Thursday, August 23, 2007

3.8.07: Friday in Folkestone

A former theatrical landlady in Canterbury, Gillian's artwork has the feel of a stage set and props: in Canterbury her house was her canvass. Having only recently moved to Folkestone, this house is still a blank screen.

Gillian recycles her life: this teacup is made from her grandmother's lace tableclothes and embodies memories of tea-time with her great aunt.

Sean from the Eastern and Coastal NHS respiratory team calls in to monitor my lung function. Bizarrely, my lungs appear to taken a dive and seem to be functioning at 33% of what they should be, rather than their usual 40%

2.10 pm:
Gillian takes me out to meet Folkestone artists. We meet sculptor Mark Sunderland whose exhibition "Linked+" has just opened at the new Whole World Cafe. Mark's work plays with boundaries between technology and the body. He has incorporated prostheses and bodily functions within his sculptures and there is one which has a silver 'lung' inflating and deflating wheezily, alarmingly like one of mine.

Mark also has a folding bike with its own sculptural presense and in the context of his work I am again aware of the prosthetic quality of my bike.

3.30 pm:
We visit Ruth Parkinson in her studio. Ruth has ME, and in her teens TB and multiple attacks of pneumonia and pleurisy.

Ruth makes site specific work about memory and history and is planning a residency working with local people about their memories of the Royal Pavilion Hotel, part of which remains joined to the back of the newer iconic ship-shaped Burstin Hotel.

Ruth shows me round Folkestone Harbour, the Burstin Hotel, and the disused Folkestone Harbour rail station .....

..... and then Gillian takes me back to her house via heavily scaffolded buildings damaged in the recent earthquake.