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Brightening up Brighton: ‘The Lightness of Being’ artists’ installation unveiled

A new local artists’ installation encouraging passersby to enjoy the joy of the present moment has now been unveiled in the heart of Brighton’s iconic Lanes.

The ‘Lightness of Being’ artwork, featuring photography by Hugh Fox, capturing contemporary artist Darvish Fakhr seemingly floating in locations around Brighton, is one installation commissioned by Brighton & Hove City Council in a partnership pilot project with Brilliant Brighton (a not-for-profit organisation, formed of 517 retail, leisure and hospitality businesses within the city centre) to ‘brighten up’ empty premises in the city centre.

This is the second window installation on Market Street, within Redevco’s Hanningtons Estate, unveiled under the pilot scheme.

The images are taken from the ‘Lightness of Being’, an ongoing project by the award-winning duo. Hugh and Darvish have been collaborating for the past five years building a body of work, including photographs, film and live performance. The work is a reaction to the fast-paced world we live in, a gentle reminder that we can slow down and connect with ourselves and our environment. Using familiar locations in Brighton, and tweaking conventions, they tease out the possibilities inspired by their surroundings and states of mind, allowing for a spontaneous space of creativity and play to open up.

“‘Lightness of Being’ is a state of mind. A celebration of sorts, in the realisation that you are exactly where you need to be, doing exactly what you need to be doing. It’s like being caught by a feeling… a feeling of joy that has to do with where you are at that moment,” photographer Hugh Fox and contemporary artist Darvish Fakhr explain.

“It’s been an honour to be part of this project and help breathe some life back into an otherwise empty space in our city centre, as well as seeing people engaging with the work and asking questions. It feels great to have this opportunity to share our work with the city, the feedback so far has been super positive and has spurred us on to start planning a larger show for next year.”

Councillor Martin Osborne, co-chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee, said: “Everyone knows that Brighton and Hove is full to the brim with amazing artists and are part of what makes our city so unique.

“After the tough year the industry has had, they need support and I love that we’ve taken the opportunity to showcase some of our local art in innovative ways.

“I’d like to encourage both residents and visitors to check out this interesting installation, it’s not something you’ll forget and it might even give you a skip in your step!”

Shelley Welti, media officer for Brilliant Brighton said: “It’s been fantastic seeing people enjoy the installation. We hope that local residents and visitors alike will engage with the display in a recently vacated store, over the next few weeks – and stop, take a breath and enjoy being right here, in the heart of Brighton.”

Sarah Lulham, Asset Manager of Redevco adds: “As soon as Brilliant Brighton approached us about this project, we knew Hugh and Darvish’s work was perfect for this space. It is so joyful and immersive with a powerful message. This store is now one of very few vacancies within Hanningtons, following lettings to Joe & The Juice and Loake. We also have some fantastic pop-ups planned in Hanningtons Lane over the summer, so plenty of reasons to visit!”

Over 80 local artists submitted proposals to the ‘Brightening Up Brighton’ brief, showing the level of creativity within the city. Five artists have been commissioned by Brighton & Hove City Council – subject to property availability, to add interest to empty properties.

To find out more please visit: www.brightonpopupshops.co.uk

Hanningtons Estate has been curated and created fusing old and new buildings over a near 3 year period, completed in late 2019.

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