Creative Folkestone announces details of the artists participating in the fifth Folkestone Triennial, The Plot, running Saturday, September 5–Sunday, November 8, 2020. 20 artists have been commissioned to create new artworks to be exhibited across Folkestone for one of the UK’s most ambitious art exhibitions.
Following the Triennial some works will remain as permanent additions to the UK’s largest urban exhibition of contemporary art, Creative Folkestone Artworks, cementing Folkestone’s position as the south coast’s creative hub.
Artists selected for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2020 include Rana Begum, Sam Belinfante, Stephenie Bergman, Patrick Corillon, Shezad Dawood, Richard Deacon, Jacqueline Donachie, genuinefake, Gilbert & George, Helga Griffiths, Mariko Hori, Christopher Houghton Budd, Atta Kwami, Morag Myerscough, Jacqueline Poncelet, Pilar Quinteros, Mike Stubbs, Jason Wilsher-Mills, Winter / Hörbelt and HoyCheong Wong & Simon Davenport & Shahed Saleem / Makespace.
The Plot invites visitors to discover new artworks whilst exploring the town and its urban narratives. The artworks will be sited along three routes associated with particular stories: the streets associated with physician William Harvey, noted for his “discovery” of the circulation of the blood; St Eanswythe’s Watercourse; and Folkestone’s industrial road “The Milky Way.” Encouraging viewers to question the gap between the tales and the urbanism of the town, The Plot invites consideration of the concept of “place-making”; “Although set in Folkestone, the exhibition’s theme is a universal one, prompting us to consider the relation between stories and material realities everywhere in the world. Everyone becomes aware at some point of the gap between our lived experience and what is narrated about it. Sometimes this gap is so extreme that we assume it is the result of malice—it’s a plot. With conspiracy theories becoming ever more popular, it’s never been more urgent to think about the gap between the talk and the action, between our stories and our realities,” says Lewis Biggs, Curator of Creative Folkestone Triennial.
Among the new commissions, Rana Begum (b. 1977, Bangladesh) will create a special colour scheme for the replacement beach huts on Lower Saxon Way. Set with the challenge of encompassing the whole promenade in her scheme, Begum’s designs will reflect her studio practice—often concerned with geometry, colour and light—to create intriguing results.
Located at the Central Library, Shezad Dawood (b. 1974, UK) presents Leviathan Legacy 2—the second element of his VR trilogy. Leviathan is a major five-year multifaceted project that looks at the intersection between climate change, migration and mental health. The work is part of UP Projects’ digital commissioning programme This is Public Space, supported by a grant from the European Union CUPIDO fund.
Sculptor Richard Deacon’s (b. 1949, UK) Benchmark nos 1-5 is a result of his preoccupation with plinths and the crucial role they have played in the development of sculpture. In researching his contribution to the Triennial, he discovered five existing platforms in the scenic Kingsnorth Gardens. The welcome of these empty platforms inspired him to create five new sculptures in granite.
At the Harbour Arm, Atta Kwami (b. 1956, Ghana) presents sculptures that are three-dimensional paintings, incorporating his signature use of colour and abstract painting style. A published author on urbanism and the history of African modernism, Kwami will use his knowledge to place the traditional home-made street vending kiosks of West Africa in dialogue with the commercially produced food-vending kiosks indigenous to East Kent.
Co-commissioned by England’s Creative Coast, a landmark partnership project connecting the landscape and arts organisations across the South East coast, artist Pilar Quinteros (b.1988, Chile) presents Janus’ Fortress: Folkestone—a monumental sculptural head sited on a clifftop that looks both outwards at Europe and inward to England, contemplating the mixed fortunes of what connects us but what also divides us.