Inspired by local archaeological sites, artist Mariana Castillo Deball has created a public artwork that plays out across the streets of Eastbourne, into Towner Eastbourne’s gallery building, and out to the South Downs. Walking through the town I followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman’s profile is, explains Castillo Deball, “a work that can be experienced as an image, a walking path or a narrative.”
On this two-hour walking route around the streets of Eastbourne, pedestrians will discover a chalk-stenciled rope that traces an unexpected route through the town, outlining the silhouette of a woman’s profile. Followers of the walking trail will encounter several sculptural objects embedded in the pavement, each relating to objects that were buried with The Frankish Woman, whose ancient remains were discovered in Eastbourne at the Anglo-Saxon cemetery on St Anne’s Hill. The locations for the objects are shown on the map as a loop in the rope.
A third element to the work takes place at Whitbread Hollow on the South Downs where the shape of a giant hairpin, the most magnificent of the funerary objects, will be inscribed in chalk. In contrast to the nearby Celtic hill figure, The Long Man of Wilmington which is cut into the chalk a few miles north-east of Eastbourne, Castillo Deball’s geoglyph will be evanescent, disappearing over time.
Alongside her Waterfronts commission, Castillo Deball has curated an exhibition for Towner Eastbourne. A drawing, a story and a poem go for a walk will run from 29 May 2021 to 16 January 2022.
Mariana Castillo Deball was born in 1975, Mexico City, and lives and works in Berlin. Deball works in installation, sculpture, photography and drawing, exploring the ideologically constructed conditions under which artifacts appear in today’s culture. She takes on a kaleidoscopic approach to her work, culling information from various disciplines such as archaeology and science, and through research and collaboration, creating works that arise from the collision and recombination of these different languages.
Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at MGKSiegen, Germany (2021), Modern Art Oxford, UK (2020), the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, USA (2018), Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2018), SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah Georgia, USA (2018), Galerie Wedding, Berlin, Germany (2017), San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, USA (2016), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Mexico (2015), Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany (2014); CCA, Glasgow, UK (2013); Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK (2013); Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City, Mexico (2011); and Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, USA (2010). Group exhibitions include the 8th Berlin Biennale, Berlin, Germany (2014); Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany (2013); and 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, Germany (2011).
This commission is part of England’s Creative Coast’s Waterfronts project curated by Tamsin Dillon.