Urban Room Folkestone, 2017
Urban Room Folkestone (URF) was commissioned from Diane Dever and The Decorators for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2017, when it was located in the historic Customs House on the Harbour Arm. URF had to vacate the Customs House in 2018, but the spirit and operation (as well as the furniture designed by The Decorators) that were initiated then now find a home in a pavillion in the Tram Road Car Park that once housed the town’s Visitor Centre. In common with other Urban Rooms around the country, URF is an ‘open’ place to study or remember the town’s history and debate its future. The collective behaviour of our community can shape the physical environment in which we all live, for better or worse, just as the condition of, and developments in, the built environment can affect the way people behave.
Diane Dever is an inter-disciplinary artist/curator/producer who works collaboratively to explore the intersections of public, private and liminal space. Her work seeks to provoke insight into how urban space is experienced, quantified, produced and understood. She does this by making interventions in public space and by curating festivals, projects and events. She is interested in the notions of ‘the Civic’ and ‘Public’ and how the creation of opportunities in art-making or business enables a holistic approach to development of universal benefit.
Since 2008 she has led Folkestone Fringe and in 2015 she was given responsibility for the curation – as a social space - of Folkestone’s Harbour Arm, a one kilometer long ferry and railway terminal undergoing extensive restoration. Folkestone Fringe was commissioned early 2015 to produce an Urban Analysis of Folkestone as a research tool for Folkestone Triennial artists and (an evolving) foundation document for Urban Room Folkestone.
Previous projects include Radio Civic Space (2012) for Lisbon Architecture Triennale; Six Lines Some of Which Are Broken (2012), New York, (Radio for Transmission Arts and John Cage Trust); Boat Radio (2012) (pop up digital arts transmission radio station); International Lighthouse Relay (2011). With Jonathan Wright she contributed Pent Houses (2014) to Folkestone Triennial that year.
Diane Dever and The Decorators, Customs House: Urban Room Folkestone, commissioned by the Creative Foundation for Folkestone Triennial 2017. Image by Thierry Bal.