Seaside town to be turned into art school for Folkestone Triennial

Bob and Roberta Smith is offering the residents of Folkestone, a UK seaside town on the Kent coast, an art school education as part of the next Folkestone Triennial, which opens this autumn (2 September – 5 November). The fourth edition will include site-specific, public art commissions by 20 international artists including Lubaina Himid, Michael Craig-Martin, Amalia Pica, David Shrigley and Antony Gormley.

Lewis Biggs, the curator of the Folkestone Triennial, has called the exhibition Double Edge, referring to the two geographical axes of the town: the seashore and the Pent Stream, an ancient watercourse flowing from the Northern Downs into the sea.

The title also reflects current economic and political concerns. “It is about anxiety, the edge of the world, the edge of the future and the unknown,” he says. “Folkestone voted by a large majority to leave the European Union [in last June’s referendum]. Coming to terms with the double-edged nature of that vote is interesting.”




A bipartisan group of 24 US senators, led by New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, have written a letter to President Trump in support of the National Endowment of the Arts and Humanities (NEA and NEH), which are among nine agencies reportedly targeted by the administration for elimination as part of an effort to curb government spending.

“These federal agencies provide vital support and resources to endeavours in the arts and humanities across the country that serve as drivers of innovation and economic prosperity,” the letter reads, before outlining the important scholarly, historical and cultural work the organisations have fostered over their 50 year history.

Read the whole letter HERE or on The Art Newspaper HERE.

With so many tangible threats to culture over in the States, things can start to look a bit gloomy. But these are indeed the times to strive when challenged, and the times when it is useful to review what is working, what should be upheld and bolstered, and what could be done better.

Here in the UK, with some major director-level shifts and changes, questions are being asked, particularly regarding the incoming directors of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and the Tate, who may on the surface appear to be joining institutions in good shape…but they still face significant challenges. Tristram Hunt, who assumed his role at the V&A this week, is a social historian and, until last month, a Labour Member of Parliament. He has never worked in a museum—let alone run one. Maria Balshaw, who takes over the Tate in June, has much more institutional experience, as the director of Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery for just over a decade, and before that an academic and an Arts Council administrator. The pair will bring fresh ideas, but will need to rely on specialist advice and much support from the institutions’ leading curators. Hunt will have to battle with a new field, competing interests, an East London expansion, problems of storage and an increasing desire for the institution to play a global role. Maria Balshaw has a tough act to follow in Nicholas Serota, the flagging attendance of Tate Britain, necessary fundraising for Tate Modern’s expansion and the urges for reassessment of the Turner Prize to consider…not to mention the fact that Tate is now comprised of four museums in the UK.

Watch, wait, and – hopefully – learn…

The V&A’s new courtyard and underground exhibition galleries are due to open in July
(Image: © Allies & Morrison)


Journey into the unconscious mind as Interactive Theatre and Virtual Reality combine

AΦE announces the world premiere of its newest dance and Virtual Reality production, ‘WHIST’, which will take place at the Colyer-Fergusson Hall at The Gulbenkian, Canterbury, 12 – 13 April 2017. Inspired by Sigmund Freud’s dream theory, WHIST invites audiences on a journey into the unconscious mind, where instincts will be the guide through a narrative of surreal dreams and fears.
Combining Physical Theatre and Mixed Reality Technology, the production bring the magic of theatre together with the type of special effects only possible in the world of film. WHIST incorporates 360˚ interactive film, soundscapes and an architectural art installation to create an environment that blurs all boundaries – between consciousness and unconsciousness, reality and fiction, the physical and the virtual.
Immersed in a world of unfolding dreams, the viewer chooses his or her own path, creating a truly unique narrative dependent on choice – their personal decisions made through the course of the mesmerising hour-long experience.


TBurnsArts Weekly | BACK TO (a better) BLACK with Stuart Semple


Stuart Semple releases ‘a better BLACK’ and declares a colour amnesty with Anish Kapoor

BLACK v1.0 (beta) is the flattest, mattest, blackest art material on the planet – and it is available worldwide for £16.99 exclusively from

Today British artist Stuart Semple announced his latest creation in the ongoing colour war with Anish Kapoor, releasing a beta-version of his ‘better’ BLACK – which as a coating creates a phenomenal ‘black hole’ effect, with results almost precisely those of the ‘world’s blackest black’ – VantaBlack.


TBurnsArts Weekly | March On, Strong Women


A week on from Trump’s inauguration and the global triumph of The Women’s March – which saw as many as 4,600,000 take to the streets worldwide – discussions continue to spark.

In the art world, can we hope for some positive shifts? With Maria Balshaw taking the helm of the Tate in June, making her the first female director of arguably the most heavyweight art institution in the country, can we see this as the start of things to come?


TBurnsArts Weekly | More is More


Above: Paintings by Andrew Hancock in situ, alongside sculpture by Antoine Farrugia at Marie Gallery 5, Malta.


New Year’s resolutions…it’s all too easy to give in to that piece of chocolate / glass of wine / wheel of brie. So when a friend recently shifted the perspective we were delighted – and excited – at the prospect of a fuller, more rewarding 2017.

“Don’t try to give something up, or even do something less. Resolve to do something more.”

Read more, cook more, see more films, visit exhibitions more often, travel to new places, learn new skills…whatever it is, make it your personal development and be enriched.



News in full HERE.

All that glitters is not gold…but we’re feeling a gold rush coming on with the latest announcement from the Stuart Semple camp: the British artist yesterday released “The World’s Most Glittery Glitter”, DIAMOND DUST, available for £7.99 exclusively from – just in time for Christmas to all but Anish Kapoor.
…Time to sparkle!
Read the news in full HERE.


Martyrs & Matryoshkas went with a bang! Karina Akopyan’s first solo exhibition in London – on show until 18th December at The Truman Brewery – had onlookers in awe through the (increasingly steamed-up) glass frontage. Featuring painting, photography, sculpture, installations and a selection of costume pieces, the series is a bold questioning of tradition, religion, ritual, iconography, sexuality and fetishism – in all their jarring coexistence yet inevitable convergence.
“Fetish Art and Russian Culture Collide.”
VICE Creators Project – read the full article HERE
For more information, images or sales please get in touch:
And now, on to the Russia’s national pastime: CHESS (not so much ‘fetish’, but definitely a bit sexy…these sets will get you excited). Our friends at Purling London have just unveiled three unique, hand-painted Art Chess sets by Sophie Matisse, available exclusively through


News in full RIGHT HERE.

Fellow Travellers


Image: Fellow Travellers (c) Liane Lang

Mounted by naked vandals and reduced to disembodied moustaches: artist Liane Lang explores how history reshapes the monuments of once-powerful leaders…..[READ FULL ARTICLE HERE]

Written for Libertine Magazine by Tani Burns, April 2015

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