The evening of Thursday May 23 saw a preview of the Hastings Tapestry exhibition at the Bridge Point creative arts centre.
The old Bournes warehouse and the Rye Auction Gallery have been transformed into artists studios and performance and rehearsal areas. There is a current planning application in to also update the exterior from dowdy warehouse architecture to modern elevations that will do justice to the activities within.
The tapestry is laid out in the main performance hall and with the 27 large panels set in something of a zig zag pattern, the visitor is taken through important scenes of our island’s history from the point where the Bayeux Tapestry finishes in 1066 through to 1966.
With its vibrant colours and quality of needlework – apparent even to someone with no knowledge of needlework – such as this writer – is just breathtaking. One can stand in front of each panel for some time and see more and more detail every minute.
As well as major events – 100 years war, princes in the Tower, the Armada, the two world wars – many other important, if less dramatic, events are recorded – the Union of Scotland and England, for example and Queen Victoria and her Empire.
Altogether a fascinating gallop through history depicted in a way that is both stylish and imaginative and all accompanied by moving images on the surrounding walls and specially commissioned music to complete the scene and atmosphere.
The exhibition runs this Bank Holiday weekend from 11am to 3pm on Sunday and Monday, and again at the same times on the weekend of June 8 and 9. Entrance is just £3 with free entry for those under 26. Surely unbeatable value, do go and see it.
Image Credits: John Minter.