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Ambitious UK public art event takes over seaside town of Folkestone

Pablo Bronstein, ‘Beach Hut in the Style of Nicholas Hawksmoor’, at the Folkestone Triennial 2014. — AFP picLONDON, Aug 28 — The Folkestone Triennial opens on September 2, drawing the art world for a contemporary art exhibition that will transform the English Channel port town.

For the Triennial’s fourth edition, called “double edge”, international artists have created 20 new works with specific sites in mind. For example, Studio Ben Allen will create a forest-like interior on the first two floors of the Quarterhouse building in the town’s Creative Quarter, serving as a visitor centre for the Triennial, while Michael Craig-Martin’s “Light Bulb” will “metaphorically light up” one of Folkestone’s most important junctions.

Out on the Half Tide Loading Bay, a cast iron figure by Antony Gormley will be immersed and revealed with the changing tide, while two others will appear on a nearby beach and shore. With the Port of Dover as a backdrop, Alex Hartley’s massive sculpture “Wall” will be constructed from steel fencing and fallen stones.

Folkestone’s sea front will be decorated with Lubaina Himid’s colorful patterned “Jelly Mould Pavilion,” while throughout the town artists will transform building facades into temporary works of art, and Richard Woods has created a five-part installation called “Holiday Home” that will see colourful homes placed in unlikely locations.

A multimedia component is present in many of the featured works; Emily Peasgood’s interactive sound installation “Halfway to Heaven”, for one, will explore a forgotten Baptist burial ground.

In addition to bringing colour and whimsy to Folkestone, the Triennial also bring crowds. For its previous edition, German artist Michael Sailstorfer buried 30 gold bullions on the beach, drawing visitors who came to search for them and keep their found treasure.

Most of the events in the Triennial’s public programme are free, including tours and workshops, although some require advance booking. See the event listing at www.folkestonetriennial.org.uk/events. — AFP-Relaxnews