The Billy Smart Circus came to Hastings in the early '70s. Almost half a century later, Billy Smart's great grandson, visual artist Gregory Smart, moved to St Leonards. A fascinating visual archive and a treasure trove of vibrant family anecdotes came with him. All of which inspire a new 'house' this Christmas. Explore the fascinating lives of Gregory's legendary show family in The House of Circus!
The endless flicker of shadows beyond the vehicle window: the identity of long night drives through the towns inhabiting the A roads of Britain. Roads linking one circus site to another. Billy Smart's young granddaughter, Christina, sits in the back seat playing a game. She picks one house with a glowing sash in each town centre as the circus cortege snakes through traffic lights and imagines her family inside. It's fun to fantasise of a different life when your own life is so vivid and remarkable. A life defined by the smell of sawdust, the heat of the caravan stove and the sound of the generator and the big top going up.
Step inside The House of Circus this Christmas and explore a legendary British show family. Constructed by Christina's son, Gregory Smart, and the explorethearch team, revel in myths and magical stories of talented acrobats, international dancers and musicians and rebel runaways that have been passed down to Gregory through his mother and grandparents.