Folkestone’s economic identity has at various times come from fishing, smuggling, military barracks, passenger transport and ‘health and leisure’, and having moved on from all of those is now in transition once again from ‘seasonal visitors’ to ‘creative industries’. Shrigley’s witty sculpture comments on this transition by taking a piece of ‘heritage’ and re-presenting it as ‘creativity’.
He invited Camille Biddell, an artist friend from Edinburgh, to visit and memorise (in just 40 seconds) the decorative lamp-posts along The Leas. The replica she created from memory now stands in line with the others, playing on a number of clichés: the ‘draw’ of heritage sites; the images we make as tourists (and ‘photo sites’); the ways in which memory always diverges from reality; the value of ‘originality’, ‘authenticity’ and ‘heritage’; and how all these can be subverted or revived by a contemporary creative twist.
David Shrigley is widely known for his weekly cartoons for the Guardian newspaper (since 2005), his distinctive drawing style, and the satirical, deadpan humour that pervades his work. He is not constrained by ideas about ‘art’ and fearlessly engages with culture more broadly. While drawing is his core activity, he works across an extensive range of media.