Untitled works by George Smith at Untitled Gallery
Untold Stories was a community storytelling project exploring a unique part of Hastings known as the Trinity Triangle that has a rich history and a long relationship with Project Art Works. Part of the project included the Untold Stories publication (2021) that presents a collection of memories, stories, images and ephemera from our local community and their relationship with this site.
Kate Adams, Project Art Works, writes about her memories of Trinity Triangle and looks to the future of this area as it is changes through community-led regeneration.
What is now called the Trinity Triangle first came into my consciousness as a sixteen year old. From within the bright, light spaces of the Brassey Institute art school on the top two floors of what is now the Hastings Library, the ‘triangle’ was visible (the library occupied the building then as now but not quite so extensively). Those two years of learning drawing, printmaking of all kinds, painting, design and so on via an art foundation course were a significant experiential portal into art which is in fact a way of living.
Then, after some years and further study away and with two young children, I took a studio space shared with the painter Jonathan Cole on the top floor of 12 Claremont next door to the library. Another eerie, a light and airy space with
a detailed view of the sandstone fascia of Trinity Church across the road. The light in the studio was stunning, and when working to a deadline I was on occasions there when the sun rose, streaming light through the east facing windows. Beautiful light.
Jon met my son Paul, who charmed and affected our conversations about art, materials and the importance of our senses and sensory engagement in art making. Jon painted Hello/Halo (a beautiful painting that now hangs in our home) in response to Paul’s use of the word ‘hello’ that he deploys in many different intonations and circumstances as a way to connect. In 1996 together, Jon and I embarked on a short but ambitious series of artist residencies in local SEND schools working with over 160 children in self-directed art making through etching, casting and large floor-based paintings. These were extraordinary experiences and formed the approaches to Project Art Works, its philosophy and subsequent trajectory.
So, to now be so close to re-entering 12 Claremont in another phase of its life and that of Project Art Works is significant. The building is on a routeway to the sea, the area is being gradually restored through community-based commitment, friendship, shared skills and love.
We’re building new partnerships and sharing common ideas that ensure a sense of responsibility and ownership of this central and special site within Hastings town centre. This is a tiny fragment of the many Untold Stories that make up our relationship with the spaces we live in and inhabit. To see and be part of the change that is unfolding in this special area of the town is significant to Project Art Works and in 2021 we will open Untitled Gallery in the ground floor of 12 Claremont. A new chapter in the unfolding story.