Mariana Castillo Deball - 'Walking through the town' - for Eastbourne
This artwork, which sat in multiple parts is still available to visit, but the chalk used for the geoglyph and rope motifs will fade over time. Information on the commission is listed below.
From 29 May - 12 November 2021, artist Mariana Castillo Deball's outdoor artwork, created with Towner Eastbourne, wound its way through the town.
'Walking through the town I followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman’s profile' drew on both the ancient and more recent geological and social history of Eastbourne and the surrounding area, creating, Castillo Deball explains, “a work that could be experienced as an image, a walking path, or a narrative.” View the map here.
Her starting points were two nearby archaeological finds: the ‘Beachy Head Woman’, an ancient female skeleton dating to the Roman period who is thought to have originated from sub-Saharan Africa; and the body of a young ‘Frankish woman’ excavated at St Anne’s, Eastbourne, in the late 90s along with a number of funerary objects dating back to the Iron and Bronze ages.
The commission constructs a narrative in three parts around this young Frankish woman, mixing archaeological fact with fiction to create a layered mythology. Along the streets of Eastbourne pedestrians discovered a chalk-stencilled rope marking a jagged, unexpected route through the town that, when viewed from above or via a map revealed the work’s eponymous profile of a woman. Along the route several sculptural objects are still embedded in the street, each relating to the objects the woman was buried with. The locations for the objects are shown on the map as a loop in the rope.
A third part of the work was located just outside of the town on the edge of the Beachy Head Down in an area called Whitbread Hollow. It was a new, temporary geoglyph, painted in chalk in the shape of a giant hairpin - the most magnificent of the found objects.
In contrast to the nearby Celtic hill figure, ‘The Long Man of Wilmington’ cut into the chalk a few miles northwest of the town, Castillo Deball’s geoglyph disappeared over time. “It’s an opportunity to do something that appears monumental but at the same time is very simple,” the artist states. “It’s a drawing on a scale that I never imagined I’d be able to do, but which at the same time is not invasive and is made out of materials that will fade back into the environment.”
About Mariana Castillo Deball
Alongside her Waterfronts commission, Castillo Deball has curated an exhibition for Towner Eastbourne. ‘A drawing, a story, and a poem go for a walk: Mariana Castillo Deball curates the Towner Collection’ will run from 29 May 2021 to 16 January 2022.
Mariana Castillo Deball works in installation, sculpture, photography and drawing, exploring the ideologically constructed conditions under which artefacts appear in today’s culture. She takes on a kaleidoscopic approach to her work, gathering information from various disciplines such as archaeology and science, and through research and collaboration, creating works that combine these different languages.
She was born in 1975, Mexico City, and lives and works in Berlin. 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).
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.