Bleechers made out of scaffolding sit amongst a green field
Witness Stand | East Brighton, Photo by Helen James
Past Event

Witness Stand

Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey (Australia / UK)
Sat 7 May - Thu 30 Jun 2022
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How do we understand where we are through listening?

From across the city, drifting over land, sea and forgotten sites, comes an invitation to gather, sit and listen together. 

Australian artists Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey have commissioned a community of writers and sound artists with a connection to Brighton to design sound works that respond to five specific sites that reverberate with ancient, recent, and future stories of the city. 

Each chosen site is a place where we can experience the confluence of past and future, the ebb and flow of time and tide. Places that hover around dereliction and renewal, separation and coming together. The Adur Estuary at Shoreham-by-Sea, the Chattri, the West Pier, East Brighton, and Brighton Marina will all be linked in a physical and aural network. We will gather together with the artists, on simple seating stands, to contemplate vistas that we rarely pause properly to see, to spend time together in a place where the site is both companion and performer. 

This unique perspective merged with an immersive soundscape, live performance and each area’s natural ambience, gives us the opportunity to look outwards and consider what it means to be here now, what it meant in the past, and what it might mean in the future. A chance to witness, together, exactly what it is that makes these places so unique.


Concept and direction: Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey

Lead writer: Akila M Richards

Artists: Razia Aziz, Johanna Bramli, Thor McIntyre Burnie, Ed Chivers, Scott Smith, Emma-Kate Matthews, Gene Pool, Quinta, Ingrid Plum, James C Wilkie, Mrisi

Writers: Georgina Aboud, Jenny Arach, Sheila Auguste, Dulani Kulasinghe, Zaid S Sethi

Cultural Consultants: Dave Searby Mason, Richard Bickers, Davinder Dhillon, Richard Williams, Katie Sollohub, Rachel Clark

This ongoing project has been created and developed with Live Umbrella Finland and Bureau of Works; assisted by the Australia Council for the Arts, Vitalstatistix, Dark Mofo, and the APRA/AMCOS Art Music Fund. Witness Stand was originally commissioned for Perth Festival 2021.

Witness Stand Shoreham

Witness Stand Micro Site

Welcome to the ever expanding documentation flow of Witness Stand Brighton. This is a site connected to the sound installation work for Brighton Festival 2022. Click to meander through the 5 sites and their connected artistic vibrations.

Witness Stand at dusk

Witness Stand App

Sit and listen again to the echoes from Witness Stand at Brighton Festival 2022. Head to any of the five the Witness Stand locations (details below) and experience the sounds and words from that site.

The app uses geolocation to enable you to experience the sites as close to the original location of the Witness Stands as possible.

More about the locations

A green field with a hill in the background

East Brighton

Exact location: Located in a public park near Crew Club at the top of Whitehawk Road, Brighton BN2 5FL
What3words: ///item.path.yards
Click here for Google Map


  • Quinta
    Quinta is a London-based music-maker and multi-instrumentalist making work at the intersection of art music, electronics, the DIY, visual/video art, and pop.
  • Ed Chivers
    Ed is a Musician and Sound Designer. He has toured internationally with Fujiya & Miyagi, and AK/DK. His music was used by Nintendo, and has featured on Succession (HBO).

Text: Jenny Arach
Jenny writes poetry based on her mixed Ugandan and English parentage. She contributed a poem to Tenebrae – Lessons Learnt in Darkness at Brighton Festival. She was runner up in the Brighton & Hove Poetry Competition 2021 and as been published in Covert Magazine.

Cultural Consultant: Richard Bickers

A small white boat sits on small stream of water, surrounded by marshland

The Adur Estuary at Shoreham By Sea

Exact location: East riverbank of the Adur, next to footpath
What3words: ///skippers.totals.defensive
Click here for Google Map


  • Scott Smith
    Scott is a musician/composer and sound designer with a background in dance/movement, and performance practice. He makes theatre, works in bands and teaches.
  • Emma-Kate Matthews 
    Emma-Kate is an architect, composer, musician and researcher at UCL. Her work explores creative reciprocities between music; as constructed sound, and architecture; as constructed space, through the composition and performance of site-specific and spatialised projects.

Text: Sheila Auguste
Sheila is a writer and therapist living and working in Brighton for over 25 years. Born in East London she is Black British, of St. Lucian descent by way of ancestors in West Africa (mostly).

Cultural Consultants: Katie Sollohub and Dave Searby Mason

A white dome structure with concrete steps sits amongst fields and trees

The Chattri

Exact location: Near to the monument. North of Patcham, South Downs National Park. Park at Braypool Lane and then 1 mile walk over farmland.
What3words: ///removals.symphony.gong
Click here for Google Map


  • James Wilkie 
    James creates immersive installations, sound walks, live performances, and soundtracks. Storytelling is at the heart of James’ own work as he explores space and the imagination.
  • Razia Aziz (Creative Conception, Composition, Arrangements, Vocals, Harmonium, Keyboard) 
    Razia’s relationship with Brighton and the Downs spans five decades. Her life weaves activism, spirituality, creativity and teaching together in service of love.

    Razia is joined by: 
    Baluji Shrivastav OBE: Sitar, Dilruba, Hindustani Musical Direction
    Yash Kummar: Tablas, Vocals 
    Peter Middleton: Creative Direction, Audio Production 
    With valued contributions from: Alex Moody (snare drum), Barinder Kaur Gohler (Ek Onkar recitation), Cassie Aziz-Few (cello), Dominic Rai (names of the deceased), Hamida & Khalid Aziz (vocals), Imam Dr Salah Al-Ansari (qur’anic recitation), Madhu Malhotra (Hindi lines – sweetheart), Neal Bland (trumpet), Sheila Auguste & Edi Mandala (vocals), Ustad Fida Hussain Khan (Hindustani musical consultation), Anuja Sharma (home front).

Text: Dulani Kulasinghe
Dulani was born in Sri Lanka, raised in New Mexico and now lives in Brighton. Her writing explores contested heritage, belonging and legacies of empire. Her work on the Chattri was published in Writing Our Legacy’s anthology Hidden Sussex and has been used in Sussex University courses.

Cultural Consultant: Davinder Dhillon

A wide shot of Brighton Marina

Brighton Marina

Exact location: Level 8 of the Brighton Marina Car Park. Please take care when walking in the car park.
What3Words: ///moon.nurses.hooked
Click here for Google Map


  • Johanna Bramli and Ingrid Plum 
    Johanna is a sound artist, one half of pop band Fröst and co-founder of the all-female noise choir The Larsens. She creates sensitive yet sonically assaulting textures.

    Ingrid is a singer and composer who uses her voice, field recordings, percussion and electronics to explore the landscape of listening and our connection to nature.
  • Gene Pool 
    Gene Pool are a music, art and sound collective. Formed as a duo in Brighton in 2016, they have evolved into a genre-fluid, seven-piece live act, which is cathartic, flamboyant and joyful.

Text: Georgina Aboud
Georgina is of Lebanese and Anglo-Irish heritage. She has won awards with The Moth, Creative Future and the Word Factory for her writing.

Cultural Consultant: Richard Williams

Please note timings for Sat 28 May were originally listed as 8pm and 9.30pm, but have been updated to 6pm and 9.30pm.

Pebbles, water and the west pier

Brighton West Pier

Exact location: On the pebbles between the West Pier and British Airways i360.
What3words: ///sits.salsa.sits
Click Here For Google Map


  • Gene Pool 
    Gene Pool are a music, art and sound collective. Formed as a duo in Brighton in 2016, they have evolved into a genre-fluid, seven-piece live act, which is cathartic, flamboyant and joyful.
  • Mrisi 
    Pianist, rapper and producer Mrisi is a multifaceted artist with a varied musical background. Mrisi recently performed live on Mim Shaikh’s Spread The Word on BBC Asian Network.
  • Thor McIntyre Burnie
    Thor is artist & director of Aswarm. His award-winning installations transform sites, using sound, digital interactive tech and sculpture to create site-responsive immersive experiences. Thor's composition builds on recordings he made in collaboration with Chris Watson on the West Pier, prior to its collapse 20 years ago.

Text: Zaid S Sethi
Zaid is a freelance writer, based in Brighton. Born in Pakistan, he came to England when he was a year old. His short stories have appeared in a number of literary magazines and anthologies.

Cultural Consultant: Rachel Clark

Thanks to

WPT west pier trust written in blue and orange
Written in dark blue: Brighton Marina Brimming With Possibilities