Most artists are only too happy for their artwork to be kept within the relatively safe confines of a the walls of a gallery. While you might get some idiot with a can of spray paint or a Stanley knife decide to deface it, on the whole such attacks are pretty rare. But Hastings is not known to be the most art loving town in Britain so when Daniel Dowling decided to put his art work on the outside of the Blue Room rather than on the inside, none of us was absolutely certain it would be there in the morning. But it survived; thank you late night Hastings revellers for leaving it alone.
Dan, who is undertaking the third year of a BA Hons in Fine Art at Sussex Coast College, is fascinated by Britain’s industrial heritage. He created the work specially for the Blue Room by taking a rubbing from a piece of rock from the site of theSteel Works in Cumbria. The few pieces of rock were all that remained from what used to one of Britain’s major industrial sites. Dan has a personal connection with Workington because his great-grandfather used to be a boiler maker there. Dan then used the rubbing to create a screen print on pieces of linen which he has sown together to give the Blue Room its brand new covering.
What is interesting about the work is the variety that Dan has created whilst repeating the same basic pattern. It certainly excited interest when he put it up yesterday. His grandmother Mildred Dowling who was there to see this unique memorial to her father also seemed to approve. Provided the work survives another night unguarded, you should still be able to see it tomorrow morning.