Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021
Tina Gverović works with many different media, often on the theme of space, territory and identity. Her new artwork for The Plot, Surface Flows, is located on what remains of the traffic access ramp for the roll-on roll-off ferry, which for a period of forty years in the last century was the heartbeat of Folkestone, the epicentre of the town’s economy and connectedness to continental Europe.
Incised into the surface of this concrete roadway she has created images of a number of discarded items of clothing – some pairs of jeans, a dress, T-shirt s – all in very slightly varying shades of the same blue (just as the blue of denim jeans may vary subtly however much it clings to the singular concept of blue). The materiality or sensuality of the clothing is signalled by the use of heavy road-marking paint, wholly appropriate to the roadway in which these items lie. The concrete is washed by the tides, and the items of clothing remain, seemingly fragile but unmoved, somehow monumental despite our knowledge that these are the most ephemeral vestiges of the people that once wore them.
The title Surface Flows directs our attention away from the promise of an individual narrative held by the materiality of the work, and towards the most generalised speculation as regards the situation. Are these items of clothing discarded by the fashion industry? Or are they evidence of some fishing or shipping disaster? Or of some tragedy sustained by migrants? Lacking answers, we have to accept that all of these possibilities are with us all the time, as people and goods circulate endlessly across the surface of the globe, sometimes arriving and sometimes failing to arrive at their destinations.
Tina Gverović works with installation, drawing, painting, sound, text and video. Her work is often in the form of immersive, disorientating installations that explore the economy and history of materials. One of the key questions in her work is: ‘where lies the potential of the political vision, and its re-invention?’
Tina Gverovic, Surface Flows, Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021. Photo by Thierry Bal
Film by Oliver Parkin. Drone footage by Tom Bishop Photography