Sydney Design Festival 2019 – 5 Must-Sees

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Sydney Design Festival 2019 brings inspiring exhibitions, talks and workshops to town. Here are five Fizz faves for getting your design on!

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Sydney Design Festival is back for 2019, unpacking new design, sharing emerging and established talents, and tackling design challenges. This year’s theme is ‘Accessing Design’, making design accessible to fresh audiences, with the action spread beyond the obvious inner-city hot spots. Running from 1 to 10 March – but with many shows lasting longer – the festival also shines a light on local design, including indigenous creativity, hosting events from exhibitions to talks, workshops, open studios, screenings and parties. Here are five of our #SDF19 Fizz faves…

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TOP: Sydney Design Festival keynote speaker Rachel Wingfield of Loop.pH with a range of dynamic past projects. ABOVE: Loop.pH’s ‘Arborescence’ installation for 2014’s Amsterdam Light Festival, proposing a future hybrid of trees and street lighting harnessing the studio’s signature bio-luminescence. Think sustainable ‘living lighting’

FESTIVAL KEYNOTE: RACHEL WINGFIELD OF LOOP.PH
Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo
8 March (6pm-8pm)

London designer Rachel Wingfield, co-founder with Mathias Gmachl of Loop.pH, will give the festival keynote speech at Ultimo’s Powerhouse Museum. Launched in 2003, their spatial laboratory is known for cross-disciplinary designs that combine digital, light, art and craft details, often in public spaces. Exploring design, architecture and science, Loop.pH’s intriguing installations and experiences harness diverse materials from LEDs, electro-luminous fibres and NASA’s reflective silver mylar to carbon, bamboo and algae. Buy tickets to the talk online or check out Wingfield’s collaborative workshop ‘Archilace’ on Sunday 10 March (3pm-5pm).

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ABOVE: Mungo Scott Flour Mill, historic home to authentic Australian design showcase ‘Home.Grown’ in Summer Hill

HOME.GROWN//DISCOVERING AUSTRALIAN DESIGN
Mungo Scott Flour Mill, 2 Smith Street, Summer Hill
8-10 March

A three-day celebration of Australian furniture, lighting and home furnishings, ‘Home.Grown’ is presented by the Authentic Design Alliance and curated by its director Anne-Maree Sargeant. Expect three halls over two levels featuring exhibitions, installations and pop-ups, championing locally designed and made products and homegrown talents. All up you’ll discover around 175 designers and 100 brands. Ground Floor Hall 1 features a combined showcase of designers and smaller independent brands, spanning innovative lighting by Lumil, rugs by Designer Rugs and stylish storage by Sagitine, alongside a pop-up mini mart of Australian homewares available to buy from top3 by design. Installations occupy Ground Floor Hall 2, including ‘Undervalued’ by Nick Rennie, ‘Project Replica’ by Mitch Tobin, ‘Brand a Fake’ by ADA, ‘Used by 3018’ by Will Thompson, a Mercedes-Benz Design Award display and atmospheric photos of the historic venue itself. Upstairs, the First Floor Gallery presents curated zones by 10 established Australian design brands, including Nau, Catapult, Didier, Furnished Forever and Artedomus (‘New Volumes’). Talks, starring talents including Adam Goodrum, Adam Cornish and Christina Bricknell, tackle issues affecting the country’s design scene. The location is a wow too, with the event taking over the 1922 Mungo Scott Flour Mill. A free preview afternoon on Friday 8 March is by RSVP only; for the weekend, buy advance tickets cheaper online or snap them up at the door.

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ABOVE: Trent Jansen’s ‘Tidal Lounger’ chairs and ‘Tidal Coffee Table’, made from premium stainless steel wire for Australian outdoor living brand Tait, feature in ADC’s exhibition ‘Steel’

STEEL: ART DESIGN ARCHITECTURE
Australian Design Centre, 101-115 William Street, Darlinghurst
Until 3 April (closed Sundays and Mondays)

Discover the innovative ways artists, designers and architects are using steel in the 21st century at this major touring exhibition from Adelaide’s JamFactory. Free to visit at Darlinghurst’s Australian Design Centre, it showcases the work of 29 Australian creatives, including Korban/Flaubert’s bold steel sculptures, Trent Jansen’s wave-inspired ‘Tidal’ outdoor furniture collection for Tait, and BVN’s graphic Australian PlantBank research building at Mount Annan in New South Wales. A selection of steely works is also displayed across the road at Stylecraft’s showroom (24/100 William Street). Fancy some craft shopping? ADC hosts a Makers Market on Saturday 9 March (10am-4pm), featuring more than 27 local makers.

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ABOVE: ‘Purple with Black, White and Blue’ photo (detail) by Jon Setter, part of the artist’s exhibition ‘The Urban Text’ at design store Koskela

JON SETTER: THE URBAN TEXT
Koskela, 1/85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery
Until 31 March

This series of 12 minimal photographs explores the unnoticed aspects of urban environments and our everyday streetscapes. Detroit-born, Sydney-based Jon Setter’s free exhibition ‘The Urban Text’ is on show at inspiring design store Koskela in Rosebery, so call in for a culture fix, then stick around to shop for Australian-made furniture, homewares and accessories. The artworks are available to buy as unframed prints in three sizes, and their abstract, graphic, simple, colour-block style will look a treat on your wall. Feeling peckish? Three Blue Ducks cafe shares this atmospheric former factory space.

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ABOVE: Bernabei Freeman’s contemporary ceramic ‘Hybrid Vessel’ (2018), incorporating 3D-printed ABS and handwoven rattan, is part of digital craft show ‘Femufacture’ at The Japan Foundation

FEMUFACTURE: JAPANESE AND AUSTRALIAN DESIGN
The Japan Foundation Gallery, Level 4, Central Park, 28 Broadway, Chippendale
Until 30 March (closed Sundays)

Lovers of craft and design will enjoy cutting-edge exhibition ‘Femufacture’, which explores the interface of craft traditions and digital fabrication technologies. Hosted by The Japan Foundation Gallery, upstairs in Chippendale’s Central Park mall, it features new works by Japanese and Australian women including 3D-printed ceramic and hand-woven rattan vessels by Melbourne’s Bernabei Freeman (Rina Bernabei and Kelly Freeman). Mediums include weaving, wood turning, indigo-dyeing, paper cut, silversmithing and knitting, combined with 3D printing, CNC machining, coding and robotics. The show also includes wearable technology by light artist Erina Kashihara, who joins the gallery’s free panel discussion to mark International Women’s Day (8 March, 6.30pm-8pm).

sydneydesign.com.au/2019

Sydney Design Festival 2019 runs until Sunday 10 March at venues across the city, but many events continue beyond this weekend. For more inspiration check out SDF’s suggested itineraries, from free and family-friendly ideas to sustainable thinking and design after dark.

Vivid Sydney 2018

Vivid Sydney brings light art, music and inspiring ideas to town, including impressive design talents. Strike a light!

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Vivid Sydney returns to illuminate the city for 23 nights, from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June, celebrating its 10th anniversary with a vibrant mix of light, music and ideas. The largest festival of its kind, Sydney's winter-warmer promises eye-catching projections, light art, interactive installations, live bands and cutting-edge talks, with illuminating speakers, exhibitions and workshops.

Running from 6pm to 11pm each night, Vivid is divided into 11 precincts of light sculptures and installations, with new festival zone Luna Park at the iconic harbourside funfair. Favourite zones are back, including Circular QuayCity and Surrounds, Harbour Lights, The Royal Botanic Garden, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Taronga Zoo, Kings Cross and Chatswood. Creativity will be front and centre, spanning digital, product and graphic designs. Here are six Fizz picks...

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Lighting of the Sails: Metamathemagical
This year's Sydney Opera House sails will be illuminated by site-specific kinetic digital artworks by graphic designer Jonathan Zawada. Entitled 'Metamathemagical', the 15-minute, recurring light show envisages Australia as an 'elemental, timeless place that is also completely new and full of energy.' We're big fans of the celebrated Australian artist, and recently explored his work with electronic musician Flume. Byron Bay-based Zawada took inspiration from Australian nature and its unique flora and fauna for the Vivid project. Responding to the 3D form of the Opera House's architecture, rather than treating it as a flat plane, Zawada drew on images of flowers, plants, feathers, rocks and human figures to craft a hyperreal 'saturation of colour, pattern and texture' (for more insights see this video interview). The visuals are teamed with a soundtrack featuring Air Max '97XO and EPROM.

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Virtual Vibration
Always a highlight, the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) will be animated by 'Virtual Vibration', a blend of psychedelic art and more formal modernism. The large-scale projection mapping is a collaboration between Australian artist Jonny Niesche, electronic musician and composer Mark Pritchard and the Spinifex Group. Expect a shifting, sensory light experience playing with transparency, reflection and movement, set to mesmerising sound.

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Jonathan Zawada and Mark Pritchard in Conversation
Sydney Opera House curator Sarah Rees will join 'Jonathan Zawada and Mark Pritchard in Conversation' (5pm-6pm, 27 May), a talk highlighting the frequent collaborators' work and recent 13-minute film project 'The Four Worlds', inspired by Pritchard's haunting, ambient album of the same name. Zawada is responsible for the 'Lighting of the Sails' digital art illuminating Sydney Opera House this year, while electronic producer Pritchard's music is part of the nearby MCA's installation. Zawada has also created artwork for Pritchard's previous albums. Catch free screenings of the otherworldly film at The Samsung Lounge from 25 May to 16 June.

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Skylark
Interactive lighting display Skylark lets visitors put their own colourful mark on the city, lighting up Sydney Harbour Bridge and the surrounding skyscrapers of Circular Quay. Designed by Australian talent Iain Reed of 32 Hundred Lighting, this year's version of the attraction includes a dynamic new feature, Bradfield's Beacon, a custom-built, interactive laser atop the Bridge that's double the strength of any laser seen in the Harbour before. It will wash the Harbour and its headlands in colour, while 40 pillars of light above the Overseas Passenger Terminal adds to the spectacle.

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Dreams (Daniel Johns and Luke Steele)
Vivid packs a musical punch, with an extensive line-up of live bands, DJs, club nights and parties, including major acts Solange and Ice Cube. Our pick is Dreams on 29 and 30 May at Sydney Opera House. Exclusive to Vivid LIVE, it's the Australian premiere of the band, an intriguing collaboration between two of the country's most iconic musical talents: Daniel Johns (former frontman of Silverchair) and Luke Steele (Empire of The Sun, The Sleepy Jackson). If their recent tracks 'No One Defeats Us' and 'Silence' are anything to go by, the duo should deliver darkly charismatic performances and a bold, experimental sound.

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Good Design Festival
The annual Good Design Festival takes over two floors of the Overseas Passenger Terminal in The Rocks from 25 to 27 May (7.30pm-10pm Friday, 4pm-10pm Saturday and Sunday). The established showcase includes a retrospective of the past 60 years of Australia's Good Design Awards, shares 260 award-winning international projects from 2018's awards, and predicts future talents in the NextGen winners category. The free public exhibition gathers diverse designs, from the Sydney Olympic torch to a deep-sea submarine, electronic bike, suspension tent and museum architecture. Book tickets online for the official launch party (5.30pm-7.30pm, 25 May) and for the 'Good Design Exchange' (6pm, 26 May), a talk hosted by Good Design Australia with graphic design whizz Vince Frost, CEO of Frost*collective, and other speakers.

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Vivid Sydney runs from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June 2018; see the website for the app, maps, event guide and transport tips. Share your experiences on #VividSydney, #VividIdeas and #VividMusic

Fenton & Fenton Sydney Pop-up

Melbourne interiors store Fenton & Fenton is popping up in Sydney with a colourful 10-day showcase of furniture and art

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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Melbourne interiors store Fenton & Fenton has garnered a loyal following for its bold, vibrant mix of contemporary furniture, accessories and art, curated with flair. Now the much-loved Prahran trendsetter is coming to Sydney, with 10-day pop-up 'A Home Away From Home' bringing directional design to The Studio in Rosebery from 20 to 29 October. Championing the brand's love of colour, style and travel, the free showroom/gallery event will help you kit out your home, with cutting-edge ideas and inspiration up for grabs.

Eye-catching art will be a major focus, with more than 70 works by 23 established Australian artists on display in a group show, which you can also shop online. Covetable names in the frame include paintings by Michael Bond, Carly WilliamsEmma Gale and Diana Miller, photography by Kara Rosenlund, ceramics by Louise Kyriakou and Jai Vasicek, handblown glass by Amanda Dziedzic, woven wall hangings by Maryanne Moodie, and metal sculptures by Dion Horstmans

Seeking fresh furniture and accessories for summer? The store's new arrivals will be unveiled too, including 'The Riad Collection' of fabulous Moroccan-influenced outdoor chairs, tables, swings and plant pots, which sports graphic patterns in pretty hues. Six room sets, surrounding a pink Moroccan-inspired courtyard, will showcase Fenton & Fenton's chic edit of designs, from living and dining zones to bedrooms, bathrooms and garden spaces. Cushion, throws, rugs, vintage finds and one-off pieces add more pizzazz.

Although the action kicks off on Friday 20 October, the brand is hosting an afternoon House Warming Party on Saturday 21 October (2pm-5.30pm), where you can meet the artists while enjoying aperitivos by Picco and DJ sets by Alice Q. Everyone's welcome, with free entry to both the 10-day event and party – just RSVP first online. Fenton & Fenton's consultants will be on hand to share advice on the collection, colour, styling and trends.

You can also discover Insider Secrets at three ticketed panel talks with creative talents, with themes ranging from sensual homes (6.30pm-8pm, Thursday 26) to entertaining (11am-12.30pm, Friday 27) and displaying art, collections and curios (10am-11.30am, Saturday 28 October). Brand founder Lucy Fenton will take part, alongside stylists, artists, florists, mixologists and chefs, including experts from home sound system Sonos and Australian modern lime paint company Bauwerk, which will launch a bespoke range of six new natural, eco-friendly paint colours at the show. Home sweet home...
www.fentonandfenton.com.au

Fenton & Fenton 'A Home Away From Home – Sydney' is at The Studio, 2/85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery, Sydney from 20 to 29 October 2017, 10am to 5pm daily. RSVP for the free pop-up event or party, or buy limited tickets in advance for the three talks ($35.57 each)

LDF 2017 – 8 FizzPicks for London Design Festival

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8 FizzPicks for making the most of the last weekend of London Design Festival 2017

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

With so many goodies up for grabs, London Design Festival can be bewildering. We've already shared some standout shows – from Camille Walala's rainbow-bright installation Villa Walala to Lee Broom's inky-black showroom, Bethan Gray's monochrome marquetry and designjunction's stylish smorgasbord. Here are 8 more of our top picks to help you navigate the final weekend of the city's biggest design bash, with all the exhibitions, events and experiences listed here wrapping up on Sunday 24 September, unless otherwise stated. Enjoy!

ABOVE: Captivating V&A installations include Flynn Talbot's experiential coloured light 'Reflection Room'; Ross Lovegrove's long folded textile 'Transmission' sculpture; and Petr Stanicky's glass-inspired 'Evocations' art works

Victoria & Albert Museum
Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7
Once more the V&A is a humming hub of design activity, including a cluster of must-see creative commissions. Topping our wow list is London-based Australian lighting designer Flynn Talbot's mesmerising 'Reflection Room' installation, illuminating the arched, 35-metre-long Prince Consort Gallery. Viewers are immersed in shifting waves of Talbot's signature complementary orange and blue light, reflected via large, gloss black Barrisol panels. Welsh designer Ross Lovegrove's undulating, tactile 'Transmission' installation is a 21.3-metre fluid textile-sculpture formed from folds of Alcantara material in the Tapestries room. It looks vaguely monstrous and bodily, but its curious colour tones and textures riff on the heritage hunting tapestries hanging on the surrounding walls (on show until 8 October). Also look out for Czech glassmaker Petr Stanicky's 'Evocations' installation by the Glass & Ceramics Galleries, two sculptural racks holding light-filled vessels backdropped by city skyline views.

ABOVE: Customised chairs by Yinka Ilori created in collaboration with volunteer restorers for the Restoration Station auction; citizenM Shoreditch hotel's vibrant playground installation, inspired by Ilori's childhood memories of playing outdoors at his North London council estate

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Restoration Station, 118 Shoreditch High Street, London E1
citizenM London Shoreditch, 6 Holywell Lane, London EC2

London-born designer Yinka Ilori has two eye-poppingly colourful projects brightening up town for #LDF17, channelling his Nigerian heritage. For Restoration Station x Yinka Ilori, he has collaborated with volunteer restorers at not-for-profit vintage furniture store Restoration Station in Shoreditch to upcycle pre-loved chairs in vibrant hues. Snap up the mood-boosting results at an online auction to support this enterprising addiction recovery charity (deadline midnight Tuesday 26 September, although the exhibition wraps this Sunday). Ilori has also designed public play zone 'Estate Playground' in the entrance of the 2016-launched citizenM London Shoreditch hotel, inspired by the bright patterns of West African textiles and growing up in a council estate as a child. What with Camille Walala's interactive inflatable 'Villa Walala' in Broadgate, we're seeing a trend exploring patterntastic play and creative community spaces for this year's festival.

ABOVE: Faye Toogood's graphic sandcast-aluminium 'Spade' chairs; Surreally beautiful styling at The Tradeshow, her exchange of work with UK designers including furniture, ceramics, art and installations

Faye Toogood
The Trade Show, The Garage, 1 North Terrace, London SW3

Inspiring British designer Faye Toogood is hosting The Trade Show in South Kensington, inviting 50 of the country's leading creatives to join her in a mutually supportive collaboration. Toogood gave each of them one of her signature 'Spade' chairs – created for this project in limited-edition sandcast-aluminium – and in return they traded a representative piece of their own work. On board are architects, artists, photographers and fashion stylists, as well as top-notch furniture designers including Max Lamb, studio Glithero, Michael Sodeau, Peter MarigoldBethan Laura Wood and Tom Dixon. Their interactions with the chairs are captured in the beautifully realised show, alongside a surreal site-specific installation by food designers Arabeschi di Latte, drawing on folk-art superstitions.

ABOVE: Multi-disciplinary designer Bethan Laura Wood; The eccentric British talent's work is showcased by ONEROOM alongside diverse designs from Milan exhibited in a Victorian townhouse

ONEROOM x Bethan Laura Wood
9 French Place, London E1

Split over a four-floor Victorian warehouse in Shoreditch topped by an airy terrace, this atmospheric gallery show combines recent works by quirky British designer Bethan Laura Wood – known for her bold use of colour, pattern and texture across ceramics, lighting, furniture and fabrics – with a selection of design, objects and art from Milan. It's a collaboration between Wood and Shoreditch-based multidisciplinary design office ONEROOM, which delivers interiors, industrial and graphic design.

ABOVE: Design Frontiers' cutting-edge shows include Benjamin Hubert/LAYER's new 'Axyl' chairs and stools for Allermuir; Jaime Hayon and Jasper Morrison's menswear fashion label Jijibaba; and 'Materialise', wearable sports tech presented by Katie Greenyer of Pentland Brands

Design Frontiers
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2

Free group show Design Frontiers at Somerset House gathers more than 30 boundary-pushing international designers, from furniture to fashion and technology to textiles. Brit designer Benjamin Hubert of design agency LAYER is launching his 'Axyl' collection of sustainable chairs for Allermuir, sporting sinuous silhouettes in recycled and stackable aluminium and plastic. Hubert is also unveiling his lifestyle-focussed tech brand nolii, including sleek device chargers, global plugs and cable management. Spanish designer Jaime Hayon and UK star Jasper Morrison have joined forces to create new menswear range Jijibaba, launched here and at Dover Street Market. Featuring workwear jackets, cotton shirts and chinos, the 38-piece collection includes witty T-shirts and cardigans (sporting smiley faces), with the duo curating future contributions by art and design talents. Vitra and Fritz Hansen pieces furnish the apartment-style space. For wearable technology don't miss Materialise: The Big Studio and Pentland Brands, a red-hued installation spotlighting performance-enhancing sports kit and athleisure wear, from trainers to swimsuits and backpacks.

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ABOVE: Miniature pots by Yuta Segawa at group showcase 'Ceramics in the City' at Hoxton's Geffrye Museum

Ceramics in the City
Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, London E2

Lovers of the handmade who are potty about pottery will adore this annual selling show at the Geffrye Museum, with 'Ceramics in the City' showing work by 50 of the UK's leading ceramic artists. Buy direct from the makers, with user-friendly tableware and one-off craft pieces to tempt you. With ceramics embracing oriental influences, organic forms and kooky colour, you're bound to find your favourite; then wander this museum of domestic interiors with room sets displayed in a string of 18th-century almshouses flanked by herb and period gardens.

ABOVE: Posters by German graphic designer Otl Aicher promoting the alpine town of Isny Im Allgäu, part of the largest retrospective of his work ever shown in the UK

Otl Aicher's Isny
3 Tyers Gate, London SE1 (until 29 September)

If graphic design is your bag, knock yourself out at 'Otl Aicher's Isny', a fascinating exhibition hosted by design/brand consultancy dn&co at its Bermondsey gallery Ground Floor Space devoted to the work of the acclaimed German talent. Graphic designer Otl Aicher is best known for branding airline Lufthansa and the 1972 Munich Olympics, as well as founding the influential Ulm School of Design. This show explores the iconic design identity he devised in the 1970s for the small town of Isny Im Allgäu, an alpine tourist destination in southern Germany keen to plug its summer cycling and winter skiing. Aicher distilled the town into 120 pictograms – stark, black-and-white and pared back – expressing German Modernism at its best. We can't wait to order the limited-edition book launched to tie by sister company Place Press. 

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ABOVE: Pattern and colour rule as fashion duo Peter Pilotto bring creative collaborations with design and art world pals to a Victorian townhouse in South Kensington, including Martino Gamper's 'Arnold Circus' stools

Peter Pilotto's Townhouse Takeover
3 Cromwell Place, London SW7 (until 15 October)

Fashion, design and art walk hand in hand at Peter Pilotto's boho takeover of a three-storey Victorian townhouse in South Kensington for Brompton Design District. The East London-based duo behind the arty UK fashion label – Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos – display their wonderful womenswear (including the just-revealed Spring/Summer 18 collection), but have also brought their design scene pals on board. So Bethan Laura Wood provides pastel-hued glass lighting, furniture designer Martino Gamper creates colourful 'Arnold Circus' stools, glassblower Jochen Holz crafts jugs and vases, and artist Francis Upritchard and designer Max Lamb provide art works, including collaborations with the boys. Rugs, antiques, throws and vibrant painted walls hint at the pair's taste, giving an insight into their style and creative processes.

londondesignfestival.com
London Design Festival runs until this Sunday 24 September 2017, although select events may continue longer.

Folkestone Triennial 2017

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The fourth Folkestone Triennial is in full swing with international artists making their mark by the sea. Come on down, the water's lovely...

BY DEE IVA

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When the first Folkestone Triennial debuted in 2008 in the sleepy English seaside town of Folkestone in Kent, it seemed like a big ask. Twenty-nine internationally acclaimed artists including Tracey Emin, Mark Wallinger and Jeremy Deller were commissioned by White Cube curator Andrea Schlieker to contribute brand new artworks to be installed around town, some to remain on a permanent basis. It was a stroke of genius that immediately put Folkestone on the cultural landscape, blowing away all traces of candy floss and 'kiss me quick' hats in one fell swoop.

Nine years later and Folkestone is hosting the fourth Triennial under the guidance of Lewis Biggs, former director of Tate Liverpool. This is the second Triennial curated by Biggs who took over from Schlieker to host the 2014 Triennial (which became notorious for artist Michael Sailstorfer's Folkestone gold rush, when blocks of gold were rumoured to be buried on the beach, sparking a rush on sales of buckets and spades). This year's show has been titled 'Double Edge' by Biggs, who says, 'The exhibition theme refers to the two main axes around which Folkestone's development has taken place: the seashore and the Pent Stream (also the edge between East and West Folkestone). It's also an invitation to consider the ambiguity and complexity, the double entendre, that is intrinsic to art.'

ABOVE: One of Richard Woods' miniature 'Holiday Home' bungalows floats in Folkestone Harbour
ABOVE RIGHT: Detail from Sol Calero's 'Casa Anacaona'
BELOW: A cast-iron figure from Antony Gormley's 2013 series 'Another Time' stares at the sea

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ABOVE: The junction of the Old High Street and Tontine Street displays Michael Craig-Martin's 'Folkestone Lightbulb' and one of Bob and Roberta Smith's 'Folkestone Is An Art School' banners

Once again, for 2017, major artists are showing works in various locations around town, including David Shrigley's quirky 'Lamp Post' on The Leas. Perhaps the best known is sculptor Antony Gormley who has secreted two cast-iron figures from his 2013 ‘Another Time’ series around Folkestone Harbour. Michael Craig-Martin's ‘Folkestone Lightbulb’ adorns the exterior of a building at the junction of Tontine Street and the Old High Street in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter, and within the same building is a ‘come and play’ workshop set up by Bob and Roberta Smith who has declared that ‘Folkestone Is An Art School’. His signature typography can be seen on signs and banners everywhere and accompany 12 short videos and an inclusive teaching facility and programme. Also in the Creative Quarter is a fleet of gilded ships by Jonathan Wright, 3D-printed replicas of fishing vessels based in or operating out of Folkestone Harbour. These glittering boats are located above eye level atop lampposts in Tontine Street. Educational space The Cube, also in Tontine Street, has been in need of a repaint as its original red coat faded over the years. New York-born artist Sinta Tantra has wrapped it in an eye-catching abstract pattern inspired by the designs of French artist Sonia Delaunay.

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ABOVE FROM LEFT: Ship ahoy! Jonathan Wright's 'Fleet On Foot' vessels glide serenely above street level; Another of Richard Woods' 'Holiday Home' bungalows appears washed up on the beach

Six colourful mini bungalows by designer Richard Woods are dotted around Folkestone in unusual places. On the beach, floating in the harbour or secluded on a clifftop, Woods’ ‘Holiday Home’ is a poignant statement on second homes and the current housing crisis in the UK. His collaborations with Brit design brand Established & Sons and Danish studio Hay have made him a longtime Fizz fave.

A house of a different kind can also be found at sea level. Open sided, Sol Calero’s bright ‘Casa Anacaona’ sits on the shingle inviting you to sit and take in the sea air. With drawings and painting from local children and creatives, and vibrant furniture, it’s the most cheerful and humorous exhibit on display. In complete contrast, around the corner in Folkestone's small sandy bay, stark black angular graphics by Gary Woodley snake around under and over the concrete walkway at the rear of the beach.

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ABOVE FROM LEFT: Gary Woodley's 'Impingement No. 66'; The Cube in Tontine Street is given a makeover by Sinta Tantra

Animating Folkestone, the Triennial encourages visitors and residents alike to explore areas beyond the central shopping streets. Equipped with a comprehensive map you can follow a treasure trail from warren to beach, clifftop to harbour, in search of artworks old and new. This can be thirsty work but luckily there are plenty of tempting spots to refuel. The harbour arm itself now has a number of bars and eateries including a champagne bar in the old lighthouse right at the far end. Mark Sargeant’s Rocksalt, the first notable restaurant to open in town, serves up freshly caught seafood and brasserie-style cuisine and has a first-floor terrace where you can perch for cocktails or tasty bar snacks. Sargeant also owns The Smokehouse, just behind Rocksalt, Folkestone’s finest chippy.

Hang out with the hipsters in the Lime Bar Cafe on Tontine Street or head to Steep Street cafe on the Old High Street for coffee and small bites. The Old High Street is also where you’ll find a clutch of stylish independent shops, such as Kitty McCall, Atelier Feralchild and Maison Marine, as well as stalwart vintage accessories store Rennies.

So if you’re looking for an art fix while soaking up some seaside sun, double-edged Folkestone's the place to tick both boxes in style...
folkestonetriennial.org.uk

The Folkestone Triennial is on now until 5 November 2017. Visit the website for the full roster of artists and programme of events
Pictures by Thierry Bal/Dee Iva