Stories behind bench plaques researched

Sound artist Lewis Gibson is researching memorial benches for the Undercurrent Festival S08835H14
Sound artist Lewis Gibson is researching memorial benches for the Undercurrent Festival S08835H14

SEVEN artists are working together to create a ‘fantastic little’ festival full of free events across Shoreham.

The Undercurrent Festival, from April 11 to 13, will offer secrets to find and activities to discover as people walk around the town.

Shelley Bennett explained: “It’s a curated festival of high-quality artists presenting playful installations and interactive games for adults and children.

“The whole festival is free and there are seven separate artist-led pieces to explore.”

One of the pieces will be an audio piece, called Sitting Here Together Forever, created by composer and theatre maker Lewis Gibson.

Lewis, from Worthing, wants to discover the stories behind the names on plaques placed on seafront benches.

He will use the stories to make the audio piece for the festival and is hoping to have them all co-ordinated by the end of March.

Shelley said: “On his frequent walks along the beach in East and West Sussex, he noticed the huge number of memorial benches that exist.

“Some were old, some very new, some with simple names and dates inscribed, others with poetry or family jokes.

“He noticed that throughout the year, and especially at Christmas time, wreaths, flowers and cards would be attached to the benches.

“These acts of remembrance moved Lewis and he now wants to find out more about who these people were, and what motivates their loved ones to remember them in this way.”

Lewis is looking for people along the Sussex coast who have had benches dedicated. Family or friends can email Lewis at sittingheretogether or call 07860 206656.

The audio will also be free to download via the Undercurrent Festival website (

He said that in his work as a sound artist, he attempted to create aural experiences that would lead people to question the space around them.

He has made work for a diverse range of spaces and audiences, from eight people in a shed to the National Opera House in Damascus.

He is delighted to be returning to Undercurrent for more coastal adventures.