Sunday, April 14, 2019

Dungeness Open Studios has a new showing space

With added Vitamin Sea
A collaboration 

Paddy Hamilton: After a life and career spanning continents and genres as a fine art painter (public works include Concorde Terminal Mural at Heathrow Airport and styling and executing the ‘distressed’ interior at Wilton’s Music Hall); set design in Opera, Theatre, Film and Television (directly involved in styling many of the One Hundred Plays of the Century according to NT2000 and as a member of Theatre de Complicité); working as a stylist in the music industry (with Prince and many others); exhibiting internationally (New York, Canada and Europe); Paddy has spent the last 20 years absorbed by this beach creating and evolving Dungeness Open Studios, welcoming thousands of visitors each year. AN X 2.0_ is an intimate new showing space hand-built by Paddy entirely from wood given as gifts, destined and originating from Dungeness beach.


Martin Heron (MRSS): Born in Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, Martin has worked throughout the UK and Ireland creating award-winning public artworks. He is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors and the London Group, one of the UK’s longest running artist-led collectives. Like Paddy, Martin believes that art should be accessible to all and does not belong only in white space galleries. He engages communities with his immersive practice beginning with drawing, through combative and repetitive actions to reach a resolution, producing installations from large metal structures to temporary yarn installations including ‘Immemorial’, a highly acclaimed yarn installation at St John’s Church created for the Waterloo Festival 2018. Martin has exhibited in the Netherlands, London, Italy and Toronto but all roads lead to … Dungeness!

Bringing together a friendship, two lifetimes of work and celebrating 20 years of Dungeness Open Studios, Martin’s sprouts cast in bronze (brilliant, tactile, weighty and beautiful) meet Paddy’s La Manche Rouge (inventive, authentic, dynamic and raw).
In addition, Mandy Hudson’s inspired print of broken glass will be on display permanently.

Why sprouts?
Martin was commissioned to create a number of sculptures and installations in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. The area was once a main supplier of Brussels Sprouts in the UK and this was reflected in the artworks, which included a steel chest full of sprouts. The bronze sprout became a big talking point and led to Martin casting other small fruits and veg pieces that have interesting shapes, forms, qualities, connotations and protrusions. Martin explains, ‘I particularly like small works, pieces easily held in the hand and easily displayed.’

What is behind ‘La Manche Rouge’?
The works represent a connection between the red earth of Africa (Paddy’s birthplace) and the brown sea of the English Channel (home). Like this building, the construction pieces are made from the remains of iconic structures that make Dungeness unique, authentic and resonant. Many people feel inexplicably drawn to Dungeness and this show celebrates the beauty of connections.

  • Entrance to An X 2.O_ is granted on easy-going request in person, by message or telephone.
  • This ensures a peaceful, contemplative experience for the viewing of the selected works.
  • The building itself is designed to act as a sanctuary or refuge.

  • The inaugural show is a collaborative affair.
  • Artists are: Paddy Hamilton, Martin Heron and Mandy Hudson.

  • Martin Heron's beautiful and subtle tactile work needs to be handled to be fully appreciated.
  • Two await handling - three are exhibited in an exquisite bird's nest out of reach.

The name of the show is: Home Grown: Best in Show with added Vitamin Sea (the robin adjudicates ...)

Light is an essential play as the sun traverses the beach.
We ensured good fortune for the building by embedding a Zambian sixpence from 1964 within the framework.

Endless toil.

Sprouts in the nest!
New view of the beach from An X 2.O_

New work - constructed from the fabric of the beach.

New works - constructed from the fabric of the beach.

Due II


Framing the building with a woman for scale.

Overbuilt, hefty base to withstand inclemency.

  • All the materials excepting fixings, screws and nails were gifts or gifted by Neptune.
  • Supporters to thank are:
  • DM Builders
  • Mark Perrins
  • Oliver Schofield
  • Gareth Simmons
  • Doris Tart
  • Owen Leyshon
  • Helen Gillilan and family
  • The lovely people from Openshore over the years (two doors down)
  • The unknown generous benefactors who left timber in my drive at night!


Final hang - Wall C - collaborative.

Wall B - La Manche Rouge + Due II.

Light plays on Wall C.

Light plays on Wall B.

Expanded view An X 2.O_