Folkestone Artworks, the UK’s largest urban outdoor contemporary art exhibition, announces 15 further public installations, including a new sculpture by Bill Woodrow RA The Ledge

Bill Woodrow, The Ledge, 2018, part of Folkestone Artworks, commissioned by Creative Folkestone. Photo by Manuel Vason.

In Spring 2019 Folkestone Artworks, the UK’s largest urban outdoor contemporary art exhibition, expands with 15 further public installations. The latest additions – originally commissioned for Folkestone Triennial 2017 – build upon the ambitious scale and breadth of Folkestone Artworks, which is free and permanently accessible across the entire town and harbour. Artworks are located in both prominent and unexpected spaces, some of which have been repurposed from disused and neglected sites, inviting communities to reflect upon the future shape of the town, and more widely, the changing international landscape. Now comprising 45 artworks, some in multiple locations, by 45 internationally renowned artists, the newest offering to the exhibition is The Ledge by established British artist and Royal Academician Bill Woodrow.

Other artworks selected from Folkestone Triennial 2017 include those by Amalia Pica, Antony Gormley, Bob and Roberta Smith, David Shrigley, Gary Woodley, Jonathan Wright, Lubaina Himid, Marc Schmitz and Dolgor Ser-Od, Michael Craig-Martin, Richard Woods, Rigo 23, Sina Tantra, Sol Calero and Studio Ben Allen. In addition, Tim Etchell’s neon work Is Why the Place, commissioned for Folkestone Triennial 2014, has been re-made and re-installed at the now refurbished former Folkestone Harbour Railway Station.

Bill Woodrow’s sculpture The Ledge brings to the fore the artist’s ongoing preoccupation with climate change and its global impact. Installed on Folkestone’s Lower Leas Coastal Promenade, the pure white steel sculpture depicts an Inuit figure and its ecological counterpart, the seal, standing on a thin layer of ice. Gesturing towards the impending threats facing indigenous Arctic communities, their livelihoods and hunting cultures, the sculpture sits on a black, pool-like platform that directly references oil spillages. Mirroring the white cliffs which border Folkestone, The Ledge displays a crystalline modernist architectural composition.

Bob and Roberta Smith, FOLKESTONE IS AN ART SCHOOL, 2017, part of Folkestone Artworks, commissioned by Creative Folkestone. Image by Thierry Bal.

Commenting on the work, Alastair Upton, Chief Executive of Creative Folkestone, says, “Bill’s piece reflects many of the local current concerns such as climate change and erosion. We are very happy that it has finally come to Folkestone as a permanent addition to the town’s landscape.”

One of the most ambitious exhibitions of contemporary art outside the gallery context in the UK, Folkestone Artworks creates a lasting legacy from previous Triennials. Installations including Cornelia Parker’s The Folkestone Mermaid and Patrick Tuttofuoco’s Folkestone sign have become iconic images of the area, acting as a focal point and catalyst for the creative scene of Folkestone, as well as a valued learning resource for schools and universities. The continuously developing outdoor exhibition presents a diverse array of artists, cementing the town’s reputation as a place for the presentation of international contemporary art.

During Spring and Summer 2019, a full programme of talks, tours and workshops will be provided, along with new artworks’ signage, a map and brochure including recommended walks, and a Folkestone Artworks Visitor Centre at The Clearing. In line with these changes, the independent arts charity ‘Creative Foundation’ is relaunched as ‘Creative Folkestone’, promoting a strengthened and unified vision across all its activities.

Antony Gormley, Another Time XVIII 2013 (Loading Bay), part of Folkestone Artworks, commissioned by Creative Folkestone. Image by Thierry Bal.