Arts and culture play a key role in helping make communities more successful and more enjoyable places to live in. RDHCT Trustees have supported many initiatives to develop the arts in east Kent, making contributions to Turner Contemporary at Margate and the New Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury.
Perhaps most notably the Trust has provided £1.5 million as core funding for each of the first three exhibitions of the Folkestone Triennial, which first took place in summer 2008, then again in 2011 and 2014. Folkestone Triennial is as an innovative art exhibition curated and managed by the Creative Foundation, an independent arts and regeneration charity that is spearheading the development of Folkestone’s Creative Quarter. This process has been enabled largely by the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust which has provided significant funds to acquire and refurbish formerly dilapidated buildings in the old town area.
The Folkestone Triennial invites selected artists to develop works for Folkestone’s streets, squares, beaches and historic buildings, creating a cutting-edge contemporary art exhibition in spaces that are open and accessible to the public. Each exhibition includes both temporary works, which remain for the duration of the show, and a number of permanent pieces, so that over a period of time Folkestone acquires a collection of high calibre contemporary art.
The first two exhibitions were curated by Andrea Schlieker, and included works by David Batchelor, Tracey Emin, Hugh Locke, Jeremy Deller, Martin Creed and Richard Wilson. Some of the permanent pieces, most notably Mark Wallinger’s Folk Stones, near The Leas Bandstand, and Cornelia Parker’s Folkestone Mermaid, on the edge of Sunny Sand Beach, have become part of the popular fabric of Folkestone. The third exhibition, entitled “Lookout”, was curated by Lewis Biggs, with contributions from Yoko Ono, Andy Goldsworthy and Gabriel Lester, and took place from 30 August till 2 November 2014. Michal Sailstorfer’s installation featured 30 pieces of 24-carat gold buried in the beach, attracting large numbers of prospectors and generating worldwide media coverage.
The Folkestone Triennial is managed by the independent arts charity The Creative Foundation, and is an integral part of the steps that are being taken to establish Folkestone as a major creative centre. Many of the commissions for each Triennial exhibition are retained in the town as part of a permanent collection of contemporary art in public places, also managed by the Creative Foundation, under the banner “Folkestone Artworks”.
For more information please visit the Triennial official website www.folkestonetriennial.org.uk or the Folkestone Artworks website www,folkestoneartworks.co.uk.