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all ages. The award-winning BlankCanvas Intergenerational Group hashelped close the age gap by bringing13-25-year-olds together with the over-60s for a series of projects.Over in Sussex, Bexhill-on-Sea hasalso made its mark. Once famous forinspiring some of Spike Milligan'scharacters in The Goons, the resort'sreputation has rocketed since thebuffed-up De La Warr Pavilion re-openedas an arts centre in 2005. Designershelters now line the promenade andcomputer-controlled fountains were dueto burst into action this summer.Reclining on the promenade like abeached luxury liner, looking toEastbourne to the West and Hastings tothe right, the Pavilion was originallydesigned by Erich Mendelsohn andSerge Chermayeff and built as a"people's palace" by Earl De La Warr inthe mid-1930s. A modernist building in theinternational style (don't ever call it ArtDeco!) it was sadly neglected after thewar. With a leaking roof and peelingwalls, it became a white elephant,largely unknown outside the town andunderused and unloved within.Listed as Grade 1 in 1986 by EnglishHeritage, which set up a trust to restoreit, the building escaped a fate worsethan death - the JD Wetherspoon chainthought it might make a nice pub -before receiving a financial lifeline fromthe Arts Council. It was playwright SirDavid Hare who suggested it becamean art gallery.Since its £8 million makeover, the DeLa Warr's innovative and uncompromisingBY THE SEA34NADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN 2011www.nadfas.org.ukAbove:TheCollectionGallery at theEastbourneTownerBelow:The TurnerContemporary inMargate wasdesigned byaward-winningarchitect Sir DavidChipperfield Next year, as part of the CulturalOlympiad, a coach will balanceprecariously on top of the building. HangOn A Minute, Lads. I've Got a GreatIdeaby artist Richard Wilson wasinspired by the last scene in the 1969cult British film The Italian Job. The titlecomes from the line spoken by actorMichael Caine. The aim, says director Alan Haydon, isto remain true to the building's modernistspirit. That modernism isn't always easyfor some locals to swallow. But Haydonis unrepentant. "For every one personwho says 'I don't get it', there are 10who say they love it," he declares. The local paper's letters page maycontain the odd whinge but with anannual turnover of nearly £3 million andover half a million visitors each year, 25per cent from Bexhill and 50 per centwithin a 45 minute drive away, thewhingers are outnumbered. Haydon has stuck to his promise ofbringing "a world-class programme to aworld-class building". He sees bringinghigh profile and challenging material tothe Sussex coast as cultural democracy."Why should you be denied the chanceto see the greatest works just becauseyou don't live in London?" he asks. He has little patience with those whosay the retired residents of Bexhill wouldprefer something more traditional."We need to re-think our attitude tothe third age," he maintains. "Thisgeneration of retired people used to goto Glastonbury not to tea dances." Aftercontemporary programme has made it amagnet for art lovers. Sam Taylor-Wood's film, David(2004),showed footballer David Beckhamhaving a snooze. Last summer 55,000people climbed up to the roof to see thelife-size human figures of sculptorAntony Gormley's Critical Mass. Thissummer, comedian Eddie Izzard, whowas brought up in Bexhill, braved theelements to perform on a rooftop beach,complete with deckchairs and palm trees.In Warhol Is Here, from 24 September,gallery-goers will be able to see the workof arguably the most influential artist ofthe 20th century, pop artist AndyWarhol. The Campbell's soup can, theBrillo boxes and Marilyn will all be there. Images: © Matthew Hollow; Mascalls Gallery: Estate of John Piper / Daniel Clements photography 2009 / Tate, London 2011 / Richard Bryant/Arcaidimages.com

NADFAS REVIEW/ AUTUMN 2011 35