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Coronavirus Kent: Folkestone Triennial postponed until 2021 due to Covid-19 outbreak


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The fifth Folkestone Triennial has been postponed until 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The two month-long art festival was due to run from September 5 to November 8 this year, and would have seen work from 20 artists displayed around the town.

Artist Pilar Quinteros had been commissioned for the 2020 Folkestone Triennial
Artist Pilar Quinteros had been commissioned for the 2020 Folkestone Triennial

Creative Folkestone, the organisation behind it, previously revealed what was expected to be unveiled during the triennial, which carries theme The Plot.

This included a cliff-top head-shaped sculpture, brightly painted beach huts and a virtual reality project looking at climate change, migration and mental health.

But all projects will now be held off until next year.

Alastair Upton, chief executive of Creative Folkestone said: It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Creative Folkestone Triennial is to be postponed.

"We are facing colossal challenges across the cultural sector and we must put the needs and safety of our communities and audiences first when making our decisions.

Previous work by Pilar Quinteros, titled Cathedral of Freedom, who is planned to take part in the next triennial
Previous work by Pilar Quinteros, titled Cathedral of Freedom, who is planned to take part in the next triennial

"In adversity, art offers hope and Creative Folkestone will continue to present work in new ways as we prepare for the return of Folkestone Triennial in 2021.

"Next year Folkestone Triennial will happen and it will be a celebration of everything we have overcome and will look ahead to a future of possibilities."

The first triennial was held in 2008 and has been held every three years since.

Artists commissioned in previous years have included Tracey Emin and Yoko Ono.

Curator Lewis Biggs added: "The Triennial is proud to treat the town of Folkestone as the arena in which artworks are presented.

An Antony Gormley statue, which remains at Folkestone's Harbour Arm and featured in the 2017 triennial
An Antony Gormley statue, which remains at Folkestone's Harbour Arm and featured in the 2017 triennial

"Artists who work with outdoor urban space have to contend with the real, material world in all the ways that it is constructed: through infrastructural and financial investment, through social behaviours and the law, through the history and geography of place.

"The current pandemic is one more way through which urban space is constructed, perhaps not even the most challenging.

"We have every confidence that the exhibiting artists will adapt, will continue to project their concerns, and help to intrigue, inspire and bring solace to everyone who visits The Plot in 2021."

Curator Lewis Biggs
Curator Lewis Biggs

Dates for the 2021 triennial will be released soon.

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