Holly Hendry - 'Invertebrate' - for Bexhill
This artwork is no longer available to visit. Information on the commission is listed below.
From 29 May - 12 November 2021, artist Holly Hendry's outdoor artwork 'Invertebrate', created for Bexhill-on-Sea, stood outside the De La Warr Pavilion.
‘Invertebrate’ is a giant composite form that wormed its way around the outside of De La Warr Pavilion, stretching from the seafront lawn to the first-floor balcony and the roof; while inside an accompanying exhibition by Hendry titled ‘Indifferent Deep’ showed the after-effects of the invertebrate’s actions, the gallery walls apparently munched and excavated.
The worm’s anatomy joins together different materials that resonate with the Bexhill pavilion’s seaside location. Sandbags made out of boating canvas, wrinkly and filled with pale local sand, connect with segments made using the casting techniques used to create tetrapod sea defenses.
These join onto wobbly metal ducting and sections in brick, the contrasting materiality of each segment conveying vulnerability to the elements. Hendry’s invertebrate form is a metaphor for change. It suggests hydrological functions both small and large — the transition of stone to sand and sand to glass, and themes of decomposition and re-emulsification essential to organic renewal.
In successfully invading the De La Warr Pavilion, Hendry’s invertebrate reimagined the iconic modernist building as a porous body. Her inspiration comes from her fascination with borders: “Making an artwork for Waterfronts, for me, is a consideration of edges,” Hendry has explained. “This deals with ideas of above and below, inside and outside, on the land, in the sea or under the ground. Edges seem to be a beginning or an end, a perimeter of sorts, and a line that highlights notions of ownership and free movement.
“Strange things have been revealing themselves in Bexhill-on-Sea, and further afield, like the wreck of the Amsterdam on Bulverhythe beach, dinosaur fossils in the Bexhill brickworks and environmental effects of our own waste materials. To make an artwork for Waterfronts is to consider our horizontal or flat perspectives to think about things more deeply than the surface world.”
Holly Hendry makes sculptures that look at the insides, backs and edges of things. The material specificity, shifting scales and unusual positioning of her works encourage visitors to consider sculpture in dialogue with their apparent and hidden surroundings, considering hollow spaces and undersides.
Holly Hendry was born in 1990 in London, where she continues to live and work. She gained her BA Fine Art at The Slade School of Fine Art (2013) and her MA Sculpture at the Royal College of Art (2016). Recent solo exhibitions include: Stephen Friedman Gallery for Frieze London (2020), Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2019), Frutta Rome (2018-2019); and major group shows include the Biennale de Lyon (2019) and Liverpool Biennial (2018).
England’s Creative Coast is led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent (Go To Places), funded by Arts Council England and Visit England as part of the Cultural Destinations programme and Discover England Fund, with support from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), East Sussex County Council, Kent County Council, Essex County Council, Visit Essex, Southend Borough Council, The Historic Dockyard Chatham and Southeastern.