This week, a well-known artwork will return to the streets of Folkestone. A painting by street artist Banksy will be re-installed in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter. To celebrate the return of the artwork, we are delighted to announce a new art project that celebrates creativity.
Art Buff, the artwork by Banksy, was originally installed in Folkestone in 2014 with Banksy stating the work as "part of the Folkestone triennial. Kind of". Art Buff was on display for barely a month before being removed from the wall and shipped for sale in the United States. Following a legal campaign by Creative Folkestone the artwork was reclaimed and has now returned to the town. The artwork, which shows a woman gazing at an empty plinth, inspired us to create The Plinth.
From Friday 18 September to Sunday 8 November, 10 vacant plinths will be placed in beautiful and unique, outdoor locations around Folkestone. We are inviting everyone to find a plinth and to use them to display your lockdown creations, artistic talents and special objects in celebration of Folkestone, community and creativity.
Earlier this year, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we were forced to change the way we work to protect the local community and reduce the spread of Covid-19/Coronavirus. We responded by closed the doors of Quarterhouse, and postponed Creative Folkestone Triennial. Since then, we have adapted our approach to continue delivering a creative programme that supports and inspires the people of Folkestone and surrounding areas. The Plinth offers a unique opportunity providing a space to showcase artistic talent, display meaningful objects and share ideas.
Alastair Upton, Chief Executive, Creative Folkestone said: Folkestone is creative. The people of this town never cease to inspire me and the work that we do here at Creative Folkestone. By returning the Banksy to the Creative Quarter and presenting The Plinth we hope that we can inspire others to get creative this autumn. After everything that has happened this year we are proud to be offering space for people to get creative once again. Folkestone loved the Banksy, with the woman pondering the empty plinth. I can’t wait to see what people place there for her and everyone else to see.
Everyone is invited to find a plinth in Folkestone, display your work, take a picture and share it on social media to become part of a big online exhibition.
Alongside the empty plinths, there are also three specially commissioned plinths with works by local artists Malcolm Allen, Maureen Jordan and Tomas Poblete. In addition, there will be a performance plinth painted on the floor of Payers Park by street artist Toze One. The performance plinth will host a curated programme of music, dance, spoken word and more.
Despite the barriers presented by Covid-19, Creative Folkestone are continuing to find ways to put creativity at the heart of daily life both online and in person. We have been busy working with schools and community partners across the town to ensure that as many people as possible can take part. This includes 16 schools that will each receive a plinth for a week during the project to use as an educational and creative tool. Plus, Young Carers, Age UK, Mind, Homestart and The Shed youth centre will also receive art packs and resources as a starting point for making. Online resources will also be available to get creative at home.
Find a plinth, celebrate your creativity and become part of an online exhibition.