Alec Finlay‘s commission for the SALT Festival of the Sea & Environment, Folkestone, features Naval Semaphore flags, displayed by the lighthouse and on a boat moored in the Outer Harbour. The signal is a homage to the quiet anguish of Stevie Smith’s proverbial line not waving but drowning, memorialising one who went much too far out. Displayed by the English Channel, her memorable phrase takes on a fresh burden of significance in this era of conflict and enforced migration. artwork: 29 September – 2 October ; reading & discussion: 1 October, 11 am. The Waiting Room, Harbour Arm, Folkestone.
SALT festival presents a creative and inspiring journey through the landscape and culture of the sea. SALT explores the way coastal environments shape who we are and how we think, and asks what the future might hold for the people and places that exist on the edge. Co-curated by Quarterhouse, Folkestone Fringe, and Chris Poundwhite of Go to the Pine.
Beached: Malcolm Allen, Onno de Graaf, Kitty Hall, James Marsh, Andy McGuire, Nikki Tompsett, Thurle Wright, James Marsh, Susan Triffitt. Whelkboy Gallery, 44 the Old High Street, 23 September – 9 October, 10am – 5pm (closed Mondays). An exhibition by nine artists who live by the sea inspired by the possibilities of a very tall sky, the optimism of a wide horizon, the faded glory of a coastal town, grand and spacious houses converted into less than grand B&Bs or bedsits. Homelessness, anonymity, just passing through, migration, immigration, the romance of life on an open road, following a coastal path, travelling without a map or a destination, convalescing, getting well, getting clean, environmentally clean, staying well or staying ill.
Folkestone Trawlermen: Andy Aitchison. The Corridor, Harbour Arm, 25 September – 2 October, 10am – 5pm. Folkestone was founded on its fishing industry and in its heyday there were 60 boats operating out of the harbour. Today, there are only 7 working boats left. International award-winning documentary photographer, Andrew Aitchison, has been working with Folkestone Trawlers to capture portraits of the fishermen of 2016.
Found In Folkestone: Karen Pamplin Browne. Block 67, 67 Tontine Street, CT20 1JR, 29 September – 2 October, 11am – 5pm. Photographs of private collections, developing participatory artwork around collecting to be shown in the new Folkestone Museum in 2017. During SALT, the artist invites the public to bring in objects discovered near the sea or related to the sea to be donated to a new Found in Folkestone collection to be shown at Kent Collects next year.
Weathertime: Dover Arts Development. Folkestone Sea Sports, The Stade, CT21 6AU, 30 September – 2 October, 11am – 4pm, every 30mins on loop. Weathertime shows work by 30 artists from either side of the Channel, to create a visual diary, responding to the weather on a particular day in September 2015 in painting, drawing, print and text, woven together with an original soundtrack into a 30-minute film.
As Far As We Can See. The Lindon Space, 23 Wear Bay Road, CT19 6BN, 29 September – 2 October, 11am – 5pm. A group exhibition featuring work by Judith Anketell, Joanna Jones, Helen Lindon, Helen Mayer and Clare Smith inspired by the sea and the elements including :
A Parable for Endeavour: Joanna Jones, Helen Lindon, Clare Smith. A collaborative film by three artists looking, listening, hearing, thinking, speaking and heeding each other, the work, the sea and the skies. Six eyes see more than two – add to that 5 camera eyes and this collaboration results in more than the sum of its parts. The film will also be shown on the big screen at Quarterhouse on Sunday 2 October at midday.
Ghost Gear: Helen Mayer: The Lindon Space, 23 Wear Bay Road, CT19 6BN, 29 September – 2 October, 11am – 5pm. Helen’s work is formed from a single type of beach combing – the gathering of lost pieces of fishing tackle, known as ‘ghost gear’. When ropes and nets from fishing boats become entangled below the waterline, the only option is to cut them free. In time the ‘gear’ finds its way back to dry land.
SALT Festival of the Sea & Environment. Thursday 29 September – Sunday 2 October. Folkestone, Kent . Twitter @SALT_fest
Image: Alec Finlay, (after Stevie Smith), drawn by Jenna Corcoran