The landmark Observer Building (OB) is set to open its doors to the town for the first time since its closure in 2016 as a proud partner of the prestigious Coastal Currents festival. On 6th, 7th and 8th September from 12-5pm, the OB will bring together the work of 11 local artists in a fascinating new exhibition ‘People and Place’, free to the public.  Reflecting on the past and looking to the future, the pieces are inspired by this historic building in the heart of Hastings. 

Photo by Benedict Stenning

The exhibition includes: a photo gallery of the OB’s secret graffiti by Cathy Teesdale; a bespoke textile piece naming every donor to the OB Crowdfunder by Janey Moffatt; portraits of the ‘unsung heroes’ central to the building’s rebirth from photographer John Cole; Hastings on sea – a day in the life of the very special America Ground from Jonny Thompson; made in OB – artwork, designed and created by local artists inside the eerie empty building; a photographic exploration of stories from original F J Parsons workers by Benedict Stenning

Andre Davis, Repairer, photo by John Cole

John Cole, one of the exhibiting artists commented: “This building has been so much at the heart of Hastings for nearly a hundred years – but having fallen into dereliction, for many, it’s become a symbol of a faded past. These events are the first chance for the public to be part of its journey to a restored and renewed glory.“ 

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.