A new set of creative works bringing to life a fascinating area of Hastings is now available to view online.

The works were produced for Our Past, Our Future – a project by local arts and heritage company, MSL. 

PICTURE: Jon Pratty

Fourteen local artists, writers and historians took part in workshops at Rock House and Hastings Museum, where they worked with museum researcher Sarah French, social media history expert Roy Penfold, archive specialist Julie Gidlow, digital animator Lee Shearman and creative writer and storyteller, Rosanna Lowe. 

Participants researched the history of America Ground, also known as Trinity Triangle, and used their discoveries to create poems, digital animations, monologues and songs about the area. 

“It’s demystified the whole thing of digital animation and heritage mapping online,” said Mary Hooper, who produced a sound collage entitled Looking for America Ground.

PICTURE: Jon Pratty

“Those layers of ideas and history incorporated with visual imagery is very valid today. That’s how we’re all looking and seeing,” said Amanda Jobson, who produced a digital animation piece about the Alley Caves behind the Observer Building.

“It’s taken me on a journey to actually be the writer I want to be,” said participant Paula Bergin, whose piece Death at the Museum, was inspired by Hastings True Crime Museum on the edge of America Ground.

Those layers of ideas and history incorporated with visual imagery is very valid today

“People have created some really fantastic pieces of writing. We’ve had lots of fun together and seen the place that we live in a new light,” said Rosanna Lowe, who supported the team with writing their pieces.

The films will soon be uploaded onto MSL’s Smart Heritage Arts & Heritage Town Map (smart-heritage.co.uk), but in the meantime all the films are on MSL’s Youtube channel.

PICTURE: Jon Pratty

Our Past, Our Future is part of MSL’s online creative programme, Dot Dash, which runs from April to September 2020 and explores the heritage of Hastings’ America Ground. Coming soon: A Derelict Chorale, a suite of songs by America Ground Artist-in-Residence, Chris Thorpe-Tracey; Rock On Rock Fair, a work-in-progress by writer Rosanna Lowe and researcher Julie Gidlow; and online Salons – masterclasses and discussions about key issues in Hastings today led by creative artists and historians.

Margaret Sheehy, Director of MSL Projects says: “Dot Dash, a largely digitally-hosted project, uses the arts to explore and chronicle the history of Hastings’ America Ground taking audiences on a journey from the comfort of their locked-down homes.”

See the videos on MSL’s youtube channel:

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