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Whitstable Biennale 2014

By KentOnline reporter

Expect mysterious structures on the beach and a buzz about the town as Whitstable Biennale returns.

Bronwen Buckeridge

The two-yearly arts festival, which runs from Saturday, May 31, to Sunday, June 15, is expected to feature about 30 performers and attract around 40,000 visitors.

Artists who have exhibited at Whitstable Biennale often go on to be hugely successful, and showing at the festival is now seen as an international stepping stone. Applications are received not just from Kent-based artists but come in from creatives around the globe, and this year included wannabe participants from Japan and America.

Director Sue Jones says the festival is designed to provide artists with a big break, such as film director Clio Barnard who took part in 2010. Her Plotlands project involved a film of a burning caravan being shown on large screens on the Seasalter marshes as commuter trains passed by.

Clio Barnard

Clio, who lives in Whitstable, was later nominated for an Outstanding British Film BAFTA for her second feature – The Selfish Giant, which was released last October – and has received numerous awards, including at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Sue said: “Clio is a very good example of a Whitstable-based artist who was invited to exhibit with the Biennale and has since forged an important international career.”

Commissions this year include a nighttime choir on the beach around a large bonfire, a multi-media performance in a boat shed in the Harbour, and an audio installation above the library.

See the full listings of events at www.whitstablebiennale.com

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