Arts festival will challenge and change perceptions

Iain Sinclair
Iain Sinclair

THIS weekend offers a chance to immerse yourself in arresting conceptual art at some of the most unique and intimate venues on the South Coast.

The Black Huts Festival has, as its essence, images, whether they be created by poets, writers, musicians or film makers. It is concerned with images and new ways of seeing.

The Festival includes pieces (and appearances) from innovators such as sax player Trevor Watts, writer Iain Sinclair and film maker Andrew Kotting.

It opens tonight (Friday) at The Beacon, below St Mary’s Terrace on the West Hill, with a performance by Trevor Watts and pianist Veryan Weston. Both have helped define improvised music since the 1970s.

Don’t expect lounge jazz. This is visceral music which draws from a palette of colours far beyond the usual spectrum.

On Saturday evening, at the Beacon, composer and founder member of the Michael Nyman Band John Harle, will help create a sound scape in collaboration with writer Iain Sinclair.

Completing the trilogy begun with Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire and continued with Ghost Milk, Sinclair breaks for the border with American Smoke, his first full engagement with the memory-filled landscapes of the American Beats and their fellow travellers, echoed, as always, in the mythologies of London, through which so many of them also passed.

Local filmmakers Nichola Bruce, Louise Colbourne, Catharine Leathers, Richard Heslop and festival patron Andrew Kotting present and curate work.

Bruce’s works include If I Could Read The Sky and Moonbug, which features photographer Steve Pyke, and the Apollo Team.

Kotting recently released Swandown with Iain Sinclair, describing their shared odyssey from Hastings to Hackney on a swan pedalo.

Richard Heslop recently had a retrospective at the ICA. His new film is Frank.

Hastings raised writer Andrew Crozier finally receives a long overdue celebration of his poetry with His painter brother Philip Crozier and poets John James, John Seed, John Hall and Wendy Mulford.

Kotting shows rare early films at the Electric Palace, in the Old Town on Sunday afternoon and the festival culminates, at the same venue, with a screening of a rare wartime propaganda film, Next of Kin, which warns of the dangers of careless talk.

The Festival is being presented by Etruscan Books.Full details of the programme and timings can be found at