Proud as we are of our Constable connections, we are equally excited about our involvement in Radical Essex an innovative programme of events celebrating the county’s crucial role in the history of British modernism.
Led by Focal Point Gallery in Southend-on-Sea in collaboration with Visit Essex and Firstsite in Colchester, Radical Essex runs throughout this year and next. Our immediate sights are set on Essex Architecture Weekend on Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September, when an ambitious series of tours and events celebrates the county’s pioneering role in twentieth century architecture.
Over 20 individual modernist buildings will be open for public access over the two days including Clockhouse Way estate in Braintree, seen at the time as Britain’s first cautious steps towards Modernism. Bringing architecture right up to date, Essex based HAT Projects will be creating a new architectural commission for the entrance to Silver End Village Hall, available to view over the weekend.
Silver End Village Hall, just 30 minutes from Wivenhoe House, is the main hub for the talks programme over the week. Speakers include artist Rachel Lichtenstein and author Ken Worpole and on the Sunday acclaimed broadcaster and writer Jonathan Meades will be answering audience questions after a screening of his BBC-4 documentary The Joy of Essex.
Of course our neighbours at the University of Essex play an important part in this weekend with guided walking tours available on both days. Designed in the early 1960s by Kenneth Capon, the University’s Colchester Campus is an outstanding example of the then new brutalist style of architecture.
This is an amazing opportunity to spend a fascinating weekend in Essex, seeing first hand some unique examples of twentieth century British architecture and, with tickets going fast, head over to Radical Essex’s website to fine tune your itinerary.