because it was such a beautiful song. I knew

immediately I wanted to sing it. When I was

putting it together, it took me literally two

weeks before I could get through the song

without crying.

Is there room for hope in melancholy

music? I don’t have much faith in hope. Haha,

you know, when it doesn’t have legs. I think

you can only hope for something if you’re

doing something about it. So maybe that’s

where these songs belong. If nothing else, it

gives people something real, you know? My

bleakness comes out of the fact that I think

because of global warming all of our discussions

are going to mean nothing very soon, and that

puts it all in perspective. We are going to last

just so long, so what can we do during this

time to try and make the world a slightly better

place? Interview by Ben Bailey

Brighton Dome, Fri 22 Feb, 7.30pm




Ice Age Brighton

Dr Matt Pope

The best place to see evidence

of Ice Age Brighton

is at the Black Rock cliffs

behind Asda at Brighton

Marina. These are not the

typical Sussex white chalk

cliffs but muddy deposits that

we now know to have been

laid down a million years ago.

This set of deposits extends

all the way through Boxgrove

in West Sussex to Portsmouth

and the Isle of Wight. Taken as a whole, it’s one

of the best stretches of Ice Age preservation in


Gideon Mantell, who was a 19th century

Sussex surgeon and keen fossil hunter, called

the Black Rock deposits the Elephant Beds

because they were full of the bones of what they

believed to be elephants but which we now know

to be mammoths. The same geology was also

discovered in Hove, Aldrington and Portslade,

where there was a huge brick-making industry.

It’s probable that the workmen in the pits, who

would have been digging by hand, were supplementing

their incomes by selling fossils to the

wealthy middle-classes.

One of the most significant Ice Age objects

found locally is a flint hand axe that’s on

display at the Booth Museum. It came from

Portslade brick pit – now Victoria Park – and

it was the first Neanderthal tool ever found in

Sussex. Another interesting axe comes from the

beach behind Asda and it’s been kind of rolled

and messed about by the sea so the implication

is that a Neanderthal dropped it on the beach,

probably after hunting an animal.

Once you move away from the Black Rock

and Portslade cliffs, you’re

really looking at isolated

finds made by chance, probably

during house construction. We

have mammoth bones found in

Woodingdean, Moulsecoomb

and Preston Park. These may

be isolated finds, but what they

tell us is that under large areas

of Brighton this stuff is preserved

– it’s just mostly hidden

underneath houses.

My specialism is early human archaeology in

northern Europe and I’m interested in Brighton

both from an academic point of view and also

because it’s where I grew up. It used to fascinate

me to stand in Whitehawk and look out over

these massive valleys and all of this topography

and think, how did this form? Where’s the energy

that carved everything out from the chalk?

Understanding that the landscape was formed by

ice and water freezing and thawing and flushing it

out into a great big river system, you can see how

much transformation there was in the Ice Age.

I’m delighted that Brighton Museum has

just opened a new archaeology gallery, which

includes some Ice Age artefacts. The museum

used to have an archaeology display when I was

a kid and it was updated in the 90s but then

they got rid of it entirely. Brighton and Hove

Archaeology Society has been campaigning for

a long time to have it reinstated. We have such

excellent prehistory here in Brighton and Hove

that we felt it had to be represented. It’s great to

see how the museum has stepped up.

As told to Nione Meakin by Dr Matt Pope

Dr Pope’s talk, Brighton in the Ice Age, takes

place at The Keep on 28th Feb.

Image: Reconstruction of the landscape at Brighton Marina around

200,000 years ago. Credit: Royal Pavilion and Museums.




Winter Garden

White, reds and light at Wakehurst

“I want everyone to feel something as they

step into this garden.” So Wakehurst Head of

Landscape and Horticulture Ed Ikin tells me

of the new Wakehurst Winter Garden, which

opened in January.

“There’s lots of individually interesting plants

– things for people to discover – but, really, it’s

about the experience of being in the garden.”

The composition he describes beautifully. The

framing of the white Himalayan Birch – which

has been chosen for its pure white bark, and

because it holds its shape beautifully over years

– the dogwoods Cornus Alba Siberica providing

red, and a “fringe of grasses”. He talks about

“layers of colour”, and “the way the grasses

glow – with light inside them”.

The sense of light’s very important. “Winter is

the more challenging season”, says Ed. “We’ve

chosen a design that works with this. I think when

people talk about ‘botanic gardens’, they probably

imagine a project where lots of individual plants

have been curated. Of course, that is the case

here – there are 33,000 plants in total – but the

big canvas is what we start with. I want anyone to

come and experience the sense of light coming

through an undulating landscape. Later, there’s

time to enjoy the detail.”

I ask who’s been the landscape’s architect, or is

it a whole team of people?

“A whole team of very talented people”, he

says. “But Garden Supervisor, Francis Annette

created the detailed plan. I think he’d say he was

inspired, above all, by the Downs themselves.”

The Winter Garden opened last month. It

should remain for years. In 2019, we need

gardens like this.

Yes, Ed is concerned about climate change, he

tells me. “Very. What’s new is this concentration

Photo by Jim Holden


of extreme weather events. The English weather

has always enjoyed its ups and downs and

surprises. Not so often two consecutive weeks

of 35 degree days, for instance – as we had last

summer – nor of flash flooding.

“Let the plants tell the story,” Ed says, “not just

us gardeners. All our mature, native trees are

showing the signs of stress.”

Anyway, “it’s very important to give gardens

time to flex and evolve,” says Ed, who’s spent

his entire life outdoors, growing up on a farm,

and working ever since in gardens. “We’ve

made what we think is an extraordinary garden

with many interesting plants; over time, it will

only grow richer and deeper.”

Wakehurst Winter Garden sets out to offer all

its visitors a haven. The Wakehurst team has

also worked hard with scent, concentrating a

lot around the paths where visitors will wander,

and be beguiled, for instance, by Sweet Daphne

and Witch Hazel.

“We want you to feel alive and stimulated

in this space”, says Ed, “and in a way that’s

tangible and real. We’re appealing to your

senses – sight and smell.” And yes, of course,

colour’s integral. “There’s something about

subtlety and complexity”, he says. “This garden

will bring people peace.” Charlotte Gann


Tue 19 Feb



Sat 23 & Sun 24 Feb


Wed 13 Mar


Sat 16 Mar

Guest Director



4-26 May 2019

Full programme


Wed 13 Feb


Priority Booking

Thu 14 Feb

On sale

Fri 22 Feb



box office 0844 847 1515 *

*calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone

company’s access charge




The Argus

Northern Echo

“Rib cracking, side splitting, gun firing and hard hitting”

Brighton & Hove Independent

The Latest

Fri 15 & Sat 16 February

8.30pm (doors 7pm)

Tickets from £12.00 -£16.50

MEAL DEAL £27.50 for meal and show!

Book online



Night at the Toy Museum

Not your typical folk club

Brighton Toy Museum

is coming to life in the

evenings. Not through

some Pixarian witchcraft

however, but rather

through the Toy Museum

Folk Club, which has been

running since August 2018.

We asked Stephen Rötzsch

Thomas from organisers

Folkroom Records to tell us about the novel

venue and venture.

When you enter you’re immediately struck

by these beautiful ornate traditional toys

that fill the space. Almost every single thing

in there are the sorts of toys that were made

before they were mass-produced in factories. So

there’s all these individual, handmade, singular

icons that are spread around the place. The

audience is right up close to the musicians, and

surrounded by these toys. Above you, hanging

from the ceiling, are vintage model aeroplanes,

all of which have been able to fly in the past. In

the gaps between sets we fully encourage people

to explore the museum: I always like to direct

people to different places.

Something that we’ve been really lucky

to have are occasional appearances from

illustrator Chris Riddell. He offered to come

down with a projector. It’s an added bonus: every

now and again he’ll come along, sit next to the

stage and illustrate the songs as they’re being

performed. So you’ll have this beautiful, ridiculously

elaborate piece of work emerge beside the

stage in the space of a three minute folk song.

Separating us from the traditional folk club

scene, we have acts such as Ayanna Witter-Johnson,

someone whom I think it’s fair to describe

as a part-classical, part-alternative

r’n’b musician.

She’s an absolutely tremendous

cellist who reinterprets

songs in a way that fits

what we’re doing, while also

not being what you would

expect to find in your traditional

folk clubs. There’s

definitely storytelling in

what she does: folk has always been about taking

stories of the people and interpreting them and

passing them forward down the generations. I

think that’s what makes folk music great.

We’ve got musicians who I didn’t expect we’d

be able to get so early on in the game. Our

January show with Martin Carthy sold out within

about twelve hours of tickets going on sale.

I’m sure that part of the reason we were able to

get him into a 40-capacity venue is because a toy

museum is probably the last type of venue he

hasn’t played.

I’m excited to have John Kirkpatrick along;

he’s one of the musicians who falls very

much in that ‘legends of folk’ sector. He’s

been working in the field for so long and was in

Steeleye Span for a while, for example.

Another great thing we have is that the Toy

Museum make a little bar and they sell craft

beers and ciders, mixers and spirits and all of

the money from the bar then goes to support

the museum. I genuinely like to encourage the

audience to drink as much as they can without

destroying the toys.

Interview by Joe Fuller

John Kirkpatrick, Brighton Toy Museum, 22 Feb, £9

Head to to view all of the dates

for the Spring 2019 season.

Photo: Martin Carthy at the January gig




Hildegard von Bingen

12th century composer, naturalist, mystic, protofeminist

Hildegard von Bingen was

a remarkable woman. She

corresponded with the Pope and

bridged composition, naturalism,

mysticism and more in her prolific

and astonishingly varied work. We

spoke to Dr Alice Eldridge, Lecturer

in Music and Music Technology at

the University of Sussex, who has

curated a series of events to explore

the modern resonances of von

Bingen’s music and life.

“Throughout her life from the age

of about three into her 80s, she had extraordinary,

multisensory visions. This ‘spiritual gift’ gave

her power at a time when little was expected

of women in society. Her legacy includes over

70 musical works which are direct accounts of

her visions. She also authored medicinal and

botanical texts, so Germans celebrate her as the

first naturalist. People came to her as a healer, not

because of her spiritualism, but because of her

systematic use of medicinal herbs.

“Viriditas, the title of the festival, is Latin for

‘green truth’. Hildegard saw humans as a

microcosm of the universe. It’s a non-dualistic

idea that heaven and earth are integrated through

nature so ‘Ecological’ and human health are

intrinsically linked.”

This annual festival of Music and Ideas is an

opportunity for emerging Sussex composers

to create and perform new works in the

Attenborough Centre. On 8th Feb, Fem Engine,

a newly formed collaboration between musicians

Bunty, Bellatrix and Hannah Miller (Moulettes),

will perform three new works that Sussex

composers have created for the trio, whom

Eldridge describes as “amazing and intuitive

composers and performers”. She

explains that the works might not

be fully notated however. “They

might be described through text,

graphic scores, even the use of

scents of particular herbs as a form

of musical score, so part composed,

part improvised. Hildegard’s

music was improvisational in a

way, melismatic, very free, really


Eldridge tells us that Hildegard

is the first named composer,

and the festival also celebrates her as a female

figure of authority in her age. “In the light of

contemporary movements in gender equality

globally, and recent recognition of previously

unsung women composers, it’s quite interesting

to look back and see a woman with such

power in so many ways at this time: creatively,

politically, financially, and holding such respect

and influence. Many of her musical works were

songs to be sung as part of the daily service in the

convent. These works were a way to praise God,

but also as a way for women to use their voice

when otherwise living in silence. So it was literally

giving women a voice.”

The Viriditas events will also include a Q&A

with Observer music critic Fiona Maddocks

(7th); vocal trio Voice and group Celestial Sirens

performing music composed or inspired by

Hildegard and other early sacred works (10th);

Bird Bath, a sound installation created by Eldridge

herself with meditation teacher Alistair Appleton

(6th-8th) in ACCA’s café bar, folk singer Laura

Cannell’s Untuning of the Sky (7th), an Ecotherapy

‘Walk-shop’ (8th), and more. Joe Fuller

Viriditas, 6th-10th Feb,

Illustration from von Bingen’s Scivias, depicting her receiving a vision




Catherine Mayer

FFS (for future’s sake)

“I would always have said I was a feminist and

I thought I was doing the things that were

necessary as a feminist, but it opened my eyes to

my own complacency.” Catherine Mayer is recounting

the period leading up to her infamous

‘parting of ways’ with her former employer,

Time, the US publication she went on to sue for

gender and age discrimination.

Mayer, a political journalist and former president

of the Foreign Press Association, worked

at the magazine from 2004, serving as its Editor

at Large, Europe Editor, London Bureau Chief

and Senior Editor before she was fired in 2015

amid what her lawsuit describes as ‘a system

of male cronyism’. “In confronting what was

happening to me, I had to confront what was

happening to other women in the organisation

and to women in journalism more generally,” she

goes on. “I had tried to tell myself I was making

a difference, blazing a trail for other women,

and when I realised not only was my own trail

running out, but all of the same things were happening

to younger and more vulnerable women,

I realised I was enabling the system rather than

changing it. That was quite a wake-up call.”

Mayer, who studied English Literature at the

University of Sussex, has since gone on to write

several books including Attack of the 50ft Women,

about the benefits of gender equality, and in

2015, she co-founded the Women’s Equality

Party with comedian Sandi Toksvig. The party’s

membership as of September 2018 stands at

45,000. “I happen to think we’re at a place in

time where we can make a huge difference for

good and actually make very rapid progress

because turbulence is a moment of massive

opportunity as well as massive danger. It’s the

old order breaking down.” But she emphasises

the importance of action. Even the progress that

had been made is being rolled back, she says,

pointing to the World Economic Forum’s recent

announcement that the gender pay gap has

stalled and will now take more than 200 years to

close. “We shouldn’t assume where we are now

is heading in the right direction.”

The WEP doesn’t claim there are simple

solutions, however. Instead it calls for nuance

and complexity – for the ‘long read’ rather than

the snappy headline. It’s one of the reasons

Mayer is currently touring a solo show, which

comes to The Old Market as part of its Reigning

Women season. The show is not ‘a party rally’

she stresses, although she will be donating part

of the proceeds to WEP and of course, there

is obvious crossover between her own interests

and those of the party’s. “Some of it is definitely

me saying things I feel need to be said – there’s

an element of venting and thinking aloud – but

it’s also interactive. I think people do want to

have conversations that aren’t shouting matches.

They want to understand things in different

ways. They want to go deeper.” Nione Meakin

Catherine Mayer FFS, The Old Market, 24th Feb,



Where could Masters

study take you?

Masters Open Day

Saturday 9 March – 12.30pm to 4pm

University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton

Discuss courses. Meet staff. Speak to students.

Postgraduate study at Sussex could improve your career prospects,

deepen your understanding of a subject you love, or enable you

to discover new areas of study.




Misha Glenny

McMafia author lifts the lid on corruption

Last year Misha Glenny’s

book McMafia was

turned into a BBC drama

series exploring the

links between financial

capitalism and modern

day mafia groups.

Following the success

of the show, the author

comes to Brighton to

explain how he lifted the

lid on the world’s most

powerful crime lords.

Where does the story of McMafia start? I

start off by highlighting what a difficult and

confused political situation we are in at the

moment, and then I try to explain how we got

here by looking back 30 years to the fall of

communism. As Central Europe correspondent

for the BBC, I was witness to events as they

happened. Although it was a fantastic moment of

optimism, the problem was that capitalism was

introduced in Eastern Europe very quickly, in a

very disorganised fashion. And it was regulated

and policed by organised crime groups from the

very beginning.

How was this affected by events in the west?

It hooked up with the rise of financial capitalism

which meant that huge sums of money were

suddenly sloshing around the world. So what

you got without people really noticing it was an

extraordinary globalisation of organised crime.

Later on, this started linking up institutionally

with political corruption around the world – to

the extent where we’ve got a president of the

United States and a president of Russia who both

have demonstrable links to organised crime.

How did you persuade people to talk about

this stuff? I can’t tell

you how time consuming

it was. I would plan the

trips months in advance

and I would stay there for

weeks. But in somewhere

like Brazil, for example,

it’s very easy to get people

to talk. People don’t stop

talking in Brazil – and

that includes police,

intelligence agents and

organised crime figures.

What impact has the TV show had? The

television programme had an absolutely massive

impact. And it’s having an impact on policy, the

issues of money laundering, housing and foreign

investment in London. Television changes things

in a way that it’s very difficult for books to do

these days.

What can people expect from your talk?

It’s quite dramatic and I use a lot of audio and

visual material so people get a real sense of what

this world is like. I do a Q&A at the end, and

the questions come thick and fast. I always get

people standing up and asking “what can we do

about this?”

Well, what can we do? Organised crime can’t

function without political corruption, and there

are movements around the world saying enough

is enough. The former president of South Africa

is under investigation, so is the president of

Malaysia. We’ve got a Korean president in jail.

And I think a lot will come out in the wash with

the Mueller investigation into Trump. People are

going to start taking these issues very seriously.

It’ll be huge. Interview by Ben Bailey

The Old Market, 24th Feb, 7.30pm, £17





Alice Channer

Amphibians, 2012

Anne Hardy curates

the Arts Council Collection

Roger Ackling

Night and Day (1 hour), 1977

Shirazeh Houshiary

Listen to the Tale

of the Reed No.3, 1982


Art Gallery

17 February

2 June 2019

Free entry

Sarah Lucas

Nud Cycladic 7, 2010

An Arts Council Collection National Partners Exhibition

Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom

Plantain Drop, 2014



Max Gill at Ditchling

His wonderful world in maps

Ditchling Museum of Art +

Craft is, of course, primarily

devoted to the work of Eric

Gill and his fellow-artists in

the Guild of St Joseph and St

Dominic. But until the 28th

of April much of the gallery is

given over to a highly enjoyable

exhibition of the work of

MacDonald (Max) Gill. Born

in Brighton in 1884, Max

Gill was a younger brother of

Eric. His artistic endeavours

included illustration, design,

architecture and lettering,

but it was as a decorative

cartographer that he excelled.

So it’s the maps that have pride

of place in the Ditchling show,

and what wonderful maps they

are – colourful, full of quirky

detail, they really have the

power to raise the spirits.

Max Gill’s big break in

commercial art came through

his friendship with Gerard

Meynell of the Westminster

Press. Frank Pick, the

legendary patron of contemporary

artists and designers,

commissioned Meynell to

produce a map poster for London

Underground. Meynell

approached Max Gill to design

the poster, and in 1914 The

Wonderground Map of London

Town was displayed at every

London underground station.

A Theatreland map followed

in 1915. These posters proved

immensely popular, as did

subsequent commissions. The

Highways of Empire map, for

the Empire Marketing Board,

is a prime example. This was a

government initiative, set up

to strengthen trade and understanding

with the empire, and

to encourage the public to buy

imperial goods. Displayed on


a hoarding in Charing Cross

Road, the poster attracted such

crowds that, as the Telegraph

reported in January 1927, ‘the

police had… to exhort people

to “move along please”.’

Come 1928, we’re on to

Country Bus Services. In the

1930s the GPO commissioned

three pictorial maps from Gill

depicting communications

in the modern world. And

between 1933 and 1940 he

Max Gill Painting RMS Queen Mary mural map (1935). Private Collection, Image © TFL from London Transport Museum



Ceylon Tea Map Postcard (c1933). Private collection




Wonderground Map of London Town (1914). Private collection. Image © TFL from London Transport Museum

produced three maps for the

International Tea Market Expansion

Board. Chock-full of

richly implausible ‘facts’ about

tea, the last of the maps – Tea

Revives the World – even helped

the war effort.

In addition to his brother, Max

Gill has a connection, in fact

a double connection, with another

Ditchling artist, the great

calligrapher Edward Johnston.

The year after Gill produced

his Wonderground map, Frank

Pick asked Johnston to develop

a letter face to be used for London

Underground station signage.

Johnston worked with the

Underground Group, and then

London Transport, for the rest

The Weekend Book (by Francis Meynell) Dust Jacket (1926). Private Collection

of his life, providing numerous

variations of the typeface he had

first developed in 1916.

Max was also godfather to

Edward Johnston’s daughter,

Priscilla. He was married, with

children, when they met again

in the early 1930s. Nevertheless,

they fell in love. Max left

his wife, for Priscilla, in 1938.

An unspeakably sententious

letter from Eric Gill to his

brother, on the occasion of

this marital rupture, is in the

Ditchling exhibition.

I hope they were happy. Priscilla

recorded in her diary that

she once told Max that lying

snuggled up to him in bed was

her favourite thing in life. Max,

after due reflection, replied

that his favourite thing in life

was custard. So, I think, perhaps

they were. David Jarman




Eduardo Gil, Niños Desaparecidos, Segunda Marcha de la resistencia, Buenos Aires (1982), courtesy the artist

Still I Rise

Feminist resistance

“Explain the show in a nutshell,” I ask Rosie

Cooper, sitting in the café of the De La

Warr Pavilion, overlooking the glimmering,

choppy Channel.

She’s Head of Exhibitions there, and she’s

telling me about Still I Rise, on at the elegant

Bexhill arts centre from the 9th of February.

It’s not so easy to summarise.

“It began as an examination of the role

women have played in resistance movements,

and alternative forms of living, since

the nineteenth century,” she says. “It features

100 exhibits from around 40 practitioners,

featuring materials produced by visual artists,

writers, designers and activists.”

So far so simple.

“It’s all developed from a long-term conversation

I’ve been having with my fellow

curator Irene Aristazabal, about feminism

and how to embed inclusive feminist practice

in our respective cultural institutions,”

she continues. Irene is Head of Exhibitions

at Nottingham Contemporary.

A longer explanation follows, because the

exhibits describe intertwining and often

contradictory themes, and the curators –

also including Cédric Fauq of Nottingham

Contemporary – have come at it through

the prism of feminist and queer theory.

The key term, in my understanding, is




‘intersectionality’, which I check out later

in a dictionary: ‘the complex, cumulative

manner in which the effects of different

forms of discrimination combine, overlap

or intersect’.

“So we’re talking about ‘feminisms’, in the

plural” explains Rosie, “because feminist

resistance intersects with queer and other

resistance movements, and they learn from

each other. We’re also acknowledging that

different struggles intersect at different


They can also contradict: “white Western

feminism can be very different from the

feminism of women of colour, for example,”

she explains. “There were also tensions

between middle-class and working-class

feminisms in the UK in the 80s.” Many

of these contradictions are explored; the curators

have been careful not to arrange the

exhibits chronologically, to “allow them to

talk to each other across space and time, acknowledging

that whilst things have moved

on in many ways, there is still a lot to do.”

One might expect it all to be a bit confrontational.

But Rosie says, “We’ve left a lot of

room for poetry, and moments of humour.

One visitor to the show at Nottingham

[where Still I Rise has had a three-month

run] said that they expected the show to be

aggressive, but instead they found it poetic,

thoughtful and sensitive. We loved hearing


There are a few headline names among

the exhibitors, including American artists

Judy Chicago and Suzanne Lacey, but

Rosie is quick to highlight some of the

lesser-known contributors, including Bexhill-born

artist Carl Gent, who re-narrates

local history to highlight important female

figures of the past.

Upstairs in the First Floor Gallery there’s a

solo show with a linked theme: Hayv Kahraman

fled Iraq during the First Gulf War.

Her paintings reflect the female response to

conflict and upheaval.

The main show’s title, of course, is taken

from a powerful Maya Angelou poem. “The

poem’s message leaves a lot of room for

interpretation,” says Rosie, “and that’s very

apt.” Alex Leith

De La Warr Pavilion, 9th Feb-27th May

Judy Chicago, Smoke Bodies (1972), Courtesy the artist, Salon 94,

New York and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco.

Judy Chicago, Immolation (1972), Courtesy the artist, Salon 94,

New York and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco.



British Painting and


We look forward to welcoming

you to our gallery in Hove.


Mon—Sat 10.30am—5pm

Sunday/bank holidays 12pm—5pm

Closed Tuesday

For more details visit



_VivaLewes_Advert_66x94_June2018_v1.indd 1 17/06/2018 09:08


Jamie Crewe, An Abductress (no 3), digital print on flourescent

paper, 2018



Exploring resistance movements and alternative

forms of living from a gendered perspective.

In collaboration with Nottingham Contemporary.

Hayv Kahraman, Hussein Pasha (detail) , 2013, Oil on wood

Courtesy Defares Collection



Painting, drawings and sculptures exploring

the artists experience of living between

western and middle eastern cultures.





In town this month...

Stephen Jones holding ‘Royal Crescent’ from his Chinoiserie-on-Sea

collection. © Tessa Hallmann/Royal Pavilion & Museums

Hat-maker for rock stars and royalty since the 1970s, milliner

Stephen Jones OBE has long been inspired by the lavish interiors

of the Royal Pavilion with his Spring/Summer 2012 collection

Chinoiserie-on-Sea drawing directly from its wonder and whimsy.

From the 7th February, an exhibition of hats from across his

40-year career takes over the pavilion, with installations of his

most glamorous and captivating pieces. Co-curated by Jones

himself and Martin Pel, Curator

of Costume and Textiles at the

Royal Pavilion & Museums, the

exhibition includes hats worn by

the Duchess of Sussex, as well

as Lady Gaga, Kate Moss and

Mick Jagger, and others made

in collaboration with some of the world’s best fashion designers.

Expect to see the Banqueting Room table set with A-lister headgear,

food-inspired hats among the copper pots in the Great Kitchen,

and millinery for Dior on display in the Music Room. Stephen Jones

Hats at the Royal Pavilion continues until the 9th of June. (Free with

Royal Pavilion admission, members free.)

‘High’ From Spring Summer 2002 High collection

© Tessa Hallmann/Royal Pavilion & Museums

Driving School, the

exhibition of work

by Glasgow-based

‘artist of near total

obscurity’ David


continues at

Phoenix Brighton

until the 24th February. As part of the

ongoing refurbishment, this month sees the

launch of their new café, adding a relaxed

and welcoming space for gallery goers and

those attending the many creative courses and

family events at Phoenix to enjoy. The café

is expected to open in the week beginning

the 18th but check the website for updates.


If you’re very quick, live in the 01273 telephone

area, and fancy being one of around 200 venues

to open their doors to the art-loving public,

artists and makers who wish to take part in

May’s Artists Open Houses festival can

register online until the February the 4th.

See for prices and details.




In town this month... (cont)

From the 20th until the 24th ONCA host Dr Martin

Shaw’s first solo exhibition in ten years. The artist, author,

teacher and mythologist found himself painting ‘at the edge

of his imagination’ over the summer of 2018 and many

of the works are collected in Imaginalia. Fragments of old

Greek and Celtic myths emerge, tied up with motifs and

snatches of words from Shaw’s wider life and work as a

mythologist. The pieces are intimately connected to Shaw’s

new book, The Night Wages, which he describes as ‘a book

to do with heartbreak. A book to do with ecstasy. A book to

do with our capacity to go down and to stay down.’


Out of town

Walter Sickert, Nina Hamnett on Sofa, undated. Towner Collection

There’s much to see at Towner Gallery this month. In Figure

Study II, Towner’s recently arrived Director Joe Hill curates

a personal response to the gallery’s renowned collection. His

diverse selection takes its title from a Francis Bacon painting

that belongs to Joe’s home town, the former mining and textiles

community of Batley in West Yorkshire, a place which lost its

Art Gallery in the 1980s to a now derelict shopping centre.

Also at the gallery, from the 17th, British artist Anne Hardy

curates the Arts Council Collection. Hardy’s own work derives

from what she perceives as ‘pockets of wild space’ in the urban

landscape, which inspire her

immersive, sensory installation

works. She brings this approach

to her selection for Towner in

The Weather Garden.

Also from the 17th, Towner

presents the first UK exhibition of Carey Young’s Palais de Justice

(2017) which was filmed surreptitiously at the enormous and ornate

Palais de Justice in Brussels, and depicts female judges and lawyers at

court, seen through a series of circular windows in courtroom doors.

Anne Hardy and Carey Young will be in conversation at the Towner on

Saturday the 16th of February at 5pm.

Sarah Lucas, Nud Cycladic 7, 2010. Arts Council Collection

© the artist. Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund




Further afield


Want an exciting, creative

career in Graphic Design!


I love this! If I could travel back in time,

the first thing I would do is sign up

with the Strohacker Design School.

Glyn Dillon, Creative on Star Wars

@ Lucas Film/Disney

YOU can change your life

in 3 months full-time

or 6 months part-time

(1 day per week)

on our fast-track

Graphic Design courses!

For further information contact us



Jerwood Gallery host Painter’s

Beach Club: an exhibition of new and

previously unseen works by critically

acclaimed artist Nigel Cooke. Cooke

mixes music, the weather and memories

of growing up in Manchester to create

his work – often dystopian landscapes

on monumental canvases measuring

up to six feet by twelve. The exhibition

is something of a homecoming for

Cooke, who had his first exhibition as a

professional artist in the town. “Coming

back to Hastings after many adventures

– in painting and the art world in

general – to mount a show, has the feel

of an odyssey,” says Cooke. “That’s the

thing about painting; no matter how

far you think you travel, you always end

up back at the beginning.” He’s keen to

share the platform and alongside the

main exhibition is Painter’s Beach Club:

Telescope, a two-room exhibition of work

by artists that Cooke has discovered/

reconnected with via Instagram or

whilst tutoring. Continues until the 24th

of March. Read more in Viva Lewes.

Painter’s Beach Club, 2018 © Nigel Cooke, Courtesy Pace Gallery


Photos by Alun Callender



Sophie Robinson

‘Once you’ve found your colour family, it makes you feel good.’

Interior designer and TV presenter Sophie

Robinson has made an unabashed love of

colour her business. The year has just started,

and already Sophie has in the pipeline new

DIY SOS episodes and a judging gig on Project

Indoors, a new interiors show with Fearne

Cotton and fellow Brightonian Michelle

Ogundehin. In between co-hosting The Great

Indoors podcast and working on the release of

her shiny new online Interior Design course,

we’re pleased Sophie found time to offer our

readers a few pearls.

They say Picasso had a ‘Blue Period’; would

you say that going through colour moods

is something you experience? I’m going

through a blue period at the moment, I seem

to be obsessed with this deep, strong blue right

now… But in terms of interiors, what I try to do

is come up with a palette of colours that add to

one another and use it throughout the home so

that the house has flow from room to room.

Would you say colour is a personal

thing? Yes, deeply personal. We use a colour

psychology framework in my workshops which

divides people into spring, summer, autumn

and winter… People are drawn to a palette that

resonates with them emotionally. Once you’ve

found your colour family, it makes you feel

good. It makes your home a nice place to be and

cuts out the disharmony.

Does this preference ever change? I think

once you’ve found your palette then you’re

rooted in that... You can change within it

because every season has all the colours, it’s just

to do with tone. A spring palette would be light,

delicate, buoyant, uplifting whereas an autumn

one would be rich, robust and intense.

Is there a colour that you could live in?




Again, I couldn’t have my whole house painted

one colour – you have to treat every room

individually. You’ve got to think what vibe the

colours create… Pink is loving, relaxing and

restoring. It gets a bad rep because it’s seen as a

‘girl’ colour but actually it’s lovely to decorate

with… A lot of people get very stuck thinking

about how to use colour. That’s why we’re seeing

so much grey everywhere, but grey is actually a

neutral, emotionally dead colour. It’s not really

doing anything.

I’ve noticed a lot of grey. I guess we’re living

in difficult times, maybe that’s why? Certain

people need that calmness and that stillness…

then there are people like myself who think

they might die in a room like that because it’s so

unstimulating. It’s about really working out who

you are – do you have a positive reaction from

the grey walls and the sparsity or, like me, do

you need more colour, more pattern, because it

just lifts you up?

What big mistake do people make using

colour in the home? I don’t think people go far

enough. You see lots of feature walls, but you’re

not getting the impact of that colour – you’re

completely missing the point. If you love a

colour for its rich, immersive drama, you need to

stick it on all four walls. If you don’t go full out,

you’ll finish the room and think, ‘that’s not as

fabulous as I hoped it would be’.

Interview by Chloë King


B R I G H T O N ’ S A V E D A S A L O N

01273 604404 |



ethical and eco-friendly



This month, Adam Bronkhorst has been out photographing five

professional hair colourists, in their respective salons.

We asked them: what’s your favourite colour?

(Not necessarily for hair!) | 07879 401333

Lora Griffin, Simon Webster Hair



Alex Graham, Neon Hair Boutique

“Acid green”


Anne Lazarus, Lazarus



Maria Bird, Lipstick & Gunpowder



Veronica D’Alterio, Shine




Photo by Alex Leith




Golden Kraut

Olivia Wall, who runs Wild Cultures fermented food

workshops, prepares a vibrant golden sauerkraut.

When I was a child, I was given antibiotics

every time I had a little sniffle, so by the time

I was in my 20s my immune system was in a

mess. I decided to educate myself in nutrition.

I learnt that 80% of your immune system

is based in your gut, and the importance in

following a diet that is rich in pro-biotic

foods, such as Kefir, Kombucha, Kimchi and

Sauerkraut. And to make them taste good,

too. What’s the point of eating anything that


Now I’m the mother of three kids I want to

help them to avoid what I went through, and

am making sure they too get a rich, tasty diet

that will boost their immune systems. I’m also

keen to pass on my knowledge, to help others

with their own health journeys. That’s why I

started up Wild Cultures. I offer workshops to

let people know about the benefits of fermented

foods, and also – most importantly – how to

prepare them so they are a pleasure to eat.

This Golden Kraut is easy to make, and you

only have to wait a week or so until it is ready

to eat, by which time it will have the right

balance of bacteria to feed your gut and boost

your immune system.

Ingredients: 400g (approx. ½ medium-sized)

green cabbage, finely sliced; 200g cauliflower

florets broken into small pieces; 50g spring

onion chopped in 1cm pieces; 50g (1 small)

grated carrot; 3 cloves garlic; 10g fresh

or powdered turmeric; ½ teaspoon garam

masala; 1 teaspoon mustard seeds; 1 heaped

tablespoon/20 grams good quality unrefined

salt (e.g. Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink

Salt). Do not used iodised salt as it interferes

with the fermentation process; 150ml water.

Method: First thoroughly wash your hands!

They’re going to come into a lot of contact

with the food. Peel any damaged outer layers

off the cabbage and reserve one whole leaf for

later use. Finely slice the cabbage discarding

the hard stem pieces. Place the sliced cabbage

and half the salt in a large bowl.

Massage the cabbage, squeezing it between

your fingers, breaking down its cellular

structure. Continue doing this for 5-10

minutes and you will notice the salt drawing

the liquid from the cabbage.

Mix the cauliflower, spring onion, carrot and

mustard seeds in the bowl with the cabbage. In

a blender, combine the water, the remaining

salt, garlic, turmeric and garam masala, and

blend at high speed.

Pack the jar tightly with the cabbage and other

veg, pushing it firmly down. It should all fit

into a 1 litre/1kg Kilner-style or olive jar.

Slowly and carefully pour the blended liquid

into the jar over the packed vegetables. Ensure

that all veg is completely submerged. Take the

whole cabbage leaf that you set aside, fold it in

half and trim it to fit on top of your jar. Wedge

it firmly down on top to keep the cabbage fully


It will be ready to eat after around seven days,

and last for weeks if kept in the fridge. Enjoy!

As told to Alex Leith

Olivia Wall, 07903 043771,




Dine in the heart of a Sussex Vineyard from a

menu of seasonal, modern British cuisine









Tasting Room, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, Sussex, BN26 5TU

01323 870 022




Holler Brewhouse

Brighton’s biggest brewery

Steve Keegan’s promising

football education at

hometown Middlesbrough

FC ended with a knee injury

when he was 15. Luckily, he

had a second career lined up:

he was already serving behind

the bar of his dad’s local. He’s

been selling beer ever since,

and now, aged just 36, he is the

owner of Brighton’s biggest

brewery, Holler. If you like

beer and you don’t know

about Holler, you should get

down to The Holler Tap Room straight away.

It’s at the Preston Circus end of Elder Place, that

little backstreet between London Road and New

England Street.

I arrange to meet Steve there on a Friday

afternoon. There’s an open-plan bar in the

front, with young, friendly staff serving behind

13 pumps selling 12 beers made on site (and a

cider). At the back, you can see the big silver

tanks in which your beer has been fermented.

There are tables outside with heating for the

smokers. It’s all very Hackney.

Steve tells me how he got to where he is.

The story involves his becoming one of the

youngest landlords in the country, then, in his

early twenties, an area manager in London for

Fullers. When it comes to making pubs tick, he

seems to have had the golden touch. He was

part responsible for setting up the Brighton

Beer Dispensary behind McDonalds just off

Western Road. Then he thought he might as

well set up his own brewery.

Holler, which takes its name from a Bonfire

Night hymn (Steve lives near Lewes), was

founded in 2016, and until

September was set up in

his mate’s farm building in

Uckfield. Steve started to

make big-tasting ales, full of

(American) hoppy flavour.

The business soon outgrew

the premises.

It took a while to get the

financing for the new place

together. He is in partnership

with the guy who runs Fatto

a Mano, whose pizzas you

can eat in the bar. The space

was a derelict warehouse before, and that end

of the street was considered to be run down, so

the council readily gave them a licence.

He tells me all this as I sup a pint of ‘Juicy’, one

of their best-selling beers. It’s my third visit

to the place, and I’ve already acquired a taste

for this fruity pale ale, having tried a range of

cask and keg beers, including Heavy Lifting (a

double-hopped stout) and Black (a 6% IPA).

He’s hit upon a brilliant business model, as

there’s no middle man taking a cut on the beer,

which is also sold in other pubs. They’ve got

the capacity to make 4,000 litres of beer a week,

which could, at a pinch, rise to 6,000.

So will Holler soon outgrow its new premises,

and start competing with the majors? “No

way,” says Steve, who has no ambition to dilute

quality with quantity. Any future expansion is

likely to see new Holler Tap Rooms of a similar

size sprout up in other Sussex towns. “Holler

Hastings?” I venture. “Who knows,” he smiles.

Alex Leith

Holler will be at TOM’s Beer Fest, The Old

Market, Feb 2nd-3rd






Training Successful Practitioners


Train to become a…





Attend a FREE

Open Evening


Natural Chef

Postgraduate & Short Courses also available

Part time and full time studies

Study in class or online

London, Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester,

Edinburgh, Belfast and Ireland


01342 410 505

39 Kensington Gardens, North Laine

A-news bouche

The Old Market continues branching out

into new ventures – such as Film Club and

#TOMtech – with a new two day beer festival.

TOM’s Beer Fest (2nd-3rd Feb) will showcase

the wares of Brighton-based brewers and

beyond, including Holler (see

pg 77), Brighton Bier,

Franklins Brewing Co,

UnBarred, Hawkshead,

Fourpure, Mad

Squirrel, Panoma

Island and more,

flanked by live music

and pop-up food stalls.

By the time this issue hits the stands, new

Northern Thai Barbeque venue Lucky Khao

will have launched, replacing Pike & Pine on St

James’s Street. The opening hours are Tues to

Thurs 5-11pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-midnight, and the

menu includes small ‘beer snacks’ such as betel

wraps, bamboo larb,

and pork skewers,

as well as a host of

meat, fish, curry,

sticky rice and more.


80% of collisions

happen near junctions

Making your journey safer


Regular Viva contributor Chloë King is hosting

the first ever Lewes Dal Club, with Chloe

Edwards of Seven Sisters Spices, as part of the

British Dal Festival. They will be joined by

Robin Van Creveld, Elisa Furci and Jacob Fodio

Todd for a supper club at

All Saints Centre, Friars

Walk, Lewes on Sat

16th, 7-10pm.


Joe Fuller

6502 Distracted A4 poster.indd 1 21/09/2018 09:25



100% community owned

ONLY football club in the world

to pay women & men EQUALLY

1,400 owners and rising...

Buy a share in Lewes Football Club for yourself or as a gift

Just £30

This is not an investment and there will be no return on, or of, your money.



Art for everyone

Eve Turner-Lee aka The Art Lady

Illustration by Eve Turner-Lee

Inclusive art, for

me, means enabling

people who might

otherwise be left

behind or left out to

take part in making

art. Whether it’s

through grief, old

age, mental health

issues or illnesses,

there are various

barriers that can

make it difficult for people to access art and to

feel like it’s a place for them.

I first became interested in the subject

around 2008, when I was supplementing the

income I made as an artist by working as a home

help for a woman with a degenerative illness. I

saw how she struggled to access things she might

have enjoyed, because of her illness. I began an

MA in Inclusive Arts Practice at the University

of Brighton in 2013.

It was during my course that I launched an

art project at Leach Court, a sheltered housing

block in Kemp Town. One lady used to complain

there was nothing going on, so I started running

regular art workshops for older residents. It’s

been running every week since then. People

can do whatever they like, but with support and

encouragement. A lot of people like collage or

painting, but there’s a lady who does knitting

and someone who makes birthday cards.

One of the attractions is the absorption that

art offers. For two hours, all you have to think

about is what you’re making. It also gives people

something to think about the rest of the week.

One woman collects pieces for her collages

and plans out what she’s going to make at the

next session. It gives

people a focus.

It’s been brilliant

for me as well.

Artists traditionally

work alone and I

thought I enjoyed

that. But increasingly

I realised I was

feeling isolated. The

thought of running art

workshops, of standing

there while everyone looked at me, was absolutely

terrifying initially. But it was really liberating to

break through those fears and as an artist it’s made

me feel more connected and confident.

I’d always thought of myself as a Fine Artist

but through doing this project, I’ve realised

I’m really an illustrator. When I got to the

end of my MA we were invited to document

what we had done in a creative way and I turned

my experiences into a comic that I called The

Making of Art Lady – which is what the group at

Leach Court used to call me. Now comics and

journals are the way I feel most comfortable

expressing myself.

Now I’ve seen the difference these art

sessions can make to people’s lives, I want

to offer them more widely. I’ve taken on a

volunteer and, thanks to her help, we’re going to

be running additional workshops. We’re doing

a couple for Rise, the domestic abuse charity,

one for homeless people at St Mary’s Church in

Kemp Town and another for a group in Hove

that supports people with chronic illnesses.

As told to Nione Meakin by artist Eve Turner-Lee

aka The Art Lady.


Awaken your senses in our new Winter Garden and

feel the colours, scents and textures lift your spirits

Flourishing from mid-January

Tours available daily, 24 – 27 January

For details visit

Award-winning independent 3 screen cinema

Next to Lewes station

Pinwell Road, Lewes BN7 2JS

01273 525354

Green Book, from 1 February



Sophie Abbott

Artist, Phoenix Brighton

I’ve been at the Phoenix for

four years now. It’s a charity,

which offers studio space for

100-odd creative types of all

sorts, with a gallery downstairs.

I love it here – it’s brilliant

to be surrounded by likeminded

people, and the rent is

relatively low.

There are some downsides

though – there’s no central

heating so it’s freezing in

winter. I’ve taken to wearing

my old ski suit to keep warm

– like all my other clothes it’s

completely spattered with

paint now.

But in the summer, it’s hot

which can be a problem

because I like to use acrylics

and they can dry too quickly,

so I am constantly having to

adjust my painting technique.

Music is important to me and

can also affect my paintings:

my brushstrokes often

correspond with the rhythm of

the track that is playing. I’ve

got all sorts of studio playlists

and I listen to 6 Music. I gave

up on Radio 4 after Brexit.

My first studio in Brighton

was above the pub I used to

run, the Lord Nelson. Then

I had a space in one of the

Kings Arches on the seafront.

Seeing the sea every day had a

profound effect on what I am

drawn to paint and explore.

There’s always a horizon in

there somewhere.

I was landlocked as a child –

I grew up in Leamington Spa –

so the sea has always been very

special to me. Brighton is very

much ‘my space’, too, I feel

very privileged to live here.

My paintings may look

abstract, but they are always

based on something. I make

watercolour sketches, and

take a lot of photographs,

and draw inspiration from

Photos by Sophie Abbott







postcards I pick up and photos

I take, and stick on my studio

wall, alongside paintings by my

children, and scribbled notes to

remind me of things.

My work is all about the

combination of marks

and colours. I’m massively

attracted to colour, I find it

psychologically uplifting. I

am really into mixing my own

paints and I use vibrant colour


You can see from the state of

the floor that I’m a very messy

painter. For me it’s all about

spontaneity and getting into the

moment; I don’t want to have to

think about keeping things tidy

and clean, I just couldn’t!

A painter’s work is limited by

the size of their studio. I often

work on the floor, the biggest

space I can lay down canvas. If I

had a larger studio, I’d definitely

scale up my paintings. I’ve put

my name down for one here.

There are some with balconies

that are just amazing.

These dungarees? They are

well past their sell-by date.

They are stiff with paint, and so

heavy on the right side – where

I wipe my painting hand – that

I’m getting shoulder ache from

wearing them. I recently bought

a new boiler suit from a car boot

sale. The lady was upset when I

said what I was going to use it

for: “you’ll ruin it,” she said.

As told to Alex Leith



FROM JUST £112,000 *


1, 2 & 3 BEDROOM


Located just 0.7 miles from Hove Station.



1 Bedroom

from £112,000*

2 Bedrooms

from £148,750*

3 Bedrooms

from £201,250*

0300 030 1042

Prices and details correct at time of going to print. *Based on a 35% share of the full

market value with a 5% deposit. Rent & service charges apply. Subject to terms and

conditions. Eligibility criteria applies. Actual photography of development.



Colour perception

‘Babies make great scientists’

By the time we are four months old

we can distinguish between colours

– even before we have the language

to describe them.

Recent ground-breaking

University of Sussex research

found that babies were able to

categorise shades of red, blue,

green, yellow and purple.

The study, which used eye-tracking

technology to test the direction and

interest of an infant’s gaze, suggests

that our innate biology accounts for our ability to

label colours. We know that specialised cells in our

eyes are sensitive to different wavelengths of light,

which our brains then interpret as distinct colours.

But as humans, we live in a variety of landscapes

– from monotone deserts to vibrant rainforests.

So how does our colour perception relate to our

individual surroundings?

This question is now being addressed by

researchers in the Sussex BabyLab, a research

group at the university that specialises in how

babies and toddlers understand colour. Their

new project, COLOURMIND, aims to find the

differences and similarities between how babies

and adults see the world.

BabyLab psychologist Dr Jenny Bosten explains:

“As adults, our visual systems show a preference

for colours and patterns that appear in our natural

scenes – the ones with which we’re familiar.

“But an urban environment colour palette may

be very different from a more rural environment.

We are looking to find out if and how babies

learn to represent the palettes of colours in their

own natural scenes.”

For the babies this means a short test (anything

from five minutes to until they get bored),

during which they are shown images

of objects or scenes familiar to their

environment (such as trees and sky),

but with “unnatural” colours.

“Babies make great scientists,” says

Jenny. “They’re eager to learn and

hard to fool. And with developments

in technology we are now able to

capture and interpret information in

ways that wasn’t possible before.”

The research also investigates

adult colour vision, studying the

malleability of our perception by using VR

headsets to feed participants an altered version of

colour reality.

While the research is already underway at the

university’s Falmer campus, the five-year project

will also investigate the effect on perception of

living in radically different environments. Later

this year the researchers will take their experiment

to Ecuadorean rainforest communities.

“We have several different streams of research,”

says Jenny. “We are looking to see if people’s

colour perception changes according to the

seasons, and according to the colours that are in

their environments. For example, in the Arctic

Circle there’s evidence that people’s colour

perception varies according to the month of

their birth. It could be dependent on the light

they were exposed to in the early months of

their lives.”

She adds: “The findings will not only help us to

understand more about how we perceive colour,

but can help to explain how the brain processes

other perceptual information, such as speech

patterns and memories.” Jacqui Bealing

To take part in BabyLab’s research with your baby,







B *

5 years peace of mind up to 2024 upon purchase of selected

OLED & LED TVs. Visit us in store or online to find out more.



in store | online | mobile

* Scale: A++ to E. ** Terms apply, contact us or ask in-store for more details.

11 Imperial Arcade, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 3EA

01273 827450 | Visit:

吀 爀 愀 渀 猀 昀 漀 爀 洀 礀 漀 甀 爀 栀 漀 洀 攀 眀 椀 琀 栀 漀 甀 爀 昀 椀 渀 攀 猀 琀 焀 甀 愀 氀 椀 琀 礀

匀 㨀 䌀 刀 䄀 䘀 吀 洀 愀 搀 攀 ⴀ 琀 漀 ⴀ 洀 攀 愀 猀 甀 爀 攀 椀 渀 琀 攀 爀 椀 漀 爀 猀 栀 甀 琀 琀 攀 爀 猀 ⸀

琀 ⸀ ㈀ 㜀 アパート アパート アパート 㠀 㐀 ㈀

攀 ⸀ 挀 漀 渀 琀 愀 挀 琀 䀀 戀 攀 氀 氀 愀 瘀 椀 猀 琀 愀 猀 栀 甀 琀 琀 攀 爀 猀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀

眀 ⸀ 眀 眀 眀 ⸀ 戀 攀 氀 氀 愀 瘀 椀 猀 琀 愀 猀 栀 甀 琀 琀 攀 爀 猀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀



Illustration by Mark Greco


You can’t start a fire without a spark

It’s around about now that I start getting a bit

bored of winter. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a

bit of bleak beauty: bare trees, frosted landscapes

and all that. But now I need something to get

my heart racing. I’m searching for a sign – some

life in the graveyard of winter, a promise of those

dynamic spring months ahead, a flash of colour.

In February my light at the end of the tunnel is

an oncoming butterfly.

On sculpted, vibrant yellow wings the Brimstone

makes his elegant entrance into the New Year

on those bright February days when you feel the

warmth of the sun on your face. Its distinctive

yellow wings have given birth to a legend – that

this ‘butter-coloured fly’ inspired the word butterfly.

This claim may be wishful thinking and so

is my hope that these February Brimstones are

the first signs of this year’s new life. By the time

Brimstones fly in February they are already on

their last (six) legs.

Fresh Brimstone butterflies emerged from their

chrysalises in late summer, so by February they

could be seven months old – and in butterfly

years that’s ancient. Admittedly almost all that

time they’ve been asleep in a hedge, sheltered

from the storms under holly and ivy. Yet despite

the worst winter weather, they always emerge

immaculate in the spring. They must be made

of Teflon.

When they awake the (bright yellow) males

search for a mate, they mate, the (pale yellow)

females lay eggs and then both die. Still, an adult

life of over ten months earns them the title of

our longest lived butterfly. An insect OAP.

The Brimstone’s caterpillars feed on the leaves

of buckthorn and alder buckthorn, unobtrusive

shrubs which, like the butterfly, are widespread

across Sussex. When I first became the proud

owner of a garden it was only a matter of days

before I evicted the gnomes and planted an alder

buckthorn. The following spring I was excited to

watch a Brimstone laying her tiny skittle-shaped

eggs and I studied the caterpillars as they hungrily

defoliated my tree. It’s funny, people often

complain to me about caterpillars eating their

plants – especially cabbages (the food of Small

and Large White caterpillars). Why people are

concerned is beyond me. Cabbages are horrible.

The only reason I would ever plant a cabbage

is for the pleasure of watching something else

eat it.

The first Brimstone sighting in February doesn’t

exactly mean that spring is starting but it’s

certainly a sign that winter is starting to end.

And right now that’s good enough for me. Either

way this yellow butterfly is a welcome messenger

of what’s to come – the first sulphurous spark to

ignite the blaze of spring.

Michael Blencowe, Senior Learning & Engagement

Officer, Sussex Wildlife Trust




I’m wandering round by the Peace Statue with

an old colour postcard in my hand, wondering

about the current lay of the land, when I bump

into a friend, Nigel. I gesture to the scratchy,

gravel-floored Petanque Terrain which now sits

in the place of the erstwhile ‘Sunken Garden’,

and show him the postcard. “Wasn’t it nice, back

in the day?” I say. His face suggests he disagrees.

“You know what that is?” he replies. “That’s


For the record the Sunken Gardens, also called

the Water Gardens, were landscaped in 1925

(some sources say 1927) in the place that an old

putting green had been, between the Peace Statue

and the Bandstand. It was a very popular spot

for gentle souls to sit and contemplate the sea,

with a water feature and a statue of Cupid, but it

became a bit of a litter-strewn wasteland from the

early seventies.

This photograph was taken in the late thirties:

between 1934, when Embassy Court was completed,

and the beginning of the War. Ignore the

foreground, and the scene is remarkably similar


I say ‘this photograph’ but that’s not quite true.

The original shot, which was also made into a

postcard, was a black and white print. I show

this original to Nigel, as well, and explain that

the polychrome version has been created – by a

company called Photocrom in Tunbridge Wells

who specialised in the process – by transferring

the negatives onto lithographic printing plates.

Most of the colours we can see – from the coats

of the ladies to the saddles of the donkeys – must

have been guesswork.

Interestingly, I also point out, they have airbrushed

away some clouds, so the weather is a lot

better in the colour version of the scene than in

the black and white one.

He seems more interested in my postcard now.

A bit of further research suggests that Photochrom

Ltd bought the UK licence for this

process from a company in Switzerland, and is

thought to have produced up to 40,000 postcards.

It is one of the ‘Celesque’ series, which featured

a predominantly red, yellow and blue palette.

This must have been a popular card, as we traced

a version being sold on eBay postmarked 1948,

suggesting the company must have been selling

their stock after the War, too.

Petanque playing (aka boules) must bring a lot

of joy to a lot of people, but this is no longer a

space for quiet contemplation. Eastbourne, for

the record, still has an intact floral stretch of its

seaside promenade: the ‘Carpet Gardens’.

Alex Leith



41 Cliffe High Street


East Sussex


01273 471 269 HAND MADE KITCHENS

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines