An unexpected Sunday in Canterbury!

All along the coastline of East Kent, towns are alive with artists and new creative enterprises popping up – new things being tried, original thought and quite frankly life! From Whitstable, along the North Kent coast, around the headland of Thanet, with Margate harbouring the Turner Contemporary, and back along The Channel, to Folkestone, this is the story. But strangely Canterbury, in the centre of East Kent, seems largely devoid of this energy, yet today on a grey Sunday afternoon, without planning it, I managed, unprompted, to happen upon three creative, original goings-on! .. And yes, this feels so heartening and a sign of cultural green-shoots that I decided to document it with this blog post.

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Reading Notes: “Art & Instinct: Selected Writings of Roy Oxlade”

Roy Oxlade (1929-2014), was a British artist and writer, who studied under David Bomberg and alongside contemporaries such as Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff. He was married to artist Rose Wylie with whom he lived for much of the later years of his life in Kent.

His views on drawing and what it means to make art, or to try do so are forthright and refreshing. As ever my Reading Notes are the snippets of text I heavily underlined while reading, occasionally with my own reaction included to. Enjoy, particularly as I think this book is now out of print and hard to find! Added emphasis my own.

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Delayed Art Commentary: Lizzy Rose – Things I have learned the hard way.

Back in April of 2023 I visited a heart-wrenching show ‘Things I have learned the hard way‘ celebrating the work and life of artist Lizzy Rose (1988-2022). In the spirit of all my ‘Delayed Art Commentary’, this is a show that lodged somewhere deep within me, that I’ve carried around & digested slowly over the last few months. Here is a delayed and meandering recollection of a beautiful and important show, scattered across 4 locations in Margate, Kent.

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Triennial tripping

Folkestone Triennial is the largest open-air display of public art in the UK. Every three years it brings together a diverse mix of international and local artists to make new site specific works. This year I went on a walking tour guided by Naomi Eaton-Baudains a producer working behind the scenes at the Triennial and also an artist in her own right.

Her tour was fascinating giving an insight into how Lewis Biggs, the curator works with the artists to develop pieces that respond to each location, considers the broader dialogue between pieces dotted throughout the town.

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We Will Walk – at Turner Contemporary

In 2020 the Turner Contemporary in Margate, Kent hosted a show called ‘We Will Walk – Art and Resistance from the American South’, celebrating and documenting the art of black communities in the 20th century. It was an exhilarating and moving show, with such a rush of humanity and bathed in an art spirit of the highest order. I wrote a little delayed art commentary afterwards but the show felt so profound, in many dimensions, that I struggled to do a full write-up. Here at least are some of my reflections gathered together with some photographs, to document this show.

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