A family day at the seaside in October in glorious weather,
saw us heading to Bexhill on Sea.
With a promise of visiting the
We could not have wished for bluer skies,
an amazing backdrop to this beautiful white building.
Ever since I heard about its re-opening in 2008,
having been shut for five years for renovations,
and Grayson Perry curating the opening exhibition 'Unpopular Culture',
I have wanted to visit.
Aesthetically it's a modernist building
built in 1935,
in the Art Deco style.
Researching about the De La Warr Pavilion on their website,
I read that'
"Modernism, which had started as an expression of national culture,
...adopted a politically informed position.
The Pavilion design is an expression of a specifically social and moral agenda,
...incorporated into an aesthetic philosophy".
In 1932, the mayor, the 9th Earl De La Warr, a junior minister in the National Labour Party,
launched a "competition for the design of a seaside Pavilion which was to provide culture and entertainment for the masses – a people‘s palace".
It worked, it still has a people's palace feel about it.
Where people can take time,
to meet up
gather for open-air performances
round this 2001 movable band-stand,
and admire the view.
Honestly there were loads of people milling about on this gorgeous sunny day,
I just picked my moments to take these photos.
Coming out of the lifts, we spotted this,
the Bexhill Mural.
We couldn't work out why it was tucked down a narrow corridor by the lifts.
But I've since found out why.
Not the original, this is a copy,
done by a "member of staff at the De La Warr Pavilion,
...who painstakingly copied the mural onto canvas".
Originally designed by Edward Wadsworth,
this one is done by a local (I presume), Michael Howard.
Well done Michael Howard!
Back to the corridor...
...well the original, in the restaurant, faded on account of all that glass,
big windows and high light levels.
It has been restored but we didn't see it, it is tucked away safely, away from glass and light.
It hasn't always been a people's palace,
when the Second World War began in 1939,
the De La Warr Pavilion was temporarily closed and forced into blackout.
The first floor was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence to house the Southern Command.
As an arts centre, the De La Warr Pavilion holds strong to its modernist roots
of improving people's lives through technology, architecture and the like.
Having looked at how they're doing, they say of themselves...
..."We are an integral part of people’s lives and stories
but not always in the ways we expected.
We discovered that we are valued not only because of what we do but how people use us
- as a place to meet friends and family, to enjoy the food, the weather and the view.
These are relationships that have been “under the radar” for us for many years
and we are excited that they have been uncovered as being at the heart of who we are."
Getting into the spirit of things,
of self improvement and progress through architecture, exhibitions and coffee,
we went to the De La Warr Pavilion as a family, me, my mum and sisters in-law,
for a coffee on the first floor where we sat in the sun and enjoyed the view
making the most of the people's palace.
Details on the De La Warr Pavilion website here.