A rare place; the back of Zu Studios in Lewes. How long will this little oasis persist?

July 18th, 2013, 9pm

Zu Studios, at Phoenix Industrial Estate in Lewes, is a gentle oasis, filled with weird and wonderful loveliness, occasional events (some full on parties, others cinema or performance soirees). The main entrance, on the other side of the building, faces the river. Very idyllic. Neighbouring workshops also house idiosynchratic endeavours, although perhaps not as colourful as Zu. All on short leases - no one knows how long this place, blissfully decoupled from time, will persist.

The fireworks night parties are legendary. I once went dressed as a giant carrot, on impulse. If you wonder how one ends up dressed as a giant carrot on impulse, you clearly don’t know enough people who keep bags of random theatrical costumes in the back of their car.

Another time, I came dressed as a pirate wench. Arrrrr, and all that. Not as good as the carrot. And there was the Penis Party, organised to raise funds for a mid-sex-change friend who did not want to have a penis constructed ham-handedly on the NHS. Apparently (this is a topic I know very little about) they make them better in Belgium. I think. The cake was memorable - as was the party. I have some great photos.

Martin, the host-with-the-most, is ever genial, cool in the midst of creative abundance, and serenely unruffled.

There used to be a boat in the back. A full-size, wooden boat. Can’t say I could fit one in my living room. Quite useful for storage, I imagine. Last week, I noticed the carefully arranged collection of beautiful, non-matching glasses on stems in the cafe/bar. There is a lot of loving detail to take in. And occasional big things, like boats.

I am not a frequent visitor. I dip in now and then, like last week. But I wish that the wheels of change continue to miss Zu, and their neighbours. Or at least that they grind very, very slowly.

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