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Folkestone Triennial - My 'Double Edge' Perspective

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Published 14/09/2017

After our involvement in the 2014 Folkestone Triennial, the team at Martello Building Consultancy were really excited at the opportunity to take on the role of Technical Consultants for the 2017 Folkestone Triennial - 'Double Edge'. Working with the array of world renowned artists and alongside the excellent Triennial Project Managers it's been a varied and challenging but immensely rewarding project to be involved with.

On a personal level, a few people have asked me what my favourite pieces in the 2017 Triennial are - good question!!! Being involved in the project from a technical and health and safety perspective maybe to this point I hadn't really taken a step back and explored which artworks I really admire. The Triennial Opening Event was the perfect opportunity to take a close look and think a bit more deeply so here goes.....

Seeing as the Triennial theme this year is 'Double Edge' I think I need to break my favourite pieces into a 'double edge' of sorts. There are pieces that I love from a technical perspective - how they have been designed and constructed to achieve the artists aim and there are pieces that I find aesthetically stunning.

My three favourites using the technical part of my brain are:

Studio Ben Allen - The Clearing

It's probably pretty clear why this would be one of my favourites - it's housed in the bar area of the Quarterhouse and brings together the best of architecture, design, art and craftsmanship in one - it's quite amazing how it transforms the space it sits in. If you've been to the bar at the Quarterhouse before the installation you'll be amazed at how different it looks.

Alex Hartley - Wall

I think this is a really clever piece - you can read my article on Linked In here which looks at some of the construction challenges when installing the artwork. The finished piece is very striking whether you view it from up on the East Cliff, from below on the beach or from out at sea - certainly one to challenge perceptions - and there's some great drone footage on the Martello Twitter page.

Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas - Folke Stone Power Plan

You can find this piece behind Googies - I just love the science around it. The artwork is inspired by the writings and drawings of Alexander von Humboldt - the 19th Century polymath whose studies in geography and the environment initiated the science of ecology. It's really quite smart!


I think all of the ones I've mentioned so far bring technical elements into them that I find really interesting as well as being great pieced of art. So, flipping over to the aesthetic focused part of my brain, the three pieces that really resonate with me are:

Gart Woodley - Impingement No.66 'Cube Circumscribed by Tetrahedron - Tetrahedon Circumscribed by Cube' 2017

Of course there is a technical element to this piece by Gary Woodley which you can find on Coronation Parade but it just looks great as well. Gary Woodley works in many three-dimensional media including using a variety of lighting techniques - it's definitely worth taking a look at some of his other works online.

Sinta Tantra - 1947

I think Sinta Tantra's work has made a fantastic impact - The Cube building in Tontine Street is just along from the Martello office and it looks just stunning. The colour palette comes from a 1947 poster advertising rail travel to Folkestone and Sinta has transformed the Cube with bold colour abstractions that wrap around the building - definitely one of my favourites.

Rigo 23 - Through the Glassworks, Earth's Oldest Satellite, Me and You, Some in the Future 1990-2017

Rigo 23 is known for publicly placed artworks that encourage viewers to examine their relationships to their communities. You can find his work at the Glassworks building behind the Quarterhouse. I really admire the artwork that Rigo 23 has undertaken around the world and ut was great to meet him on this project - you should definitely take a look at some of his other work online - it's simple but really clever.

Well that's my quick rundown of my favourite artworks at the Folkestone Triennial 2017 - I think there are some great additions to the growing collection of art throughout the town. Whether you're in to art or not, I think having an internationally recognised art exhibition that brings world-renowned artists and their work to the streets of our town is brilliant - I'd definitely recommend getting out there, taking a look and making your own opinion.


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