Reveal: New commissions to share stories about Brighton’s unknown heritage and communities

News, Community

We are delighted to have commissioned six projects that will bring to life lesser-known stories and people relating to Brighton Dome’s heritage.

This project has been made possible in partnership with Writing Our Legacy, an arts and heritage organisation enabling Black, Asian and ethnically diverse people to tell their story through writing and the creative arts; and a panel of local Black and ethnically diverse Heritage and Arts specialists. This panel made the decisions on who would receive Reveal commissions from our open call.

These exciting and thought-provoking commissions include the following artists and upcoming projects:

Writer and artist Akila Richards will collaborate with musician and performer Adriana Lord on ‘Lullabies For The Exhausted’ – a new spoken word poem and soundscape designed to share lullabies with participants from diasporic local communities.

Creative writer, spoken word artist and musician Razia Aziz presents ‘Challé Gayé II’, a multilingual soundscape, originally commissioned by part of the Witness Stand project at Brighton Festival 2022.

Challé Gayé, meaning ‘they have (or he has) gone, departed or died’, will also include a QR code linking to the Brighton Dome website with the full studio version, for those wanting to listen to the piece in full at their own leisure.

‘The Tom Wiggins Project’ by Brighton-based playwright and journalist, Suchitra Chatterjee, will cover the remarkable life and accomplishments of Tom Wiggins, an often forgotten physically and mentally challenged musical genius. This immersive and educational experience will showcase Tom as a musician of the highest calibre and celebrate his ability to captivate audiences worldwide.

The Mixed Museum has created a short film and accompanying digital exhibition telling the story of a visit by the Black mixed race composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor to the venue in the early 1900s.

“A Tremendous Ovation” is the result of new research by the museum’s Director, Dr Chamion Caballero, which places the composer’s visit within the wider context of the Black mixed race presence in Brighton in the early 20th century. It features original artwork by Kinga Markus and is edited by the museum’s Associate Creative Director, Warren Reilly.

With material previously unavailable to the public and new research shedding light on Brighton Dome's history, explore the exhibition and accompanying film here.

Laura Smith, the museum’s Associate Editorial Director, who is leading the project, shared: 

We hope our film and the accompanying digital mini exhibition will be a beautiful and lasting way of helping mark that Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was here and that he was important.

Writer and educator Dulani Kulasinghe and the Chattri Writing Group will have a one-day residency at Brighton Dome to create new writing based on study of archival material (photographs and programmes) relating to the venue's social and performance history, exploration the venue and grounds, and examination of the architecture and history of its many uses over the years, including as a military hospital for Indian soldiers in the First World War.

The writing group is made up of women of British, American and South Asian heritage and its practice draws on personal, national and global narratives as well as colonial histories in Sussex and beyond. Audio recordings of the group's work will appear on the REVEAL website, which will also include documentation of the process by group members and veteran documentary filmmaker, Tamara Gordon, while an original poster incorporating links to the work will be created by artist Jill Carpin.

Through the writing and recording of a new song, Seema Kapila of eclectic indie band, The Seema Tree, will throw a spotlight on the Hindu and Sikh WW1 soldiers hospitalised in the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Dome and Corn Exchange.

The singer songwriter, writer and poet weaves heart-felt tales and explores universal themes in her projects, including the people and places she experiences along the way.

Keep an eye on our website for more updates

The Reveal commissioning scheme is part of Brighton Dome’s Heritage Takes Centre Stage project, linked to our recent refurbishment and funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.