Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Back From Hastings

It may be 25 miles away but- as Ailz and I were saying to one another in the car this afternoon- we've come to think of Hastings as our home town. It's where we go when we've time on our hands and nothing better to do- and the likelihood is it's where we'll end up when we make our penultimate move.

One of the things that draws up back is the Jerwood Gallery on the Stade- where Hastings keeps its fishing fleet- which is currently hosting Marcus Harvey's biggest ever one-man show- Inselaffe- a rollicking, seaside essay on Englishness- with paintings and sculptures built up of model sailing ships and heads of Churchill and casts of footballs and exotic fruits. Inselaffe translates as island monkeys and is what the Germans shout back at us when we call them krauts.

Harvey is best known for his portrait of Myra Hindley made out of childrens handprints- at once an indelible image and a millstone round its creator's neck. Inselaffe shows him to be much more than the naughty little shocker one might have thought he was. It's monumental, nose-thumbingly childish and- if you're any kind of English patriot- really rather moving.

Here's a picture of one of Hastings' iconic net houses.

And here's the main reason to keep on going back- the sea, the sea...

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