In September 2019, we held an exhibition called People and Place as part of the Coastal Currents festival. It drew together the work of eleven local artists and photographers in three projects that celebrate the iconic Observer Building – Four Lenses, Made in OB and Bricks and Pieces

The artwork reflects on the past, capturing the rich stories that make the building so unusual, and looks to the future, giving insight into the OB’s current revival as a thriving community hub.

This was the first event in the Observer Building since its closure in 2016 and it couldn’t have happened without the efforts of the artists and volunteers across the community who have brought it to life. White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures would like to say thank you to everyone who helped make the exhibition happen.


Thanks to the donations of 244 supporters, we raised over £10,000 to contribute to the concrete repairs of the entire internal frame of the Observer Building, 5000 square metres in total. This essential repair work is due to be completed in mid-September and will protect the building from further damage for generations to come.

To thank these generous people, as a symbol of the fabric of the Hastings community, a unique artwork has been created by local artist, Janey Moffatt, alongside some of the donors, and includes the names of everyone who donated over £5 to the project. A huge thank you to all these supporters who are showing the building the care it needs after 34 years of dereliction

Artist – Janey Moffat


The Observer Building and its surrounding neighbourhood are saturated with untold stories.

The Four Lenses project brings together the work of four local photographers – John Cole, Jonny, Thompson, Cathy Teesdale and Benedict Stenning.

Each practitioner has made a unique collection exploring the fine grain of stories from this regenerating neighbourhood.

A selection of works from the four photographers’ collections is displayed here.

John Cole – Unsung Heroes

The regeneration and rebuilding of the Observer Building Andre Davis 3 April 2019
Derrol Holloway Caprenter with Hastings Building Services 8 April 2019
David Phillips, plasterer with Structural Renovations Limited 3rd floor Observer Building 9 May 2019
Paul Smith Repairer The Observer Building, May 15, 2019
Lee Barton, Concrete Repairer The regeneration and rebuilding of the Observer Building 1 July 2019
Darren French, labourer with Hastings Bldg. Services The regeneration and rebuilding of the Observer Building 1 July 2019
Billy Butterworth spray painting inside the Observer Building 24 July 2019

Benedict Stenning – Banging Out

Cathy Teesdale

Suspended In Time
The Observer
The Transformers
Girl Power
The Graffiti Celebrated

Jonny Thompson – Colourful Characters

Rebirth of a Classic


On a sweltering June day this year, a group of local artists went on an exclusive field trip inside the empty, atmospheric Observer Building as creative inspiration.

The group spent time in the enormous open plan second floor, with its grand heritage windows, decaying graffiti-adorned walls and dusty floors. They were even brave enough to explore the eerie warren of tunnels in the building’s basement, used as air raid shelters during World War II. 

This is a selection of the diverse works inspired by the OB, created by some of those artists.

Artist – Satu Viljanen
Artist – Rossanne Pellegrino
Artist – Rossanne Pellegrino
Artist – Rossanne Pellegrino
Artist – Amanda Jobson
Artist – Ben Fenton