diep~haven: across Sussex and Northern France

A cross-channel summer festival is celebrating contemporary artistic creations. diep~haven takes place annually in East Sussex and Normandy, rooted in the towns of Newhaven and Dieppe.

Exhibitions include photography, installation, performance, sculpture and more.

Much of the work was created during the 2018 diep~haven residencies.

Venues for the exhibitions are as varied as the work, including a chateau and a working ferry.

Titled Terra Firma this year’s festival takes the relationships between humans and landscape as its starting point.

The festival discards any assumptions of the earth as neutral ground. Instead it explores the tensions between human designs and autonomous forms of intelligence residing in the natural world. More specifically, the botanic world.

The Whispers of the Garden (still), 2018 © Azadeh Fatehrad, courtesy of diep~haven

Reflective responses

Rosie Hermon is a curator of diep~haven alongside Alice Schÿler Mallet.

She said this year’s programme, which kicked off in July, was one of the largest since the festival’s inception.

“Terra Firma takes as its starting point the shifting relationship between the human, the land and its vegetation, destabilising any assumptions that the earth that we stand on is inanimate or neutral ground,” she said.

“Many of the works are new commissions, developed through a series of artist residencies in gardens and on farms over the last year in both regions.

“Each artist has approached the particular context in which they have worked with great sensitivity, which is reflected in the series of thoughtful and reflective responses to site and landscape produced for this year’s festival.”

Here are just some of our highlights.

A Longer View  taken by children at Denton Community Primary School and Harbour Primary School in Newhaven, 2018

The Floating Garden

A cross-channel ferry is the unusual venue for this project.

The Floating Garden aims to educate travellers on the common flora of the Sussex and Normandy coastlines.

Created in consultation with horticulturalist Mark Brown, the installation is based around photographs of wild plants and artificial flowers.

Clémence Lebouvier has also created a series of drawings and games to accompany the images.

These are designed to encourage travellers, particularly children, to identify plants, recognise their names in English, French and Latin and understand their different properties and functions.

Seaside vegetable pasties designed by Brown will also be served on board the ferry.

The project will run until October.

Untitled Scrapbooks of Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932), date unknown. Courtesy: Environmental design archives, University of  California, Berkeley


diep~haven artists in residence and others whose work poetically explores the entanglement or slippage between human and landscape feature in Entangle.

The exhibition investigates the myths and mysteries that arise between the two. It explores the impact of this entanglement on the human psyche and includes a meditation on the natural cycles to which we are all bound.

Exhibiting artists include: Gabriela Albergaria, Sarah Duffy, Azadeh Fatehrad, Gertrude Jekyll, Rachel Pimm and Suzanne Walsh.

Entangle is on at Phoenix Brighton, Waterloo Place, until August 19.

Untitled Scrapbooks of Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932), date unknown. Courtesy: Environmental design archives, University of  California, Berkeley

The Moving Forces

In 2015 Chateau-Musée de Dieppe curator Pierre Ickowicz made a discovery during the renovation of the museum.

He discovered a grotto supposedly constructed by Salomon de Caus.

This hydraulic engineer of the renaissance, a native of the Dieppe region, constructed many celebrated gardens including the renowned gardens of Heidelberg in Germany.

Les Forces Mouvantes (The Moving Forces) is a collaboration between diep~haven and the School of Fine Art, Rouen and Le Harvre.

It takes over the outdoor spaces and 14th-century castle tower to present installations and video works inspired by de Caux’s grotto.

The exhibition includes Pecten Maximus by artist and diep~haven co-curator Alice Schÿler Mallet. Suspended scallop shells create a link between ornamentation of the historic grotto and their continued role within the local economy as an industrial material traded from Dieppe harbour.

Other works are by students from the art school.

The Moving Forces is on at Chateau-Musée de Dieppe until August 31.

A Longer View  taken by children at Denton Community Primary School and Harbour Primary School in Newhaven, 2018

A Longer View

Newhaven sits at the Eastern edge of the Brighton and Lewes Downs Biosphere, a UNESCO World Biosphere region.

It encompasses the urban, the rural, the coastal and the marine – including rare habitats such as chalk grassland and chalk reefs.

This is a landscape developed over millennia.

Pupils from Harbour Primary School and Denton Community Primary School explored this landscape for A Longer View.

Working with artist Nick Sayers, the students have created a series of solargraphs.

They have captured the movements of the sun via pinhole cameras made and installed in Newhaven and the surrounding countryside for a number of months.

A Longer View is on display at Bishopstone Railway Station until August 31.

Process image: wool rolags created from carding fleece collected from a farm near Diepp, Matthew Beach, 2018

Prospect for the More-Than-Human

Matthew Beach is an artist and aspiring geographer.

His work is rooted in processes of living, within and beyond human experience, as a way to reorient perspective and acknowledge other agencies.

Prospect for the More Than Human brings together works produced during Matthew’s residency at Charleston and investigations into the archive, garden, fields and downland surrounding the house.

Beach collected various botanical material, sheep’s wool and mud-clay from the bottom of Charleston’s pond and incorporated them into the photographic process as dyes, pigments and canvas.

The work produced with these materials directly references Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant’s brief use of abstraction towards the end of the First World War.

It makes connections between this abstraction, forms of mapping and the landscape.

Prospect for the More-Than-Human forms part of Brighton Photo Fringe 2018 at Regency Townhouse, Hove, from October 1 to 30.


The festival takes place throughout the summer in venues across East Sussex, Normandy and even the Channel itself.

Spectrum Photographic produced prints for several of the exhibition venues.

We produced: two MDF panels and one blueback print for YHA, 11 Phototex vinyl for Bishopstone Station, four Giclée prints mounted onto KAPA Foamboard for ONCA Gallery and one Phototex vinyl for Phoenix Gallery.

For a full programme of events visit www.diephaven.org.

Main image: Pond Crossing, A Longer View, Nick Sayers and Newhaven Schools

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