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Folkestone Triennial 2014: Lookout 30/8 – 2 /11/2014

Lookout is the title for the third edition of Folkestone Triennial, when commissioned artworks will be exhibited in Folkestone’s public spaces  from 30 August – 2 November 2014. International artists have been invited to make new work in relation to specific sites that relate directly to the town and its socio-economic and cultural history, as well as exploring universal issues.


Pablo Bronstein, Four Alternate Designs for a Lighthouse in the Style of Nicholas Hawksmoor, 2014, Courtesy Herald St

Alex Hartley’s response to the title Lookout is inspired by the imposing architecture of the Grand Burstin Hotel, which overlooks the Harbour. The architecture of the hotel echoes that of an ocean liner and looks across at the site which saw active service as a ferry port from the 1840s until 2000. From the hotel’s top floor rooms, one can see views across Folkestone and the English Channel. For his project Vigil, Hartley will use state of the art climbing technology to place a lookout point which will be suspended from the highest point of the hotel, and inhabited for the duration of the Triennial.


Alex Hartley

Andy Goldsworthy will collect clay from Folkestone’s beaches to create two installations in a space on the Old High Street. The installations will enable the making of a new video work through time-lapse photography, which will exhibited in a second location on Tontine Street. This video piece will examine the passing of time, the (economic) tide and the cycle of urban regeneration and decay.

Yoko Ono has proposed several works. One text work will appear in many places in Folkestone, and a new ‘instruction’, an invitation to the people of Folkestone will be exhibited in Quarterhouse.

Pablo Bronstein will present Beach Hut in the style of Nicholas Hawksmoor, which he has described as a ‘monument to architecture’, paying homage to the quintessentially English architectural vocabulary of the 18th Century Baroque architect, Nicholas Hawksmoor. In the 18th Century the use of this heroic style was chosen deliberately for lighthouses along the south east coast as part of the defensive line of ports and castles from Hastings to Dover. This architecture no longer exists in Folkestone, therefore Bronstein’s work will take the form of a lighthouse, filling a gap in the town’s history. Situated next to other brightly coloured beach huts on the water front, the structure’s dramatic presence will invoke a sense of folly.

Pablo Bronstein jpg

Pablo Bronstein

Something & Son (Andrew Merritt and Paul Smyth) will take the humble greenhouse and transform it into an eco-friendly, self-sustainable model for food production. Situated on the roof of The Glassworks Sixth Form Centre, the experimental greenhouse will grow potatoes , peas, and fish in specially adapted tanks creating a zero waste energy cycle and miniature ecosystem. The food harvested will then be sent to local fish and chip shops which will cook and serve Britain’s national seaside dish to visitors and locals. The Amusefood greenhouse will also have a dynamic fairground element which acknowledges Folkestone’s rich history as a popular seaside destination.
Something @ Son

Something@ Son

Marjica Potrč and Ooze Architects will use the iconic brick structure of the mainline Foord Road Viaduct as the backdrop for a wind powered lift that will carry people to the top of the viaduct offering stunning views over the Creative Quarter and Folkestone Harbour. This iconic structure marks the advent of the railways and the beginning of Folkestone’s modern age. Now it will be co-opted to serve as a platform from which to look out on the future.

Sarah Staton’s Steve, is a personified sculptural pavilion for The Stade. The Stade was originally a working area alongside ships berthing in the harbour but now most of it has been given over to leisure and tourism. The Stade should provide a great home for Steve, conceived as a monument to a person of the future. Steve will be made from large scale, articulated plates of Corten steel with holes through the middle, its sculptural language playing on the tropes of machismo seen in monumental public art in the traditional of Henry Moore or Richard Serra. In addition, Steve will be embedded with new technology, set among swaths of edible costal plants, splicing past present and future into one space and time.

Will Kwan will create a work in The Vinery, a former glass-roofed sitting area perched on the cliff edge on the Leas with fantastic views over the English Channel. His work will play on the ‘chinoiserie’ present in English leisure culture since the mid-17th Century, a popular Western aesthetic characterised by the use of Chinese motifs and techniques. His work will frame views of the English Channel and the still heavily trafficked route linking Britain and China, also highlighting the current positioning of China in the national and international consciousness of the future.

Jyll Bradley will present ‘Green/Light’, a sculptural light installation created for the Old Gas Works site, Foord Road North, Folkestone. Now redundant and inaccessible, this was once a hub of energy and the place where electric light was first generated for the town. Green/Light, which makes use of traditional hop-stringing skills to create a web of colour and light, will be an exciting, immersive, reflective space inviting the regeneration of the site for the local community.

rootoftwo (John Marshall and Cezanne Charles) will create Whithervanes, “a neurotic early worrying system” consisting of a network of sculptures of five headless chickens, to be presented on the highest points of five buildings. The buildings have been selected for their prominence and significance to the community in which they are placed, as well as for their height. The Whithervanes, 21st Century weathervanes, will track and measure the production of fear on the Internet. Their software looks for predetermined keywords related to fear (e.g. natural disaster, economic collapse, war, etc.) in newsfeeds from Reuters. The keywords have been generated in part from the people of Folkestone through community engagement workshops, and also from the 2011 US Department of Homeland Security Media Monitoring Capability Analysts Desktop Binder. When fear is encountered, the chickens respond by rotating at increasing speeds and are illuminated different colours. They share real time news-feed data from around the world and passers-by will be able to influence their behaviour via Twitter. This ‘early worrying system’ highlights how much our contemporary media, policy and political frameworks utilize fear as a persuasive method.

Composer and saxophonist John Harle and poet and documentary film maker Tom Pickard will collaborate with the Folkestone Futures Choir for the world premier of the choral work Lookout to be performed on 29 May 2014 at the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone.

All Artists: Jyll Bradley; Pablo Bronstein; Strange Cargo; Diane Dever and Jonathan Wright; Tim Etchells; Andy Goldsworthy; Ian Hamilton Finlay; John Harle and Tom Pickard; Emma Hart; Alex Hartley; Will Kwan; Gabriel Lester; Amina Menia; muf Architecture/Art; Yoko Ono; Marjetica Potrč and Ooze Architects; rootoftwo; Sarah Staton; Something & Son.

Folkestone Triennal 2014 –  from 30 August – 2 November 2014,

Folkestone Triennal, Creative Foundation, The Block, 65-69 Tontine Street, Folkestone CT20 1JR


About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


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