'Green / Light (For M R)' (2014) Jyll Bradley.

'Green / Light (For M R)' (2014) Jyll Bradley.

New Expressions takes part in joint Folkestone Triennial visit

By Claire Gulliver, New Expressions

14 October 2014

Over 30 curators, artists and museum professionals from across England converged on the Folkestone Triennial earlier this month as part of a special field visit.

The two-day event was organised by New Expressions, the Contemporary Art Society and Trust New Art (the National Trust’s contemporary art programme). It was supported by Triennial organisers, the Creative Foundation.

Delegates explored the Triennial artworks in the company of Assistant Curator, Jo Cowdrey and artists, Diane Dever and Jonathan Wright. Dever and Wright’s work Pent Houses is part of this year’s event. Dever also leads the Folkestone Fringe.

Alistair Upton, Chief Executive of the Creative Foundation also spoke to the group. He outlined the thinking behind the Triennial, which is now in its third iteration and is one of the UK’s most ambitious public art projects:

‘It’s not just about tourism; it’s about place-making and destination-making. It’s about encouraging people’s pride in Folkestone and making it a better place to live, study and visit. But we aren’t about instrumentalising art and what artists do – it’s the other way round. Place-making is vital to the practice of the artists we work with.

‘We do have Key Performance Indicators, but we don’t manage by them. The Triennial is one of five key projects that we are responsible for. Our ultimate aim is to aid the regeneration of Folkestone through creative activity.’

In-depth conversations about the production of this year’s artworks – including pieces by Yoko Ono, Alex Hartley, Jyll Bradley and Andy Goldsworthy – enabled those on the field visit to understand the curatorial and project management processes behind the 2014 Triennial.

The theme for this year is ‘Lookout’, which plays on Folkestone’s history as a port and embarkation point for soldiers fighting in WWI, as well as inviting different interpretations and perspectives on the future.

New Expressions Programme Manager, Judith Robinson said: “New Expressions shares the thirst for creative adventure that is so well embodied by Folkestone Triennial. This field visit has been a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved; not just to network and touch base with other NE3 colleagues, but to also learn from the Creative Foundation’s experience in delivering ambitious participatory projects and artist commissions that are very much about the spirit of a place”.