Folkestone is an Artschool

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2017 is the year of the Folkestone triennial in the UK and the Kent seaside town has come alive with installations from global artists.

It is the fourth event of its kind for Folkestone and its creative quarter, and the theme for the whole festival is “Double Edge” which leads to some quite challenging pieces.

This year’s commissions, for example, include Alex Hartley’s Wall which balances an installation that hangs onto the cliff edge. The only thing stopping it from falling into the sea are the large rocks used as ballast. Hartley wants to highlight issues of sea erosion and migration within the piece, with the installation’s mesh fence being made from the same materials used in the The Jungle, the French detainment camp for immigrants in Calais, just across the water. The artwork was made on the premise that it will eventually fall into the sea with the artist looking to let erosion take its inevitable course.


Richard Wood’s Holiday Homes is a lot more lighthearted and jaunty in its appeal. It is a series of six brightly-coloured Wendy houses dotted around the coastal town – you can find them perched on a city centre roundabout and floating on a platform in the sea.

Bob and Roberta Smith’s FOLKESTONE IS AN ARTSCHOOL, has become a slogan and meme for the whole event and is plastered all over town, most notably on its East Martello tower.


Elsewhere you can see a gorgeous green neon lit façade for the Islamic Community Centre created by HoyCheong Wong and dubbed Minareta sweet lamppost by David Shrigley, Lubaina Himid’s otherworldly Jelly Mould pavilion on the beach and Marc Schmitz and Dolgor Ser-Od’s magical outsize trumpet Siren on the grassy uplands.

Folkestone triennial runs until November 5 all over the town.


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