Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Fabric of Buildings

Yesterday I went on a tour of the building site which is to become the Cultural Centre in Eastbourne, house the Towner Collection and host exhibitions and conferences.The old Towner Gallery was situated in the Old Town, in a park between my house and the supermarket, a daily encounter as I went about my everyday life for over ten years. Whereas the old Towner Gallery was an old manor house with a domestic feel, the new Cultural Centre is a semi-industrial building wedged into Eastbourne's theatreland close to the sea front: polished concrete instead of creaking floorboards. The semi-finished building was shrouded in plastic sheets flapping like sails in the wind. Wearing helmets, fluorescent safety vests and boots we climbed up scaffolding and makeshift staircases, admiring vision and views, scale and potential. Among the building paraphernalia, boxes of cables and wires, clumps of textile bits on the floor, the inner life of the building soon to disappear under the smooth polished surfaces. Will textiles be able to resurface once the centre opens? I envisage threads, looped and knitted, stitched and tangled emerging from corners and crevices, climbing along steel frames, furtively invading space.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have fond memeories of the Towner which always held a welcoming feel. Old wood which creaked in places & dipped. You felt many different people & activities had taken place there over the years. I hope the new building will welcome a range of shows & experiences.

9:46 pm  

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