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Folkestone's Triennial

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The Folkestone Triennial is a three-yearly exhibition of contemporary artworks sited in public spaces throughout Folkestone. Andrea Schlieker conceived and curated the inaugural exhibition in 2008 and will direct the second Folkestone Triennial in the summer of 2011.

19 international artists have been commissioned to create new works for the Folkestone Triennial 2011, which will take place from 25 June – 25 September 2011. The selected artists have been invited to develop new works for Folkestone’s streets, squares, beaches and historic buildings to create a cutting-edge contemporary art exhibition in the public domain.

The Visitor Centre in the Old High Street provides useful information for visitors to the permanent Triennial artworks, including free maps, audio guide [MP3 players are available for loan] and art books. Here you can also watch some of the films commissioned for the 2008 Triennial. A walking tour around the eight permanent commissions takes about two hours. A suggested route is outlined on the map.

Barking Rocks (permanent art in Folkestone)

Barking Rocks, work in progress, 2008

Having observed pensioners unable to walk far and stranded on benches, their dogs listless or straining at the lead, Pae White designed her Barking Rocks park especially for the needs of both: now the elderly can rest and chat or picnic while their dogs exercise and play. The site itself, sandwiched between the main shopping street and the Leas promenade, had long been neglected and is now transformed into what the artist calls “landscape theatre”. Sculptures of cats’ heads ominously stuck on nine-foot-high poles are a dramatic (if tongue in cheek) warning to those not invited here. Barking Rocks is a social sculpture on several counts: it reclaims derelict land, returns it to the community and privileges, in a playful way, the disadvantaged, both human and canine.

The Folkestone Triennial forms a major component of arts-led regeneration of Folkestone, driven by the Creative Foundation. The Creative Foundation are leading on the regeneration of the old town area of Folkestone, developing a burgeoning Creative Quarter populated by artists, independent retailers and creative businesses in a growing number of refurbished studio, living and retail spaces.

For more information about the Folkestone Triennial click the link.