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Bob and Roberta Smith

Bob and Roberta Smith

Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2017

Bob and Roberta Smith (AKA Patrick Brill) is a British contemporary artist, activist, art education advocate, writer and musician, and a well known and vocal campaigner on art school education. He is known for his “slogan” art that uses text as an art form, creating colourful slogans on banners and placards. He sees art as an important element in democratic life.  Central to his thinking is the idea that campaigns are extended art works which include a variety of consciousness raising artefacts.

For the 2017 Creative Folkestone Triennial, he was invited to research the provision of art education in Folkestone: there used to be an art school in the town – why is there not one now? After his research, the artist realised that all the skills and knowledge required to run an art school are already there in the town – they just needed to be recognised and appreciated for what they are.

The artwork in 2017 was in four parts: the ‘declaration’ that FOLKESTONE IS AN ART SCHOOL; a series of twelve short pedagogical videos (available on this website); a ‘directory’ of art teaching resources, facilities and talents; and some learning programmes (and exhibitions) delivered by locally based artists and teachers. This artwork is not an art school: it points at the art school.

The artist’s best known works include: ~ Make Art Not War, which belongs to the Tate collection; and Letter to Michael Gove.

Bob and Roberta Smith now lives between Leytonstone in East London and Ramsgate.

Find more of Bob and Roberta Smith's work.

Artist Film

Film by Oliver Parkin. Drone footage by Tom Bishop Photography

Artist Audio Interview


Folkestone Is An Art School commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2017. Photo by Thierry Bal
Film by Oliver Parkin. Drone footage by Tom Bishop Photography. Audio interview by Jean Wainwright.

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