Hangover Square (2012)

University of Brighton Gallery
Saturday 5 – Sunday 27 May 2012

To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Patrick Hamilton – iconic author, saloon bar laureate and former Hove resident – this unique art installation explored his most famous work. Set in the seamy watering holes of Earls Court and a rain-swept Brighton on the cusp of World War II, Hangover Square is widely regarded as Patrick Hamilton’s masterpiece. 

Artist/production designer Anna Deamer and CINECITY created a film set for an imaginary screen version of this bleak hymn to obsessive desire. Two interiors, inextricably linked, form the heart of the exhibition: in the South Gallery a smart Brighton hotel room; in the north, a seedy London flat where the climactic crime scene is reimagined. 

The period detail is painstaking, from the Players Navy Cut fag ends to the dank wallpaper glistening, just perceptibly, with tendrils of blood. Stepping into such a vivid scene from literature is a disconcerting, disorientating experience. Imagine a National Trust tour crossed with CSI. – Bella Todd, The Arts Desk

…was it cinema? A film set that would never be part of a film? No actors, action, camera, projection – but, on the other hand, a kind of narrative formed of objects: like evidence in an Agatha Christie novel, holding hints of story. – Nick Roddick, Sight and Sound

The dioramas are so robust and realistic that one feels like an intruder, a peeping tom or unseen spirit, witnessing the private lives and worlds of people long-dead. This is most poignantly realised at the locked door to Netta’s bathroom, only half visible through two glass panels, where a lace curtain flutters in the breeze – a solitary movement among so much stillness. – Jack Casey, Spindle Magazine

Hangover Square involved over 400 students from City College and the University of Brighton guided by industry professionals, Anna Deamer and Consultant Construction Manager Steve Deane.

The exhibition was complemented by a full programme of related film screenings, artist talks and Hangover Square Revisited, a panel discussion with Julie Burchill and biographer Nigel Jones looking at Hamilton’s impact, influence and legacy.

Hangover Square was commissioned by House Festival 2012 and presented by CINECITY to mark our 10th Anniversary in partnership with Brighton Festival.

Associated Events + Screenings

HANGOVER SQUARE REVISITED: The Life and Work of Patrick Hamilton
A panel discussion looking at Hamilton’s impact, influence and legacy
Friday 11 May / University of Brighton

Dir: Terence Fisher. UK 1948. 44 mins.
Sunday 20 May / Duke of York’s Picturehouse

(15) Dir: Simon Curtis. UK 2005. 150 mins.
Sunday 20 May / Duke of York’s Picturehouse

ARTIST TALK: ANNA DEAMER (Artist & set-designer of Hangover Square)
Saturday 19 May / University of Brighton