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Mariana Castillo Deball - 'Walking through the town' - for Eastbourne
South East

Towner Gallery & Beachy Head
East Sussex, BN20 7XT
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From 29 May - 14 November 2021, see artist Mariana Castillo Deball's new, outdoor artwork created with Towner Eastbourne for the town.

The artwork draws on both the ancient and more recent geological and social history of Eastbourne and the surrounding area, creating, Castillo Deball explains, “a work that can be experienced as an image, a walking path, or a narrative.”

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 will discover a chalk stencilled rope demarcating a jagged, unexpected route through the town that, when viewed from above or via a map delineates the work’s eponymous profile of a woman. Along the route several sculptural objects are embedded in the fabric of 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.


Mariana Castillo Deball - 'Walking through the town'


A third part of the work is located just outside of the town on the edge of the Beachy Head Down in an area called Whitbread Hollow. It is a new geoglyph painted in chalk in the shape of a giant hairpin, the most magnificent of the found funerary 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 will be disappear 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.”

Created as part of England's Creative Coast