Fort Burgoyne: a rare opportunity for artists


Dover Arts Development were delighted that 18 artists took the rare opportunity to attend a workshop day for artists at Fort Burgoyne on July 16th 2016.

Built in the 1860s, Fort Burgoyne was built to defend the North East side of Dover and in particular Dover Castle. The site has seen significant modification since completion with particular activity in the World Wars. Since the 1940s, little has been done to maintain the site with resulting growth in vegetation and decaying fabric. The Land Trust acquired the site in 2014 with a view to securing a long-term sustainable use for the site. Reaching this goal will take considerable time and resource and the Trust is therefore focussing on stabilising the site in the short-term together with providing access through events.

The workshop, initiated by Chris Valdus the Land Trust’s Fort Burgoyne Heritage Project Manager, was intended to inform  potential future artist involvement in the site together with opportunities for enhancing the events programme prior to completion of the development project and more open public access.

After spending the day exploring the site through their various practices – music, film, photography, painting, collage, live art, performance, print making – the artists rounded off the session by sharing some initial ideas on how the site could be used. This resulted in a plan to stage a pop-up public event in late September/early October at the Fort with all the artists from the workshop showing work inspired by this research day.

”Fort Burgoyne’ was  an inspiration… bringing people together to look, make music, art and performance in such a strange and evocative site was a great idea and it was interesting to share everyone’s thoughts at the meeting. I think some wonderful projects could come from it.’

“Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity to visit Fort Burgoyne, what a treat! We are so inspired by the space, but also the pro-active responses from Chris, the other artists and yourselves.”

“It was a wonderful and inspiring day and I am very keen to return”

“Thank you again for a very inspiring opportunity, and a wonderful day”

“Really enjoyed Saturday – great that we might be able to take things on further!”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and managed to explore the acoustics with my flutes.”

“Thank you for such a great day. It was really inspiring. looking forward to more”

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