also worth seeing
Folkestone Triennial Until November 5 ★★★★★
‘Take a left into Sandgate Road and you’ll see a giant seagull,’ the ticket collector at Folkestone station tells me. ‘Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite.’
The seagull in question is actually an information centre (taking the form of a huge bird), there to offer general direction about the art jamboree taking over the Kent town this autumn.
I say ‘taking over’, but the 50-odd pieces by the 20 contributing artists are actually scattered about Folkestone rather subtly. So subtly that you would be forgiven for not even noticing there’s a triennial on.
Amelia Pica is showing small, seashell sculptures in pub and restaurant windows; Gary Woodley has painted black and white polyhedra on a beachside tunnel under Coronation Parade; and David Shrigley has created a new lamppost in the style of a Victorian one for the Leas promenade.
Unfortunately they’re just too small for the purposes of the triennial. Like a number of other works, they get lost in an exhibition space that is, in effect, the whole of Folkestone.
This is a well-intentioned enterprise but the quality of experience is rather summed up by the efforts of the biggestname artist involved, Antony Gormley. He has installed on the shore two of his trademark cast-iron sculptures of the human body, which are submerged daily at high tide. From his 100-work series, Another Time, they have already been seen the world over.
The standout contribution is Holiday Home by Richard Woods, a set of six brightly coloured replica houses. Empty inside and found at surprising spots around town – such as floating in the harbour water – they serve as a comment on the culture of outsiders voraciously buying up local property as second homes.
One of Antony Gormley’s cast-iron sculptures from Another Time