Brighton and Hove Open Door 2012 for @heritageopenday is live!

Come to our @FabricaGallery event here – Thurs 6th Sept

Brighton & Hove Open Door

Stage Brighton & Hove Open Door as a part of the national Heritage Open Days celebration of England’s architecture and culture, itself a part of the overarching European Heritage Days.

For 2012, Brighton & Hove Open Door runs September 6, 7, 8 and 9 (online booking starts 8pm, 17 August)

This year, they are offering a really exciting programme of events, with over 100 activities on offer.

An afternoon of events for Heritage Open Days, celebrating the role of ritual in our lives through family rituals, including dance performances from Ragroof Theatre, creative workshops with Jane Fordham, and Clare Nias and a talk on Victorian Mourning rituals from local historian Sarah Tobias,  apt given that Fabrica is based in an old church! Catherine Tajima Powell will be exhibiting her ‘Traces’ work for the event.

This afternoon is FREE and open to all, including refreshments between 1-4pm. There will also be a presentation by Cecile Chevalier. All washed down with free tea and cake! Now there’s a ritual!

We will be following this free event, part of the national Heritage Open Days programme with a showing of the Oscar award winning film, Tango, by Carlos Saura. This film looks at the passion and ritualistic nature of Tango and it’s community. The film showing is a recession busting £1 and includes wine and other refreshments. Doors open for this at 6pm and the film starts at 6.20pm. All welcome!

Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission.

Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors. It is a once-a-year chance to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.

Fabrica is a visual arts organisation based in a former Regency church in the heart of Brighton that commissions contemporary visual art installations specific to the building. There is capacity for 150 persons.

Find out more about the venue here: or email:

Large groups wishing to come are very welcome but should contact Clare Hankinson – to book free transport.

Fabrica can be found here:

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The Laughter Lines event at Fabrica  gallery on Thursday 23rd June was really well attended from all sections of the community. Strike a Light curated an event linking artists, film, performance, stand up, and a heritage talk about old time music hall which were well received.

The evening film of The Artist had record attendances, helped in part by the free bar!

The next event at Fabrica organised by Strike a Light will be on Thursday 6th September from 1-4pm, as part of Heritage Open Days including dance performances from Ragroof Theatre, creative workshops with Jane Fordham, andClare Nias and a talk on Victorian Mourning rituals from local historian Sarah Tobias This afternoon is FREE and open to all, including refreshments.

This will be followed by a film showing of Tango, the Oscar winning film from Spanish Director Carlos Saura, looking at the passion and ritualistic nature of Tango and it’s community.The film showing is a recession busting £1 and includes wine and other refreshments. Doors open for this at 6pm and the film starts at 6.20pm.

Strike a Light researched laughter at the Mass Observation Archive based atSussex University prior to the event from a directive issued in Spring 2002. Some of the thoughts about laughter are included below. To find out more about the Mass Observation Archive or to visit it for research purposes, check out their website here

Laughter: M.O Spring 2002

D996: F 76

‘Looking back on my life, I wish there had been more laughter in it: more witticisms given and received – more fun and sparkle and repartee’.


I still believe the best laughs are the ones you have with your friends. There is something about a group of women together that beats everything. Shorthand conversations where everyone understands everything without having to go into explanations’.

M1171 F 46

‘Laughter is the best facelift’.

M2290 F 73

‘There was such a lot of laughter when I was young, and first married. .. It is a long time since I laughed till I cried and my chest ached… but I live in hope’.

L2604 M 62

‘I also will laugh at your calamity’ Bible, Proverbs 1.26

‘A jest often decides matters of importance more effectually and happily than seriousness’ Horace, Satires (35030 BC) 1.10

‘Laughter is the best medicine’ English proverb

‘Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh’ Bible, Luke 6:21

‘Cynicism is humour in ill health’ H.G Wells Short Stories, ‘The Last Trump’

‘Men will let you abuse them if only you will make them laugh’ Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887)

‘Everything is funny as long as it is happening to someone else’ Will Rogers, ‘Warning to Jokers to stay off the Prince’, The Illiterate Digest (1942)

‘A jest’s prosperity lies in the ear of him that hears it, never in the tongue of him that makes it’ Shakespeare, ‘Love’s Labors Lost 5.2.70

S2246 M 78

‘Telling jokes is an art form possessed by few as such it cannot be learned’.

Strike a Light is curating a new and free event at Fabrica gallery on Thursday 14th June called Laughter Lines. ‘An exploration of the joys that bind, shared laughter and experience through generations which work across the age divide…’

The idea to use Laughter as a theme came from a quote I heard on Radio 4 in December ‘ Laughter is the shortest distance between the generations’. Although the quote is actually from from the comedian Victor Borge and is ‘Laughter is the shortest distance between two people’.
It will take place from 11-4pm and will include artist’ workshops facilitated by Jane Fordham and Clare Nias as well as an Armchair Critics event hosted by Lorenza Ippolito, a cafe, a display by Cecile Chevalier about reminiscecence and digital media.

We hope to follow this with a film collaboration with Cine City from 6-8.30pm where we will create a cosy space in the gallery with bean bags, cocoa, wine and nibbles. All welcome!


Strike a Light organised a free day long event at Fabrica gallery on Tuesday 6th December 11-4pm called ‘Relativity’ about the theme of the family, including films, creative workshops, talks, story telling and family portrait drawing.

It was aimed at all, but especially older members of the community.

In addition, there was a film showing from 6-8.30pm also on Tuesday 6th December at Fabrica of Mid-Summer Lunch, a quirky screening chronicling a food-filled nonagenarian sleepover, catered for by the only cast member under 60! A perfect antidote to the cold outside.

Mid-August Lunch

A cosy film-screening of the modern classic that’s all about family
Tuesday 6 December, 6pm – 8.30pm. £1 entry, refreshments provided.

Fabrica and Strike a Light offered a special viewing of this fabulous film, amongst a suitably comforting  selection of beanbags, blankets, mulled wine, cocoa and mince pies. It was a lovely evening for one and all!

Gianni is a middle-aged man living in Rome with his imposing and demanding elderly mother. His only outlet from her and the increasing debt into which they are sinking, are the increasingly frequent quiet sessions at the local tavern. As an Oriental saying goes, ‘Moments of crisis are moments of opportunities’. These appear during the celebration of the holiday of Ferragosto on 15 August. That’s when everybody leaves town to have fun. Opportunity knocks on Gianni’s door in the most unexpected way…

Gianni Di Gregorio’s debut film, in which he plays his mother’s cash-strapped carer, is a delightful and witty homage to older people
Philip French, The Observer


Strike a Light attended a really interesting and useful session about Intergenerational arts earlier this month at the cultural venue Rich Mix in Bethnal Green, London. It was organised by Audiences London in collaboration with Magic Me, a commendable London based organisation specialising in intergenerational arts. The Magic Me Director, Susan Langford MBE gave an inspirational talk followed by a sort of networking speed dating event between participants, and some much needed refreshments to conclude.

Strike a Light’s events at Fabrica Gallery in Brighton in December 2011 went well and were well received, involving local artists and groups attending a variety of curated activities at the centrally located contemporary visual arts venue.

The film showing of Mid August Lunch was especially popular, although this may have been the free mulled wine and cosy beanbags to accompany the viewing which went down very well indeed!

Following meetings in 2012, Strike a Light will be organising two further events in 2012. The first on the subject of laughter on Thursday June 14th from 11-4pm. You can keep up to date with information about this here or on Twitter @strikerlight

The second event to be curated will be on Thursday 6th September also from 11-4pm, which will form part of the national Heritage Open Days programme of free events. Keep an eye out for information and activities around these events!


You can also check Fabrica Gallery’s webpage for more information and join their mailing list:

The 15 minute film ‘Hope Springs Eternal’ which Strike a Light created in collaboration with filmmaker Si Mitchell in October 2011 continues to receive positive responses. It was shown at White Night 2011 in Brighton as part of a wider event organised by Strike a Light also called ‘Hope Springs Eternal’, and again in December at Fabrica gallery as part of the ‘Relativity’ event.

‘Taking part in the ‘Hope Springs Eternal’ film was an interesting experience. I so hope that such a film will help to inspire similar events’.

Comments from Hope Springs Eternal film participants:

‘We all enjoyed the experience and laughed non-stop. The nice thing for me was to hear everyone else’s view on growing older and what affects them. It was nice to discuss together, realising we are facing some bridges, and hopefully keeping young at heart by keeping interests going in our everyday pursuits’  Helena Benge

‘Thank you for the copy of Hope Springs Eternal film. The filming was so well done. I was so pleased I attended, meeting people with different backgrounds and mixing so well. People over sixty love to be able to have something to look forward to’.
Eve Lace

‘I just watched it (Hope Springs Eternal film)- really thought it was fab – all the nuggets from people were brilliant, very joyful!’ Clare Hankinson, Growing an Older Audience Coordinator, Fabrica

‘It was an interesting experience – being asked about myself, and how that affected how I felt, and looked at the future as an older
woman. I enjoyed the experience a great deal’. Hazel Fairchild

‘I also much enjoyed taking part in the project as it was an opportunity to sit and listened to women who have still got so much energy and enjoyment of life, and were prepared to take part in a madcap moment on the seafront at night in a howling gale – illuminated primarily by the light of the moon- thereby proving indeed that all the words they’d spoken about welcoming challenges were true! I’d like to say what a valuable project I feel it has been, and wish you and your team much success in similar projects in the future’. Sarah Martin