Brighton and Hove Life

Brighton and Hove Life is a magazine that celebrates the culture and style of Brighton, with a large proportion of its pages devoted to local interest pieces and interviews with celebrities.

Sculpture on the Sea Front

Passacaglia, Kings Road Arches.

Designed by Charles Hadcock, Passacaglia was funded by a National Lottery grant and stands over 5 meters tall. Inspired by the limestone terrace tessellations at Black Head, Co Clare, Ireland, and an instrumental piece of Italian music with a repeated theme, the structure evokes the power of the ocean and emphasizes the expanse of the horizon. Emerging as a huge wave out of the seafront, or the remains of an old shipwreck, it focuses on the dramatic contrast between the two piers and vast, limitless, sea. It has been constructed from recycled cast iron using a combination of processes, which have not changed since the early nineteenth century. The sculpture represents a contemporary restoration of Regency optimism and an abstract reinterpretation of Victorian engineering.

The Twins, Churchill Square.

Created by Charlie Hooker and Commissioned by Standard Life, The Twins were installed as part of the 1998 Churchill Square regeneration scheme. Sculpted from materials, granite, stone and glass, the pieces have been specifically designed to be interactive. The images etched onto the Bronze plaques are derived from weather patterns taken at Churchill Square, which have been digitized into twelve sound art pieces for each month of the year. These solar sounds have been combined with samples taken from around Brighton, which play when the sun falls upon each plaque. The sun triggers a system of internal electronics, which reverberate the sounds naturally without the use of speakers. Children playing on the beach resonate in August - from the spring and summer twin, storms in October - from the autumn and winter twin.

The Kiss Wall, Kings Road Promenade.

Engineered by Bruce Williams, The Kiss Wall was installed in 1992 next to the then, Palace Pier. The piece depicts all possible variations upon the kiss – gay and lesbian - inter-racial - old and young - lovers and family. By contrasting unconventional images with conventional depictions of the kiss, all reach parity and achieve a unity. Williams pioneered the merger of digital medium and sculpture, by drilling a computerized dot-screen onto an aluminium canvass. By using a negative half-tone effect against the backdrop of sky, the matrices of sunlight create the illusion that each kiss comes alive. The piece symbolizes Brighton’s liberal attitude towards homosexuality and the city’s all-embracing approach towards life.

Afloat, Brighton Pier Groyne.

Known locally as “the doughnut”, ‘afloat’ was funded by The Lottery Commission, on behalf of a bid by the Seafront Development Initiative. Created by Sussex born, Hamish Black, it is inspired by the speculative models that scientists use to understand the world of matter. In the same way that artists manipulate matter to understand the world of ideas, afloat expresses the form of a black hole - or Taurus shape. Cut into the piece are negative and unequal shapes of the Continents, giving the impression that they are floating across the surface, adrift in space. The hole in the middle aligns the sea horizon with the central longitudinal line, while the iridescent blue and green patination evoke the ever-changing colour of the sky and sea. It is made from 2.2 tones of Bronze, using a mixture of sand casting, the lost wax process, dry fixing and welding.

Seaside Treasures

Considered by many to be a city for the young, Brighton is also a city steeped in a proud and glorious past. Traditionally, Brighton has always attracted originality and innovation, from the entrepreneurs who generated Britain’s first electric railway to artisans who engineered the first pleasure promenade, the chain pier, Brighton began life as it meant to go on. Strolling through the city, Life takes you on a journey through the history of Brighton, through the patrons and patriots that make Brighton the vibrant and cosmopolitan city it is today.

Steve Ovett, Preston Park.

Opposite Preston road, stands the statue of Varndean grammar graduate Steve Ovett. Winning the 1980 Olympic gold and bronze, 1978 European Gold and 1986 Commonwealth Gold, Ovett’s career was a triumph over adversity. After losing the 1982 season, when he impaled his thigh on some church railings, Ovett collapsed at the 1984 800m final with bronchitis. Ovett was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 1978 and was awarded the MBE in 1982 and OBE in 2000.

Queen Victoria, Southern enclosure, The Old Steine.

The listed marble statue of Queen Victoria was designed by Nicoli and presented by Sir John Baker. Standing parallel to George IV, it was sculpted for the occasion of her 1897 Diamond Jubilee and unveiled upon the opening of her gardens. Although Victoria often resided within the grounds of The Pavilion, the Queen never really took to Brighton, complaining that ‘the people are very indiscreet and troublesome here really, which makes the town quite like a prison.’

George IV, The Royal Pavilion.

To The North gate of the Pavilion stands the bronze statue of George IV, sculpted by Tate founder, Sir Francis Chantrey and erected in 1828. George IV became the patron of Brighton during the late eighteenth century, declaring himself ‘very delighted with this little town.’ Visiting the town first to relieve his swollen glands with sea-water, and to then, conduct his clandestine liaisons with the catholic Mrs Fitzherbert, the prince inaugurated his regency with plans for “The Pavilion.” Although George IV visited the town less after its completion in 1821, becoming annoyed by the ever-increasing crowds, he did much to ensure the city’s success.

War Memorial, North Steine.

At the northern end of The Steine is the Egyptian Campaign Memorial. A listed memorial, it was erected in 1888 in respect to The Royal Sussex Regiment of 1882, and the Nile River Expedition of 1884-5. Seeking help against invading Sudanese rebels, the British were ordered to relieve Gordon at Khartoum. The base simply states ‘Egypt’ and ‘Abu Klea’ after the battle fought in Sudan on 17th January 1885.

War Memorial, Northern Enclosure, The Steine.

The War memorial resides within the northern enclosure of The Steine. Designed by Sir John Simpson in the style of a Roman water garden, it was unveiled on 7th October 1922 by Admiral of the fleet, Earl Beatty. The pylons stand in memoriam to the 2600 Brightonians that died during the First World War.

Sir John Cordy Burrows, South Steine.

Towards the end of the Victorian fountain, stands the stone statue of three times elected mayor of Brighton, John Burrows. A distinguished surgeon, Cordy was elected as alderman to the first borough council, as advocate of Brighton’s charter of incorporation. Mason and magistrate, Burrows co-founded the Royal Literary and Scientific institution and co-financed the Victoria fountain. Burrows died in 1876, where it was estimated 25,000 people lined the streets of Brighton. The sculpture stands in testimony to Brighton’s continuing esteem.

Boer War Memorial, Regency Square.

Facing the West Pier, at the entrance to Regency Square, resides the Boer War Memorial. Unveiled on 29th October by the Marquess of Abergavenny the listed structure commemorates those lost at Louisberg and Quebec in 1759, the South African War 1899-1902, in Egypt in the 1880’s and in the two World Wars. A disheveled yet chivalrous bronze soldier stands with trumpet to commemorate those who fell.

Peace Statue, Hove Lawns.

Towards the end of Norfolk square, the boundary of Brighton and Hove is marked by the Peace Statue. Designed by Newbury Trent and unveiled by the Duke of Norfolk on 12 October 1912, the listed memorial stands over thirty feet tall. The statue of an angel of peace with orb and olive branch in hand, resides on a globe supported by four dolphins. The base bears a portrait of Edward VII, the two arms of the boroughs and the following inscription: ‘In the year 1912 the inhabitants of Brighton and Hove provided a home for the Queen’s Nurses and erected this monument in memory of Edward VII as a testimony of their enduring loyalty’.

Queen Victoria, Grand Avenue, Hove

Designed by Thomas Brock in 1897 the impressive bronze figure of Victoria stands surveying the English Channel. A proud reminder of our imperialist past, Victoria holds a sceptre and globe with a small winged Britannia/Victory on top. The four bronze friezes on the granite base represent Empire, Science and Art, Commerce and Education. Further up Grand Avenue stands Lutyens' War Memorial, surmounted with a small black knight.

The Juggler, Hove Town Hall

Pedaling on a unicycle and juggling fire, The Juggler was created by Helen Collis, and presented by her husband Dr Martin Hildyard. Helen sadly died of cancer, August 1995 at the age of 57. It is a replica of a piece that won her the Sussex Arts Club Award for Visual Arts.

Brighton across the globe

Strange though it may seem, Brighton is not the only Brighton in the world. Despite its inimitable uniqueness and unparalleled pre-eminence, many centuries of colonization, conquest and exploration have created over 48 communities, known as Brighton. Join Life, as we take you on a whistle stop tour of some of the most exciting places around the world called Brighton.

Brighton, England.

Originally called ‘Brighthelmston’ the name ‘Brighton’ is believed to originate either from a Saxon amalgamation of two words one meaning ‘stone’ and the other ‘valley’ or a combination of the Anglo-Saxon name ‘Boerthelm’ or ‘Brithelm’ and ‘tun’ meaning homestead. Brighton began life as a Neolithic encampment at Whitehawk Hill around 2600 B.C. and grew into a fishing village during the Saxon and Norman period. Brighton was burnt to the ground by French raiders in 1514, with St Nicholas church the only building withstanding. Plague ridden in the 16th and 17th centuries and virtually destroyed by the great storms of 1703 and 1705, Brighton grew in popularity during the 18th Century with the patronage of George IV.

Brighton, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Descendants of the first English settlers have said that the name was decided when one of the first pioneers William Fee, hastily chalked New Brighton over a sawpit where he was working. Labouring along side Brightonian, Stephen Brooker, Fee conferred the name on the spur of the moment when James Fitzgerald, the acting superintendent of Canterbury, promptly paid a visit. A seaside suburb of Christchurch, the town has a pier for hot rod races, a white sands beach with long rolling surf and even plans to create an artificial reef to improve surfing.

Brighton, Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.

11km southeast of Melbourne, Brighton is an affluent suburb with two piers and lavish seaside villas. When In 1840, a prominent stockbroker Henry Dendy, bought the land to supply farming produce for Melbourne, the town began to attract wealthy residents with the prospect of sea bathing. Brighton boomed in the late nineteenth century, principally in thanks to the corrupt premiership of Thomas Bent, who built the Brighton - St Kilda tramline with funds appropriated from the treasury.

Brighton, New York.

Established in 1814, Brighton is one of the oldest towns in Monroe County. Located in Western New York, New Brighton was settled in 1790. Originally a farming community, it has developed into a residential community with elegant homes, elaborate gardens and landscaped subdivisions. It provides a home for New York notables - leaders in business, industry, the arts and education.

Brighton, Trinidad.

Lying off the southwest coast of Trinidad, Brighton was discovered by Sir Walter Raleigh who thought the pitch was good for caulking his boats. Named after a British oil company; Brighton Terminal Limited, the port has shipped asphalt, coffee, cocoa, sugar and citrus. One of the early oilfield camps built to house British staff and management it houses a refinery, steam plant, tank farm, loading pier, nine-hole golf course and bungalow encampment. Brighton has fallen into disrepair since the camp was nationalized as it was later discovered that the submarine pitch is impossible to mine.

Brighton, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

A surfing resort near the famous Cave Rock complex, Brighton is a tourist honey pot with deserted beaches and snorkeling for dolphin watching. Although the African township has a 55 percent unemployment rate since General Motors pulled out in 1986, it was an area of great resistance during apartheid. It still has an operating presence of the Aryan Nation, despite the murder of four ANC activists in June 1985.

Brighton, East Berbice-Corentyne, Guyana.

Formerly Part of the British Empire it has been renamed Corentyne since Guyana’s independence in 1966. The sight of a slave rebellion in 1763, the town is composed of indigenous peoples - Wai Wai, Wapisiana, Macusi and descendents of freed slaves or Maroons. Due to the deforestation of the Kanuku mountain range, the port is subject to heavy flooding, an ongoing dispute between the indigenous peoples, foreign logging companies and forestry commission. Brighton operates as a port for rice farming, sugar production, balata bleeding and illegal drug smuggling.

Brighton, Ontario, Canada.

Located next to the scenic shores of Lake Ontario, in the County of Northumberland, Brighton is renown for its fishing, antique shops and bird watching. The first known settler arrived in Brighton in 1796, a British loyalist named Obediah Simpson who built the town upon the wealth accrued from apple farming - Brighton still celebrates 'Applefest' every September. The town is best known as ‘The Gateway to Presqu’ile Provincial Park’ a wilderness resort that provides a sanctuary for rare butterflies, flowers and wild deer.

Brighton, El Beni, Bolivia.

Set amidst the equatorial rain forests of the Amazon, just off the banks of the Yata River, Brighton is a small, isolated village in Northern Bolivia. Comprised of the indigenous peoples Amyara, Quechua and Moxos, they have a subsistence agricultural economy based on the trade in Brazil nuts. The surrounding region is used for gold prospecting, logging and illegal coca growing, and used as a habitat for the three-toed Sloth and Blue-throated Macaw.