Radical ESSEX




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Metal Southend

Metal renovated the previously unused Chalkwell Hall as our base in Southend-on-Sea.  It is a four storey, Grade II, Georgian building set within the grounds of the well loved and well used, Chalkwell Park in Southend on Sea.  Built in 1830 it has a fantastic position at the brow of a hill, commanding magnificent views of the Park and across the Thames Estuary to Kent.

Metal commissioned award winning architect, Bill Dunster of ZEDfactory and visual artists, Ackroyd & Harvey to work together to turn the building into a low carbon space for artists-in-residence, events and conversation.

The Hall is now well-used, housing upwards of 20 international and UK artists-in-residence each year who live-in for short periods of time.  As well as a wide range of events, exhibitions, talent development and educational activities with schools and HE/FE.  Conversations with the wider communities of Southend and South Essex to think about the arts, to try out ideas for projects and to find solutions to identified issues or opportunities is a key part of all of these activities.

Our annual / regular programme includes Village Green – our music and arts festival that attracts around 40,000 visitors each year.  Shorelines Literature Festival of the Sea every two years and a programme of Culture LABs, residential hot-house, talent development weeks for artists of different disciplines.

Village Green: Next Generation – our festival exclusively for the school pupils of Southend.  All performers and audience members are under 18 years of age.

Chalkwell Hall supports a wide range of activities by local groups  inviting them to utilise the space as a venue for their events, classes, meetings, seminars, showing work, sharing ideas, and  workshops.

More information here

Metal at Chalkwell Hall, Chalkwell Avenue, Southend on Sea, SS0 8NB (View on Map)
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Radical Essex is a project re-examining the county in relation to radicalism in thought, lifestyle, politics and architecture. A programme of events will take place across Essex throughout 2016 and 2017, shedding light on the vibrant, pioneering thinking of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The project will celebrate the crucial role Essex has played in the history of British Modernism and its utopian ideologies under the themes ‘The Modernist County’ and ‘Arcadia for All’.

The Radical Essex site is designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and Alex Rich, developed by Twelve.

Radical Essex is led by Focal Point Gallery in collaboration with Visit Essex and Firstsite. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England it forms part of the country wide Cultural Destinations programme, a partnership with VisitEngland, supporting arts organisations to work with the tourism sector to deliver projects that maximise the impact culture has on local economies.

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If you are a business or arts organisation interested to be involved in the project or learn more information, please contact us here

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our project partners: