Folkestone Artworks is the name for the collection of works originally commissioned by the Creative Foundation for the Folkestone Triennial that are now on permanent display in public spaces around the town. The collection after the three Triennials now boasts 27 high calibre artworks by an impressive array of young, emerging talent as well as more established artists.
It is envisaged that Folkestone Artworks will continue to grow after each new Triennial, helping to further develop Folkestone’s reputation as a unique destination in the UK for those who enjoy contemporary art. Experiencing art outside the confines of a gallery or institutional setting encourages different ways of seeing, learning and thinking about contemporary art.
The aim remains that when people think about Folkestone they think about the collection. The size of the collection now warrants a trip to Folkestone by itself and we would like the people of the town to be aware of it, proud of it and to talk about it.
Folkestone Artworks includes work by celebrated artists such as Turner Prize nominee Tracey Emin, whose seven-part sculpture Baby Things is a tender, subtle yet poignant response to her perception of the prevalence of teenage pregnancies in the town. 2007 Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger’s ‘Folk Stones’ has a profound underpinning, 19,240 numbered stones, the exact number of soldiers killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and can be found close to the Leas Cliff Hall. It even includes a dog’s play park, Pae White’s Barking Rocks, situated just off The Leas in Pleydell Gardens. Internationally acclaimed Kent-based artist Hamish Fulton has created a metal sign in the Harbour area, mapping the 31 water-related walks he has made from coast to coast, river to river, coast to river, across the British Isles and Western Europe over his 40-year career.
Preface by Alastair Upton, Chief Executive of the Creative Foundation
Every day from my office I see 15, 16, 17 year-old kids gathered around some steps below me. They are joshing each other, laughing, dancing, mock fighting, singing and showing off; just living their life. Under their feet is one of the Folkestone Artworks, a Tracy Emin sculpture. The work is a small baby’s sock that looks like it has been dropped by a mother on the move and makes a forlorn warning or perhaps a glimpse of the future for those above it.
The twenty-seven Folkestone Artworks are dotted around the town, some like Paloma Vargas Weisz’s ‘Rug People’ is enchantingly hidden but breath-taking when discovered, while others, such as A K Dolven’s ‘Out of Tune’, shape the landscape and Mark Wallinger’s ‘Folk Stones’ brings you up short as you consider the history of the town. These artworks, all brought initially to Folkestone by the Triennial, now help define it, giving it character and importance. Nowhere else in Britain can an art collection of this calibre be found on the streets of a town.
Folkestone has long been a place artists have lived and visited, enjoying the setting and the scene and leaving behind a rich artistic legacy of paintings and prints. Folkestone Artworks add to these collections but differs from them too. Folkestone Artworks are the result of an inspired vision to bring artists of the very highest international standing to the town and have them create art that is open to all to see, all day and every day.
Our collection now makes art part of everyday life while providing a resource and inspiration for school children and students.
Folkestone has long welcomed visitors to this little gem of a town by the sea. It can now invite people to come again to see this new attraction. Folkestone Artworks are all of the very highest calibre, available for visitors to see free whenever they like. We hope that people will be enchanted, amazed, amused, confounded at times but always enriched. So please come and enjoy them, make them part of your life too.
Folkestone Artworks have been supported by