Radical ESSEX




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Catherine Hyland

EXHIBITION LAUNCH: Thursday 26 April 6.30 to 8.30pm

Originally commissioned as part of the Radical ESSEX programme, Focal Point Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographic works by Catherine Hyland at Twenty One.

Hyland’s photographs convey the quiet monumentality of Essex’s modernist architecture, now gently embedded into the landscape and consciousness of its residents, visualising the crucial role the county has played in the history of British Modernism and its utopian ideologies.

Reflecting the view from Twenty One, three large-scale images of Southend’s sprawling seafront are on display, the brightly coloured rollercoasters of Adventure Island amusement park, entwined with the town’s historic pleasure pier – the longest in the world. The imposition of these frivolous leisure structures wrestles for authority over the vast and indifferent estuary horizon.

Alongside these works, the breath of intriguing and innovative architecture from across the county are shown, including one of Richard and Su Roger’s earliest buildings in Ulting, Harlow Shopping Centre, the space age architecture of Redshank in Lee-over Sands and the brutalist style of the old Southend Central library.

This exhibition continues until 28 October 2018. More of Hyland’s work can be seen in the forthcoming publication Radical ESSEX.

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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: