Filtering by Tag: Folkestone

The Triennial Effect

Added on by Stella Chapman.

As the Folkestone Triennial draws to a close, our thoughts turn to which artist's work will join the permanent Folkestone Artworks collection. This 'gallery without walls' is made up from 27 works from the past 3 Triennials by artists including Tracey Emin, Mark Wallinger, Pablo Bronstein, Yoko Ono and Richard Wilson.

A friend recently asked how often the Triennial came to Folkestone as I was always talking about it. I told her the clue is in the name! Every 3 years artists are commissioned to create public installations that form an art trail around the town. We love the lead up to the event – discovering which artists will be exhibiting and what the theme will be. This year was particularly exciting as we were one of 3 agencies shortlisted in a 3-stage pitch for the Triennial branding. A great achievement for Salt and something we are keen to win in the future.

This is our 2nd Triennial since relocating from London 6 years ago. Attracting creatives and tourists to the area by 'rebranding' Folkestone as a creative hub is the Creative Foundation's mission – with the Triennial being their flagship project. And it seems to be taking hold. There’s a definite buzz in the Creative Quarter this year, with local artists referring to the ‘Triennial effect’ increasing their sales as tourists look to take away a piece of the action.

Hitting the art trail with a 6 year old means it's as much about the experience as it is the concepts behind the pieces. There was a beautifully designed family guide this year to keep the kids engaged, as well as a programme of free family workshops at Block 67, Tontine Street. Here's what we've enjoyed and whether we think they will stay.

Richard Woods' colourful cartoon holiday homes were standout pieces for us – with 6 homes to spot floating in the harbour and dotted around the beach and cliff tops. Like the seasonal residents that inspired these installations, they are surely temporary. Midway through the 2014 Triennial a Banksy piece entitled 'Art Buff' appeared. Unfortunately these 'Holiday Homes' have been decorated with less welcome graffiti.

Richard Woods – Holiday Home

Richard Woods – Holiday Home

Likewise, the Antony Gormley cast-iron figures, which despite looking very much at home beneath arches or staring out to sea, were only ever visiting. 

A teetering white wall by Alex Hartley is perhaps the most immediate expression of this year's theme 'Double Edge' – exploring anxiety (being on the edge), boundaries and balance. Its future seems precarious.

Alex Hartley - Wall
Alex Hartley – Wall

Alex Hartley – Wall

When we visited Lubaina Himid’s ‘Jelly Mould Pavilion' it was being used to frame a bride and groom on their wedding day – already paying its way as a local landmark!

Lubaina Himid – Jelly Mould Pavilion

Lubaina Himid – Jelly Mould Pavilion

We enjoyed discovering new parts of Folkestone and gaining new perspectives. Sometimes it's as simple as looking up – to see Jonathan Wright's little boats perched on tall poles, or taking a moment to listen, to Emily Peasgood's sound installation 'Halfway to Heaven' in an18th-century Baptist graveyard. We’d like to think the giant 'Siren' by Marc Schmitz and Dolgor Ser-Od could have the longevity of the concrete 'listening ear' at nearby Dungeness that it references.

Marc Schmitz & Dolgor Ser-Od – Siren

Marc Schmitz & Dolgor Ser-Od – Siren

A Guardian review was not being complementary when it commented that some of the artworks ‘put design some way before art’, mentioning Sinta Tantra's colourful paintwork for the Cube Building and the Gothic plywood structure by Studio Ben Allen transforming the Quarterhouse Clearing Cafe. For us that is no bad thing. Art and design may have different roles, but they are both about emotional engagement. About challenging and changing perceptions. If art is about questions, design is about solutions, with the Triennial being one solution to the ongoing regeneration and repositioning of Folkestone.

The Folkestone Triennial finishes on 5th November. For more information www.folkestonetriennial.org.uk

Photography kindly provided by Kevan Smith www.smithstudios.co.uk

 

TEDx Folkestone

Added on by Stella Chapman.

When TEDx came to Folkestone for the first time, we were thrilled to be there. The day of inspirational talks at the Quarterhouse gave 13 local speakers the chance bring TED's mission of 'ideas worth sharing' to the town.

The theme of the day was 'pushing the boundaries' and although none of the talks were about design, a common theme was creativity, and how creative thinking can improve our experiences. Here are our highlights, and if you're inspired to hear more, all the speaker videos are available on YouTube.

Illustrator and educator Jim Lockey invited us to 'make our mark' and follow his instructions to do a simple drawing – proving everyone can be creative. He believes drawing should be a pleasurable form of expression and a visual language, not something to be measured against accepted standards. We particularly liked the idea of his mobile comic factory, a social arts project aimed at giving young people access to the arts and giving them the confidence to try something creative. 

Jim Lockey - The Forgotten Language of Drawing

Jim Lockey - The Forgotten Language of Drawing

Jazz vocalist Randolph Matthews didn't exactly deliver a talk – but an original and witty performance about using the power of our voice. His music and stories also reminded us of the value of observing and absorbing the world around us.

Randolph Matthews - Before There Are Words, There Are Sound Feelings

Randolph Matthews - Before There Are Words, There Are Sound Feelings

We loved business writer Paul Brassington's phrase 'corporate robotic' describing the depersonalised way some companies speak to their audiences. Plain speaking and honesty leads to a more fruitful and intimate dialogue than when companies write everything down in a manual. As Paul explained, we relate better to people than to 'things'.

Paul Brassington - How Mad Language Damages Everything

Paul Brassington - How Mad Language Damages Everything

Emily Peasgood, a composer and sound artist, had no problem with honesty and shared her highly personal story. Success and fulfilment came when she stopped suppressing her off-beat creative ideas that usually met with the response "Emily! Don't do that!". Her music challenges the norm and her piece 'Lifted' was recently performed at the Royal Festival Hall – in the lift of course!

Emily Peasgood - Emily! Don't Do That!

Emily Peasgood - Emily! Don't Do That!

Social entrepreneur and care innovator Chris Gage explained how a little creative thinking could go a long way to enrich the experience of people in long term care, something 1 in 5 of us will rely on. He used the example of a simple prop or an meaningful activity to spark a memory or create a connection which can make all the difference to someone's day. This talk was timely for a current project of ours, designing a brand identity for a care app which uses technology to achieve this aim.

Chris Gage - Creating The Care We All Want

Chris Gage - Creating The Care We All Want

What TEDx Folkestone meant to us
Salt were honoured to play a small part in this massively successful event which bought together Folkestone's amazing creative community and gave us another opportunity for collaboration. We had the chance to be involved from the start, supporting creator Liu Batchelor and the team with design for the programme and signage. But we were still blown away by the quality of the talks on the day, and by the amazing production and atmosphere. We left feeling inspired and motivated to step out of our comfort zone more often. We were reminded creativity is about 'pushing the boundaries' – exploring, inventing, experimenting and most importantly – sharing.

1. Liu Batchelor, LVB Creative, Creator of TEDx Folkestone
2. TEDx Folkestone Committee: Liu Batchelor, Kier Humphreys, James Avery, Ioannis Ioannou, Caroline Howden
3. & 4. TEDx Event Branding Flourish, Illustration Cognitive, Literature & Signage Salt.

About TEDx
TED Talks are influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity. TEDx is a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection.

To get involved with future TEDx Folkestone events or to be added to the mailing list, contact Hello@TEDxFolkestone.com 

ted.com
tedxfolkstone.com

 

Be Bold For Change

Added on by Stella Chapman.

Salt were among a group of female professionals invited by a young women's project, Bossy Girls to advise on creating a poster campaign to celebrate International Women's Day.

Along with Nichola from Word It, we joined the group of women aged 15 to 23 at one of their workshops at the Quarterhouse, Folkestone. Led by founder member Emma Westbrook, the team had created a room full of impressive sketches, visuals and slogans for the campaign based on issues important to them – grouped into the themes of sexual harassment, media representation of women and gender roles. We helped select a concept they could develop into a public installation to appear in various locations in Folkestone. One idea stood out instantly and told their story of what it's like being a young woman today in one clear message – 'Being a girl is not a crime'.

Emma explained "The result (of the workshops) has been an overwhelming feeling that women and girls are often made to feel that they are being punished for simply being themselves."

The posters and banners popped up guerrilla style around central Folkestone last Sunday morning, designed to create intrigue among the general public and resonate with local young women. We were delighted to see they demonstrated great restraint in the design using bold black type, free of embellishment or any obvious expression of the feminine. It captured the spirit of the International Women's Day theme 'Be Bold for Change' perfectly.

The hashtag #NotACrime was used to encourage engagement during International Women's Day and beyond.

Following the project's success, the 'Bossy Girls' aim to have regular meetings and workshops across different areas. The posters are available from Folkestone Quarterhouse Box Office this week.

Awareness campaign by the Bossy Girls Project

Awareness campaign by the Bossy Girls Project

Emma said: The Boss(y) Girls Project came about after the WOW (Women of the World) Festival at Folkestone Quarterhouse last year (2016) and has been heavily supported by them and Folkestone Fringe throughout. The name was inspired by Beyoncé's quote, "I'm not bossy… I'm the boss." and was designed to address the double standard that girls were seen as bossy and fussy when they were assertive, but boys were seen as strong and having good leadership skills."

The core team were Chelsey 17, Livvy 17, Josie 19, Chani, 23, and Emma Westbrook, 18. For more information visit the Bossy Girls Facebook page.

 

Making art work for Folkestone

Added on by Stella Chapman.

When I moved to the pretty coastal town Hythe in Kent, I wasn't expecting neighbouring Folkestone to offer more than a handy high-speed link to London, where Salt's clients are mainly based. But over the four years I've lived here, I've watched the harbour town being transformed through creativity, reinventing itself as a cultural destination and an inspiring place to live as a designer.

It was the public art exhibition, the Folkestone Triennial that first opened my eyes to the creative projects going on in the town. Every three years the nine week festival turns the town into an open-air gallery with specially commissioned works by artists that have included Andy Goldsworthy, Tracey Emin, Mark Wallinger and Yoko Ono. There is also Folkestone Artworks, a permanent public collection of 16 works created from the previous two Triennials, plus fantastic independent street art which graffiti artist Banksy temporarily added to during the Triennial last year. The Banksy may be gone, but there's still a lot to see. Here's a selection of my favourites, which I think are worth a visit to Folkestone in their own right!

Art Buff : Banksy : Folkestone 2014

Art Buff : Banksy : Folkestone 2014

Folkestone Artworks

As a graphic designer I love Spencer Finch's colour wheel on the cliff-top Leas Promenade. Spinning the palette of 100 colours and picking the Pantone swatch to match the sea is a brilliant idea! For the 2011 Triennial, flags were dyed to match the swatches and hoisted to declare the shade of the sea each day. Colour, light and the natural world are key themes in the New York artist's work. 

The Colour of Water :  Spencer Finch :  Triennial 2011

The Colour of Water : Spencer Finch : Triennial 2011

At first this collection of stones on the Leas seemed decorative, but I learnt the numbered pebbles represent the 19,240 soldiers killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme in 1916. The installation by 2007 Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger is a simple and moving reminder of Folkestone's past.

Folk Stones : Mark Wallinger : Triennial 2008

Folk Stones : Mark Wallinger : Triennial 2008

Also echoing the past, is a quirky row of bright green bunker-like beach huts on the coastal promenade which sculptor Richard Wilson constructed from the abandoned crazy golf course. It is good to think art is filling the place left by traditional seaside amusements and attracting a new type of tourist. At last year's Triennial, thousands of people came to dig up artist Michael Sailstorfer’s buried treasure on the outer harbour beach in his public participation event Folkestone Digs.

Looking at the present is Baby Things, seven painted bronze mini sculptures by artist Tracey Emin dotted around the town as a subtle comment on the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the area.

18 holes : Richard Wilson : Triennial 2008

18 holes : Richard Wilson : Triennial 2008

Baby Things : Tracey Emin : Triennial 2008

Baby Things : Tracey Emin : Triennial 2008

Folkestone Triennial 2014

The 2014 Triennial was curated by Lewis Biggs, the former director of Tate Liverpool. The theme  'Lookout'  was about the future of Folkestone and the 21 artists each had a different take on what's here now and what's to come. I really enjoyed following the trail with my 3 year old. Being outdoors and being able to touch and interact directly is a great way for children to discover and learn about contemporary art. We loved the colourful geometric maze which made a surprising contrast to the Victorian grotto it's built into to. Dwelling by Krijn de Koning is part architecture, part sculpture and has an ‘identical twin’ at the Turner Contemporary who commissioned the work. 

Dwelling (for Margate, for Folkestone) : Krijn de Koning : Triennial 2014

Dwelling (for Margate, for Folkestone) : Krijn de Koning : Triennial 2014

One of the most inspiring things about Folkestone is the quality of coastal light which is why I loved Green/Light, a light sculpture by Folkestone born artist Jyll Bradley. Created for the old gas works site where electric light was first generated for the town, the shimmering poles map out her personal journey and connection to the area. Yes, the sky is always this blue!

Green/Light (for M.R.) : Jyll Bradley : Triennial 2014

Green/Light (for M.R.) : Jyll Bradley : Triennial 2014

A creative future

Arts charity the Creative Foundation is behind the Triennial and Artworks as well as many other creative projects, events and activities, including the regeneration of the Creative Quarter in the old town, home to artists' studios and creative businesses. I love these two recent pieces of independent street art by Folkestone-based artists Leigh Mulley and Sam Millen for their unexpected locations and local themes. The 13m high seagull mural is a landmark to be proud of!

So art continues to make Folkestone a better place to be. I look forward to seeing which 9 Triennial works return as permanent attractions in May and am already counting down to the next one in 2017.

Small Eyes : Leigh Mulley : 2014

Small Eyes : Leigh Mulley : 2014

Redding Wall : Sam Millen : 2014

Redding Wall : Sam Millen : 2014