Photos by JJ Waller

In 2017 Coastal Currents Arts Festival commissioned us to produce a large scale public art piece at a location of our choice and having previously presented the paste up project ‘Point of Decay’ (2016) in Bottle Alley, we proposed further exploration of the space with the idea of ‘Wavelength’ – a calming display of two colour gradients, one from St.Leonards to Hastings and the other from Hastings to St.Leonards.

Having been given the go ahead by Hastings Borough Council ‘Wavelength’ was made possible by the immense genrosity of local family run company Trade Paints with the help of PPG (Leyland Trade and Johnstones paint) who provided all the paint and equipment required to realise the project.

The colours that make ‘Wavelength’ are part of the Natural Colour System (NCS) and based on the six elementary colours which are perceived by human beings as being “pure”. E.g. pure green is not perceived to be bluish or yellowish, nor is pure yellow perceived to be greenish or reddish. We can describe all 10 million colours that we can perceive with the six elementary colours: White/ Black/ Yellow/ Red/ Blue/ Green.

‘Wavelength’, was initially only supposed to last the duration of the Festival but due to popular demand remained in place and intact until covid hit in 2020.

Despite the best intentions and efforts of the artists, the Council and the Foreshore Trust, it became impossible to continually restore the paint work so the columns were sadly whitewashed and upkeep of the once radiant South side of the alley was all but abandoned.

Fast forward to 2023 and we have once again secured the resources from Trade Paints and PPG and support from HBC to bring back the popular artwork. Working closely with community volunteers, the Foreshore management team and Hastings Borough Council’s own maintenance department we aim to up-keep the work for an additional two years until summer 2025.
We are offering an opportunity for people to get involved with the upkeep of the coloured columns via several volunteer-led painting days throughout the Spring, Summer and Autumn months through to 2025. Currently, August 2023, we have nearly 300 people signed up. If you’d like to be a part of the maintanence team to help maintain the artwork fill in the contact form HERE and we’ll add you to the pool of supporters of the project and be in touch with more details when the paint days are announced.

We would like to give a gracious thank you to Dean Foster (Trade Paints) and Aaron Woods (Hastings Borough Council) and all the volunteers that have contributed to the project so far.