Folkestone Triennial 2014

A palatial beach hut, a colourful maze and hidden gold are all part of the third Folkestone Triennial, the interactive art festival which turns this little seaside town into a living gallery


You might need more than a bucket and spade if you're going to the beach in Folkestone this autumn. Shovels and metal detectors are de rigueur now that German artist Michael Sailstorfer has buried 30 bars of gold in the sand for this year's Folkestone Triennial. Already the most talked about work at the festival, it has attracted hordes of hopefuls to the small sandy beach in the harbour, all intent on finding buried treasure.

Every three years Folkestone becomes a living breathing artwork itself as thought- provoking installations pop up all over town. Its inaugural show in 2008 saw work from international artists including Tracey Emin and Mark Wallinger on display. These pieces and many others are now permanent installations and add to Folkestone's growing reputation as a hub for creative energy.

ABOVE: 'Beach Hut In The Style Of Nicholas Hawksmoor', Pablo Bronstein
ABOVE RIGHT: Gold diggers on the beach
BELOW RIGHT: A forgotten baby mitt from Tracey Emin's 'Baby Things', 2008
BELOW: 'Dwelling (For Margate, For Folkestone)', Krijn de Koning  

This year sees Yoko Ono (left) hoist a flag for Earth Peace and emit morse code messages from above the Grand Hotel. Pablo Bronstein's beach hut on the seafront is unlike any you've ever seen before, a colourful maze by Krijn de Koning has been embedded into the cliff face and Tim Etchells' neon signage in the defunct Folkstone Harbour railway station is a poignant reminder of the journeys that started and finished there many years ago. 

In the heart of the Creative Quarter, Andy Goldsworthy has formed an eerie black hole by obliterating an unused shop window with clay, and sculptural mini water towers by Diane Dever and Jonathan Wright follow the course of the underground Pent river. Another site-specific work is Jyll Bradley's field of futuristic Perspex and aluminium posts set on the site of an old gasworks where electricity was first generated for the town.

So if you'd like to be beside the seaside and could do with an art fix, a day trip to the Triennial should be at the top of your list. Just remember to pack that metal detector...  

ABOVE: 'Is Why The Place', Tim Etchells
BELOW FROM LEFT: The interior of 'Pent House 4', one of a series of water tower sculptures by Diane Dever and Jonathan Wright; a detail from Andy Goldsworthy's 'Clay Window', 'Green/Light (for M.R)', Jyll Bradley

The Folkestone Triennial is on now until 2 November 2014
Tracey Emin 'Baby Things' picture by Cavan Pawson