A giant maritime sculpture began construction last week, as part of a Coastal Revival Fund project to enhance the seafront around Eastbourne’s Redoubt Fortress.
The new ‘Azimuth’ interactive sculpture uses giant sections of reclaimed sea defences, sculpted by decades of exposure to the waves, to conjure up images of long lost shipwrecks or even the ribs of a mythical sea creature.
Seafront visitors can explore inside the intriguing sculpture, relax on the seating and discover inscribed words hinting at forgotten tales and historic events on Eastbourne’s now peaceful coastline.
‘Azimuth’, which means ‘a horizontal angle or direction of a compass bearing’, is a collaboration between Heritage Eastbourne and reclamation artists Werewolf of London. It is just one of several projects in the government backed £47,800 Coastal Revival Fund scheme designed to revive the Redoubt Fortress area of town with improved public spaces and historical interpretation.
While visitors ponder stories and decide for themselves what the sculpture means to them, a digital project will also allow people to discover even more historical events behind Eastbourne’s coastal heritage using their smartphone.
Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said, “Eastbourne has seen some pivotal moments in history, particularly out at sea, but not all of it can be seen in our living heritage today. From Roman trading vessels and warships to the terrifying Norman invasion, the last millennium would have also seen the Armada, Privateers, Smugglers and Royal Navy to name but a few.
This project is not only a work of art but a way of providing an interpretive gateway to the seafront, exploring our history and telling the story of our tumultuous coastal past in an immersive way.”
Further Coastal Revival Fund projects completed so far include the restoration of the ‘Glacis’ grassed slope around the fortress and the remounting of a 64lb cannon, with further works to come around the restoration of the Redoubt itself.
The ‘Azimuth’ sculpture began installation last week and is almost complete, with full interpretation available from mid-October. The sculpture can be found outside the promenade entrance to the Redoubt Fortress.