Wednesday, 7 December 2016
Sugarloaf Hill sloe gin
The Grand and the Metropole hotels are lumbering redbrick footprints teetering at the edge of the cliff like non-identical twins. The high-rise offices of the town’s newspaper, the Herald, rise above the empty shops of the town centre. The premises of an insurer that’s long since left town – now a curry house – offer a rare bit of streamlined modernist glamour. A tall Victorian railway viaduct tiptoes across terraced houses, bringing daytrippers in and connecting commuters with better-paid, higher status employment outside. Up high are wartime ditches built to defend the south coast. Below, two Martello towers represent an earlier era of threatened invasion, one pristine, one overgrown. Close up, the town becomes more anonymous, a familiar scene of grey out-of-town retail sheds and the teen haunts of drive-thru fast food joints. Then, the landscape begins to empty out, towards the eerie remoteness of Romney Marsh and Dungeness in the distance.
Folkestone Triennial’s attempts to reinvent and inject some poetry back into the town.