Volunteer Trip to Creative Folkestone Triennial

A retrospective on our last volunteer trip to Folkestone

On the 26th October, we took a day trip out with some of our wonderful volunteers to visit the 2021 Creative Folkestone Triennial. Considering this time of year, the weather was lovely.

This year’s theme was The Plot – an exploration of the urban myths scattered around Folkestone’s centre. There were three routes, all based on the circulation of blood around the body. Here are few highlights of the trip, featuring our wonderful volunteers.

Volunteers enjoying Morag Myerscough’s Flock of Seagulls Bag of Stolen Chips

One of the first piece’s we saw was the large pop-up platform set in the city’s former gasworks site. This was such a great spark of colour to be greeted by in a late October day, as was the other pieces on site – including a large platform to dance on and a maze of poles to weave through.

Shezad Dawood’s The Terrarium

As we walked around we saw a great number of Gilbert & George’s punchy prints and Patrick Corillon’s relic boxes, as well as an virtual reality art piece. We were invited to place some VR goggles on and step into a sci-fi dystopia game. Set 300 years in the future, you play a hybrid creature exploring an underwater planet Earth and are offered an ethical dilemma ending.

Speaking into Marc Schmitz and Dolgor Ser-Od’s Siren

After some well needed fish and chips, we visited Siren not initially knowing it to be apart of the previous year’s triennial. The large horn caught our eye in the distance and we took a lovely detour stroll up a costal cliff to it. We had fun talking into in, and producing an echo that could be heard from anyone standing in front.

On our way back on route, we visited the Janus head, which had created a bit of local myth-making. This piece is based on the Ancient Roman god that guards the Roman underworld. Representing transitions between past and future, the piece is intentional facing out towards mainland Europe and England, and Folkestone’s role as a historic fort and port. However, this is not the only link to the past. The chalk Janus head intentionally, slowly disintegrated over the course of the exhibition, like the coastline cliff themselves, to reveal a smaller Janus head made of precious metals underneath. With its small reveal, it only took a few days before the chalk head was smashed open and its metal core was stolen – feeding into the town’s past reputation as a smuggler’s home. Although it was luckily recovered, this interaction between local residents just added even more layers into the piece through this enacting of modern mythmaking.

Petra examining the ruined remains of Pilar Quinteros’ Janus Fortress: Folkestone.

My personal highlight of the trip was genuinefake’s FORTUNE HERE. Set on Folkestone’s beach, the piece was set as a pop-up tent imitating old school funfairs, with fortune-tellers and rigged arcades. It’s educational message that documented the gentrification issues faced in Folkestone was incredibly informative and interactive. Even the mini-golf landscapes showed the local areas and told of the history of there pushing out of locals.

A volunteer playing mini-golf installation from genuinefake’s FORTUNE HERE (for Urban Room Folkestone)

We rounded off the trip we a beachside walk to On the Circulation of Blood, an audio-sculptural piece by Sam Belinfante in an amphitheatre, before walking up Zig Zag Path – where I’d just previously been trying to put a mini-ball up an impossibly steep mini-goal game!

It was a really wonderful day, and we were blessed with a lovely spot of sun in an otherwise dreary October. Our volunteers also had a few great comments on the trip:

“It was a really enjoyable and stimulating day and all my lovely fellow volunteers made it even more special. I appreciated it all the more for having had a pretty quiet time of it lately.”

“Thank you so much for all the effort you put into making the volunteer day trip to the Folkestone Triennial. Such a great shared experience”

Till then, we’ll be looking forward to our next volunteer trip!


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