In 2010, Revolutionary Arts commissioned Alice Angus from Proboscis Studios to draw Worthing Pier. We got more than we expected.
Alice visited Worthing Pier on a number of occasions, even bringing a kayak to get underneath the pier and to open up views from the sea. She completed over 100 drawings, and took phtographs and film as well. The finished work wove the real world, local history, folklore and imagination together and was exhibited on the pier itself.
Around 40 of the drawings were exhibited for Pier Day, in a piece of public art designed for the Made In Worthing festival and funded entirely by Revolutionary Arts. They were printed on vinyl, cut into circles of varying sizes, and applied secretly to the windbreak screens early one morning. We didn’t ask permission. A month later, we removed them.
Alice tells the tale;
I recommend a visit to Worthing Pier, its not the longest or the oldest but in its fabulous streamlined charm it has all the hope of the future. When the wind blows you feel it might break loose and sail off, past the kite surfers, windsurfers and yachts, beyond the lifeboat men and fishing boats and way on out over the misty horizon and over the high seas.
I think Dan just wanted a couple of drawings but after getting the chance to explore the Pier and get to know it better I got carried away by the stories I discovered and set out to make a new series of works on paper and an animation. I’m interested in our relationship to water and how it is changing;- the life above and below the pier, in and out of the water, the characters of seaside entertainment, the ghosts of past fishermen, sailors and boatmen, all the tall tales of the sea, the lore of tides and weather, the survival of coastal communities and the feat of the engineering of the pier.
I made some visits to the Pier to explore it above and below, at low tide and high tide, walking, swimming, in a kayak… I thought very much about the icon of the pier and its visibility all along the coast. I found so many intertwined stories of lives lived, and lives imagined around the pier and decided to make a series of 100 views of the pier, partly inspired by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi‘s legendary 100 Views of the Moon published in 1885. The views incorporated characters from legends as well as real life.