Spring Newsletter 2017


DAD’s graphic designer, Edda Jones, surprised us with a special edition newspaper for our 10th anniversary to give to the artists and partners we have worked with since DAD began.


Unbeknown to us she invited 10 artists that have worked directly with DAD on one of our 41 projects to date to contribute to the edition, and wove their contributions into a wonderful graphic work using elements she has used over the last TEN years to give DAD its unique graphic identity.

John Dargan, (Senior Lecturer in Illustration and Animation at UCA, Canterbury) wrote: The DAD 10 year anniversary newspaper is a coherent and vibrant artefact; a fitting testament (testimony) to the commitment and endeavour of DAD. The newspaper is beautifully designed; as you approach it you are confounded slightly, the logo shines on the newsprint cover. A clever and cost effective use of a vinyl logo addition, positioned judiciously by hand. The interior presents the artworks in a daringly sympathetic way, making great use of placement and colour accents. The information and narrative is paced really well, each spread communicating in differing and delightful ways, surprising the viewer through scale, type and composition to create a beautiful and playful rhythm throughout. The design does not overpower the content at all, it enhances it. A great deal of care and attention has been paid to the designing of this object; echoing the great deal of care and attention paid by Joanna and Clare to developing an arts strand in Dover, the community in the surrounding area and the arts in the South East. 

We have picked out the statements describing DAD contained in the edition to highlight our activities over the last 6 months:

 DAD BEGAN WITH A  conversation

The Table, originally built in Dover in 2011 for the 2012 Olympic event ‘One year to go’, returned in January to be installed on what remains of the ancient Charlton Green by the river Dour weir: an invitation to rest, contemplate and enter into conversation in the centre of Dover by Morrison’s supermarket. The Table, which references Brancusi’s Table of Peace in Romania, is conceived by its artist creators as a place for conversations and new meetings. On 13 August, the Table at Charlton Green is one of the sites on Jim Lockey’s The Mobile Comics Factory World Tour of Round Here. Jim Lockey will be cycling with his Mobile Comics Factory across Kent to create a series of hand made magazines about our towns.


DAD’s aim has always been to embed the arts in Dover and, through its projects, evidence the role the arts can play across different sectors. Over the past 10 years our major projects have re-presented different times in Dover’s history through Art. In our latest project, the CHALKUP21 Coastal trail links some of Dover’s most recent 21st century heritage with its most ancient geological chalk heritage. CHALKUP21 links 9 buildings and public art works, all built in the last 17 years for peacetime purposes, along the Strait of Dover between Folkestone and Deal. The 17-mile coastal walking trail uses the ancient North Downs Way and England Coast Path National Trails and takes in part of the Kent Downs AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty).  Along the route one comes across remains of various defence systems, the recently made Samphire Hoe, from the Chalk Marl that came out of the Channel Tunnel, and the Southeastern railway footbridge from Shakespeare Cliff onto Shakespeare Beach in Dover, installed with the new sea defences in 2016 after the collapse of the railway line on Christmas Eve 2015.


In the past ten years, more and more artists from Dover, East Kent, further afield in the UK and Europe have found Dover an inspiring place to work. There is a growing and burgeoning number of younger artists and designer makers centering their practice in Dover. Appetite for the arts has also grown with groups like the The Student Makers Market now installed at Biggin Hall, the Dover Studio Collective successfully hosting shows at Astley Avenue, most recently with their Print Fest and the ART31 Gallery at the Dover Big Local Hub who are always on the look out for new and more established artists to show.


One way in which we provide opportunities for artists is through our schools programme. Our current schools project, STEAM UNIVERSE, engages 5 artists to help DAD put the A in STEM through a project about the Universe with 5 local schools, led by Astor College for the Arts. The project launched with a Big Steam Day during which the students and artists all spent time in the University of Kent’s inflatable Astrodome learning about space, planets and galaxies with PhD students in physics informing a series of taster sessions on the day as well as the individual workshops later in the schools.

It was also fantastic to see them (the young people) put into practice the information they had learnt inside the dome while creating their collaborative pieces; usually with dome sessions we do not get to see the students afterwards so are often unsure if they’ve actually learnt anything new while in the dome. (Cordelia Scott, University of Kent)


We have been invited by the Marlowe Theatre to work with them on their programme leading to a major WW1 commemorative event in 2018 at the Dover Marine Station, now known as the cruise terminal at the Western Docks in Dover. We have not worked with a theatre company before and are very excited by this opportunity.

 DAD COLOURS everything

In Clare’s recent talk as an alumnus of UCA on life after graduation as an artist with her own practice she made it clear how her practice and work with DAD is linked through the space DAD has created for other artists as well as ourselves.

Joanna first invited The HA MAN, Francois Le Roux,  to lead a spontaneous creativity workshop with the ZEN Collective  as part of DAD’s WAR &PEACE programme in 2013. Since then we have supported him finding ways to continue his yearly visits to Dover and develop a network for the spontaneous creativity workshops. This year Joanna hosted a remarkable house concert in her home for Francois and  Francois organised his own spontaneous creativity workshop as a co-production with DAD. He also played with musicians Richard Bundy and Paul Chenour at an evening organised by Dover Tales at the Kearsney Abbey Cafe.


Together with 3 very creative and talented young people DAD is delivering an arts project for 16 – 25 year olds. FRESHART is a series of creative workshops leading to a public exhibition. The project aims to improve the mental wellbeing and build the resilience of the young people taking part by inspiring in them initiative and bravery as they are given permission and supported by the group to be creative together.


We have increased capacity by increasing the number of partners we work with, building up to some 100 partners over the last 10 years. This is evidenced by the partners listed in the film credits of the DAD film productions we recently showed at the Silver Screen cinemas in Dover and Folkestone –Watermark, Nautical Threads, DAD4DADs, WAR&PEACE, and Weathertime – and the heritage and business partners who supported our Culture Kent Dover pilot CHALKUP project and are working with us on our new  CHALKUP21 project.


Many thanks for all your support

Joanna and Clare