Pierdom exhibition on Hastings Pier Head, image by Simon Roberts


Hastings Pier Charity’s Learning and Education team worked alongside award British artist Simon Roberts and Andrew Moran of PhotoHastings to deliver a project for visitors, college students, school students and young people.

Numbers Involved:
Visitors to the exhibition: 12,259
Workshop participants: 450
School and college students: 42
Volunteers: 35
HPC Staff: 3
Intern: 1
Work placement student: 1

Project description

The Pierdom project involved:

  1. An open-air photography exhibition on Hastings Pier’s Pier Head from Thursday 29th September to Wednesday 30th November 2016, representing the first time Simon Roberts’ photographs of piers have ever been shown on a pier.
  2. Two talks by Simon Roberts; Thursday 29th September and Sunday 27th November.
  3. Two Family Pinhole Camera Workshops; Saturday 1st October and Sunday 9th October.
  4. Three schools workshops; Tuesday 4th, Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th October.
  5. Studio 7: A pop-up exhibition about the history of photography with reference to the pier’s archive.
  6. Mypierportrait: Three days of community engagement workshops on Tuesday 25th October, Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th November.
  7. Pierdom Intern: University of Brighton Photography graduate and Hastings resident Jo Richardson was recruited to help deliver the project.
  8. Work placement student: Sussex Coast College Hastings HND Photography student Emily Wallace supported the community engagement aspects of the project.

Aims and Objectives

  • Encourage children, young people and adults to engage with Hastings Pier’s heritage and history
  • Encourage visitors, school students and young people to be aware of and add their own images to the Digital Memory
  • Upskill local young people through workshops, an internship and placement
  • Inspire participants’ creativity and interest in photography
  • To encourage participants to take part in more local events which promote the town and its heritage

    Pierdom exhibition on Hastings Pier Head, image by Simon Roberts


It was a great day. Getting them involved in a community activity. It was very educational and inspirational. Excellently planned and delivered. The knowledge they gained in the workshop will help them develop their skills further. The talk from John Cole was inspirational, opening their minds to new ideas.
Sussex Coast College Tutor

This was an engaging experience for all students. It will broaden their approach to image making, learning about photographers work and how to structure / develop projects.

It taught me something new, inspired me and added to my experimentation.

I absolutely loved the public engagement days, working in the darkroom, developing photos and sharing them with the public. It was wonderful to see people who were new to photography react in such a positive way to their photographs. The children were particular interested within the process and I loved explaining how pinhole cameras work and the development process. I have learnt a range of new skills that will assist me in the future. I have grown in my confidence in talking and engaging with the public, including all age ranges.

Pierdom exhibition on Hastings Pier Head, image by Simon Roberts

10% of people who competed a questionnaire cited that the Pierdom exhibition was the primary reason for visiting the Pier on the day.