Banksy’s Art Buff – The Folkestone Plinth
In 2014, during Folkestone’s Triennial Festival, Folkestone’s Banksy appeared. ‘Art Buff’ depicted a woman gazing at an empty plinth. The artist stated it was ‘part of the Folkestone Triennial. Kind of.’ It was barely on show for a month before it was cut out of the wall, shipped to America to be sold. After a legal battle, Creative Folkestone have secured the artwork for the town. The Folkestone Banksy has also inspired a new creative venture for Autumn 2020 – The Plinth.
exhibit your lockdown creations
From mid-September to early November 2020, there will be 10 plinths located around Folkestone. The public are being encouraged to exhibit their lockdown creations on the plinths for all to see. Creative Folkestone wants residents and visitors to find a plinth and to use them to display their artistic talents and special objects in celebration of Folkestone, community and creativity.
Earlier in the year, due to the Covid19 pandemic, Creative Folkestone were forced to postpone the 2020 Folkestone Triennial. Quarterhouse, the charity’s theatre, is currently closed. However, Creative Folkestone is always coming up with ways to be creative, communicate and celebrate art in the town.
Chief Executive Alastair Upton said “Folkestone is creative. The people of this town never cease to inspire me and the work that we do here at Creative Folkestone. By returning the Banksy to the Creative Quarter and presenting The Plinth we hope that we can inspire others to get creative this autumn. After everything that has happened this year we are proud to be offering space for people to get creative once again. Folkestone loved the Banksy, with the woman pondering the empty plinth. I can’t wait to see what people place there for her and everyone else to see.”
upload your art online
Display your work on a plinth in Folkestone and take a picture of it. Share this on social media and become part of a big online exhibition. As well as these empty plinths, there are also three specially commissioned plinths with works by local artists Malcolm Allen, Maureen Jordan and Tomas Poblete. In addition, there will be a performance plinth painted on the floor of Payers Park by street artist Toze One. The performance plinth will host a curated programme of music, dance, spoken word and more.
Creative Folkestone have been busy working with schools and community partners across the town to ensure that as many people as possible can take part. This includes 16 schools that will each receive a plinth for a week during the project to use as an educational and creative tool. Plus, Young Carers, Age UK, Mind, Homestart and The Shed youth centre will also receive art packs and resources as a starting point for making. Online resources will also be available to get creative at home.
Banksy’s ‘Art Buff’ history
This is a short film about the history of Banksy’s ‘Art Buff’ appearing in Folkestone, and its subsequent disappearance. The film is made by Sam Supple, Audrey Green Oaks for BBC Inside Out.
Photo credits: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Banksy Floating Balloon Girl available at Hiraeth Creative, 59 The Old High Street, Folkestone