Urban Room Folkestone, 2017
Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 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 where local people can study or remember the town’s history and debate its future.
Diane Dever’s 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 whether in art-making or in business enables a holistic approach to developments that might be 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, then undergoing restoration. In January 2015 Folkestone Fringe was commissioned (by Creative Folkestone Triennial) to produce an ‘urban analysis’ of Folkestone as a research tool for artists invited to participate in future Triennials, and this became (an evolving) foundation document for Urban Room Folkestone.
Previous projects by Diane Dever 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, Urban Room Folkestone, Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2017. Photo by Thierry Bal
Film by Oliver Parkin. Drone footage by Tom Bishop Photography