HENRY KROKATSIS: SAUNAKABIN – Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

27 January - 16 September 2018
Rock-A-Nore Rd, Hastings TN34 3DW

Kabin takes the form of a handcrafted wooden architectural structure drawing on the grammar of the small, feature-rich buildings typically found in British parks and on promenades such as bandstands, seated shelters, and ornate sheds like the timber-framed tool hut in Soho Square and The Ostler's hut in Lincoln's Inn.

Installed in the central courtyard of The Jerwood Gallery, Kabin will operate as a fully functioning, communal sauna. It will house an enclosed burner that heats the interior to 80 degrees Celsius, around which tiered bench seating can accommodate up to 12 people at a time. Situating the work in the gallery courtyard will offer local sea swimmers an additional facility to supplement the experience of their swim. The work will create a real and active link between the gallery and the sea, with swimmers roving through the gallery from sauna to sea and back again. The aim of the work is to bring about a temporary yet radical democratisation. In order to take part, the stripping bare and cleansing that are generally marked as private activity, are brought into the public realm and socialised.

Made from burnt wood then carved by hand to give a rough-hewn and exaggerated grain pattern, the structure will be raised off the ground, sitting on a central pole which houses an oil impregnated bronze bearing allowing the work to be gently rotated by hand.

The installation marks Krokatsis's warm return to Hastings after winning an international prize to build a ten meter high Helta Skelter which was then refused planning permission at the last hurdle. As a temporary artwork this building will exist for the people of Hastings and visitors to engage in art in a playful and inclusive manner, and will be installed for eight months.