Artist Navine G. Dossos has been conducting workshops with residents of Eastbourne's Devonshire Ward to create Riviera: a communal-and-community-designed textile pattern made from stencils relating to the neighbourhood.
Cuttings from the finished rolls of fabric (produced in two different weights) will be available for free to those living locally as part of an exhibition at Devonshire Collective's VOLT gallery, with people invited to make their own personal objects and clothes and share them through an online archive.
This way, the fabric pattern will become a tangible part of the town, in people's homes and outdoors. In the spring, the pattern will appear as upholstery or outdoor awnings at various locations in the Devonshire Ward.
More information about the exhibition at Devonshire Collective's VOLT gallery and the Riviera website, where you'll be able to upload your own work, will be coming soon.
Navine G. Dossos has worked with over 50 Eastbourne residents through the creation of 24 stencils relating to the neighbourhood: its history, its population, its businesses, its flora and fauna and its location in the town. Together they have developed a Devonshire Ward-specific language of symbols, featuring palm trees, local gelato, the movie camera and pier. These elements have been brought together by Dossos to fashion a rich and vibrant textile.
Riviera looks to reflect the day-to-day lived experience of belonging. Multi-cultural communities are celebrated through a textile project visible in both domestic and public space, such as community centres and outdoor awnings.
The basic premise of Riviera began with the history of the palm trees found across the ward. The planting of these kinds of exotic trees was to create a sense of travel, of being elsewhere, and reference an otherness or foreignness related to holidays abroad. Many British seaside resorts modelled themselves on the idea of the French and Italian rivieras.
With Mediterranean communities living in the Devonshire Ward today, along with many other people from around the world, what was once alluded to in architectural detail is now part of the everyday cultural life in Devonshire Ward.
Riviera is a public art commission led by Towner Eastbourne in collaboration with Devonshire Collective.