After a very successful #ATownExploresABook19 festival in St Leonards on Sea, and in particular the #TheHouseofCrusoe performance series, Explore the Arch are delighted announce their forthcoming summer project which opens a new Season of Exquisite Moments. The theme is migration. Marcelle van Caillie was a Belgian artist who settled in London in 1955. A stash of her paintings have arrived at Archer Lodge, not viewed since the artist’s death in 1991. These and her letters from 1955 will form the foundations of The House of Marcelle.

Big Head. Marcelle van Caillie 1955

Explore the Arch look forward to joining visitors in an investigation of the many remarkable aspects of Marcelle’s life: an unusual childhood as the daughter of a French secret service spy, her early success as a solo artist exhibiting at the Palais des Beaux-Arts at the age of twenty one, and her wartime experience of losing the four hundred trees she adored to occupying forces. These moments are all glimpsed in the letters written to her British lover as she attempts divorce to begin a new life in Britain with the hope of painting freely.

Marcelle van Caille on arrival in Britain in 1955

Multi-instrumentalist Kyle McInnis will join musicians Ali Alana, Juliet Grace and Vladimir Miller to work with Gail Borrow and PoorlyBeetle. The team are gearing up for a fascinating summer, with thanks to the archive department at BOZAR for joining the journey and Akiko and Henry Sanford for loaning the collection of Marcelle’s work.

• The project opens on 29th July and runs into August. Tickets now available to public at £15 plus online booking fee, or free for under 19s (though still require booking). Tickets can also be purchased without the booking fee at partner bookshops, The Bookkeeper and Printed Matter Hastings. Please support local independent bookshops!

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