An audience stand is silhouetted against a late afternoon sky. It is placed on a beach area, and there are around twenty people spread along the different levels of the stand in a variety of poses. Several loudspeakers on stands are visible. The location is Bolderaja, in Riga, Latvia.
Witness Stand | Aivars Ivbulis / Homo Novus Festival 2021
Past Event

Witness Stand - Adur Estuary at Shoreham-by-Sea

Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey (Australia / UK)
Sat 7 - Sat 28 May 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 Abura, 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.

Location Details

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

Thanks to

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