Hastings appeared to me similar to nearby Folkestone, bigger, but less nice. While the main trade street was fairly cosy there were undoubtedly more identical faceless global brands branches, betting and pawn shops, and what specifically caught my eye, many shop signs were just printed in unnaturally bright colours on plastic banners (just as they do in Russia), and there are very few things that can make a shop more ugly and undesirable.
I liked the design of the gallery building - I don't how how well do those "hand-glazed" tiles reflect the dusk sunlight (which was the idea), but they blend almost perfectly with the black wooden net huts surrounding it.
Building the fancy venue ten steps away from boats, stalls and huts used by local fishermen caused a lot of controversy in the town. It is very hard for me as for a random visitor and a foreigner to judge, but I feel that the real reason behind the discontent wasn't just the obstructed view.
For a honest fisherman or woman that gallery with strange people lazing their time away staring at some childish scrawls must be something that seriously challenges their lifestyle - which has been already threatened by market and regulations:
In London the most most famous modern art museum resides in a former power station which industrial assemblies are now serving as lifeless decorations. Boat huts around the Jerwood gallery are very likely becoming the same.
The collection the gallery started with is hardly able to impress someone who is spoiled with a luxury of visiting countless London exhibitions. Some paintings were still good enough to remember and I've written down their details to publish them later on my tumblr, only to find out upon returning home they're not yet online. Anyway we spent more time near windows apparently, taking pictures of the deserted street:
We also had a quick walk in the drizzle to the spectacular hills offering fantastic views on the seashore. The best part was the thickening fog blurring the horizon out and almost hiding the distant objects - that made the perspective very distinctive, and I couldn't help remembering Flatland I read last year.
There is also my full Hastings Flickr set if you are interested.