Spring Newletter 2018

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We continue to make things happen through Art.

The meaning, history and geology of the English Channel and its chalk cliffs are fundamental to Dover, CHALKUP21 and our Pebbles project.

The richness in scope of the Pebbles project, a Dover Town Council commission to deepen the public’s understanding and appreciation of chalk and pebbles, came to the fore in our screening event at the Dover Silver Screen cinema, which started with a wonderful talk by the inspiring Geologist Mel WrigleyThe Geology of the White Cliffs and the formation of the Channel.

In January the CHALKUP 21 website, CHALKUP21.com, was launched and the new trail plaques, designed by Architect Charles Holland, were presented at an event at the Pines Calyx co-hosted with the Bay Trust, a CHALKUP21 partner.

The event began with introductions by all the partners attending, during which they shared something that they liked about one of the nine CHALKUP21 structures. This co-creative action brought to life all the nine structures that make up the CHALKUP21 trail for all who were  present ; The Chairman of Dover District Council, Cllr.  Susan Chandler, and representatives from National Trails, Dover Town Council, Kent County Council, Eurotunnel, The National Trust, The Dover Society, Destination Dover, The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, Up on the Downs Landscape Partnership, White Cliffs Countryside Tourism Alliance, White Cliffs Countryside Partnership and Walkers are Welcome.

Before the partners were photographed with their plaques, Charles Holland, shared some insights into the process of developing the trail plaques and the concept behind his design. He said:

The trail includes nine plaques which add another layer of experience and interpretation to the walk; a series of markers linking the buildings which visitors can draw and be photographed with. The plaques take the form of a circular disc that has been distorted to describe the profile of the coast that the trail follows. They are both intended to be informative and sculptural objects in their own right’.

The CHALKUP21 website, which includes photographs of the trail structures by Nigel Green, texts on the architecture by Charles Holland, Artists’ Responses from a variety of artists  and interviews with key people by Alice Bryant is designed by Edda Salander-Jones and coded by Wesley Burden of Nebulo. Edda presented the website and said: “The trail has inspired work by so many artists, photographers and writers already, it is a delight to design a website with such a wealth of creative content.”

CHALKUP21 is attracting visitors from far and wide: we have it from a reliable source that recently a walker stopped for a break at Samphire Hoe, having read about the trail in the Guardian, come down with 7 friends, made use of  information and tips on the Plan your visit page on CHALKUP21.com, stayed overnight in Dover was walking the full length of the trail and was delighted with it all.

There are more CHALKUP21 events scheduled for the summer: the last two drawing workshops led by Marcia Teusink at the Pines Calyx and Deal Pier; a performed walk with architect Gabor Stark on June 11th, a presentation by Matthias Koch of his aerial photographs at “The Wing” on June 16thand a poetry and writers walk on August 5th. In September Charles Holland will be leading a walk acoss the Cliffs, as part of RIBA’s Love Architecture Festival and there will be an exhibition of CHALKUP21 drawings at Samphire Hoe curated by Marcia Teusink. We are always being asked how people can find out about events – upcoming CHALKUP21 events can be found and places reserved on eventbrite from the CHALKUP21.com landing page.

The trail continues to inspire responses from artists and walkers, who have been spreading the word through Facebook and Twitter. The hastag is #Chalkup21. Knowledge about the trail continues to reach a local and national audience, thanks especially to the wonderful work Alice Bryant, our CHALKUP21 PR person, is doing.

Temple Ewell lies on the Chalk stream that runs down through Kearsney and  Dover to the Channel. It is always inspiring for us to see the difference individuals can make. The teachers at Temple Ewell Primary School have made art key to the wellbeing of their young pupils and the school even has its own arts council. We were absolutely delighted to be invited to introduce DAD as well as our own practices to a very awake and enthusiastic class. Every pupil in the class achieved Explore Arts Award and Clare handed out the certificates at a special assembly before half-term: “The children were thrilled and it was wonderful to see how much it means.”

Inspiring too was the Creative Vortex  production, Devils on Horseback, in the casements of Fort Burgoyne where conscientious objectors were imprisioned in WW1. We are delighted to have been able to set in motion a collaboration with Dover Tales and The Land Trust to make this happen.

To look forward to is Artist Ben Hunt’s projection piece, ‘Creta” at the Pebbles Kiosk at the Easten Docks end of Dover Beach. His projection is part of our Pebbles project and we would love to see you at the launch on Friday July 13thfrom 8.30pm – 10pm. It will also be shown on Saturday 14thand Sunday 15th, likewise from 8.30 – 10pm

We end this Newsletter with the announcement of: Art in the Park – Kearsney interpreted.

Dover District Council has been awarded Arts Council England funding to run an ambitious arts project in Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens to be delivered in partnership with DAD. The project gives opportunities to a number of artists and sets the bar for the long-term use of the parks as cultural spaces.

More on this in our next newsletter – wishing you all a wonderful summer.


published 27 May 2018