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People-Object-Place Project exhibition opens

HOW two Jewish emigres from Nazism came to design the iconic De La Warr Pavilion is among the stories revealed in an innovative new exhibition at the Museum.

Project manager Colin Heminway obtained £20,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the People-Object-Place project.

Led by students from the local community, the project focuses on the heritage of migration in the region and the contributions made to the local area and considers contemporary topics of migration today.

Students of Art and Design from Bexhill College and Sussex Coast College Hastings have worked with Bexhill Museum, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery and the De La Warr Pavilion, exploring the heritage of migration in the area through archived material and artefacts which date back to 80AD.

The students have curated innovative exhibition displays at each cultural venue, exhibiting the heritage uncovered by the project alongside contemporary artworks responding to migration.

The People-Object-Place project aims to identify and raise awareness of the rich and varied heritage relating to the migration of people, design and material culture to the area over many centuries, dating from Roman-occupied Britain.

The project enabled the student-led team to create exhibitions that showcase the influences and contributions migration has had on the region and demonstrate that the movement of people from place to place can relate to everyone.

Guests of many ethnic origins mingled with volunteers from the independent, voluntarily-run museum at the exhibitionís launch on Friday, July 7th.

Museum chairman John Betts told Rother District Council chairman Cllr Mary Barnes and Deputy Town Mayor Cllr Abul Azad and other guests that he believed Bexhill residents did not recognise the achievements of the museum. The townís second largest tourist attraction was credited with a financial impact on the local economy of £700,000 a year. Since 2008 it had attracted £190,000 worth of Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council funding in addition to £900,000 HLF funding for the 2009 expansion of the museum.

With just one full-time member of staff, one part-timer and the services of Rotherís museums curator, the 400-member museum was almost totally reliant on the work of a hundred volunteers.

Quoting the Portuguese Nobel prize-winner author Jose Saramago on the subject of migration, Colin Heminway said students had been working on People-Object-Place since September 2016.

In addition to the Heritage Lottery Fund, he thanked Education Training Consortium Sussex for assistance with the project.

After a reception in the Education Room, guests were given a tour of the museumís three galleries.

Highlights of People-Object-Place are large screen-printed steel sheets lining the corridor area and detailing the contribution to local culture made by migrants such as De La Warr Pavilion architects Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff.

The exhibition runs until December 17.

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