Our Journal includes interviews with our commissioned artists, together with short essays and opinion pieces, images and videos. You will also find posts of artists’ work in development. Check back regularly for new posts.
In 2018, we commissioned artist Lou Lou Sainsbury to create a short video documentary of Whitstable Biennale, filming the workshops, performances, installations and film events along with camera operator Rosie Lonsdale.
A New Career In A New Town (2019) is a creative writing manual, a diary and a selection of experimental texts that respond to the context of a new town being built on the banks of the Thames in North Kent.
Taking its title from a project devised for Whitstable Biennale by Ania Bas, Sally O’Reilly & Kit Caless in 2018, this e-book acts both as a ‘user’s guide’ to the project’s writing exercises and as a collection of the eleven participating artists’ responses.
This video documents Conference (After Attar), a multi-channel performance which premiered at Whitstable Biennale 2018. Drawing from Attar’s medieval poem The Conference Of The Birds, Caroline Bergvall leads a conversation between six conversants, who each share their thoughts on journeys they’ve engineered with their work, and the ways they each experience how languages and species move across places and through time. As the conversation progresses, voice frequencies and other elements start to affect it asking other forms of listening from the audience.
A collection of Instagram posts and links by multiple alter egos used by the artist Dipesh Pandya, Whitstable Biennale artist in residence in North Kent January – April 2019. The posts explore the multidimensional characteristics of different lines of enquiry pursued by Pandya throughout the residency period. This process is used as a way to acknowledge and collate layers of reference, in the form of texts, images and sounds, as responses to information the artist is gathering.
WB2018 Artists Kris Lock and Josephine Sweeney on their commission ‘The Vase in the Container’, unseen spaces, and the calculated absurdity of spam emails. Interviewed by Whitstable Biennale Assistant Curator Paige Lyons.
Read about the 2018 Whitstable Biennale: ‘Swimming Home’.
Kino Paxton is an emerging and significant new voice in Richard Layzell’s new international work ‘The Naming’. Their relationship is embedded in the process and supported by the legacies of philosophers Heraclitus and Arne Naess, along with composer Hollis Taylor’s extraordinary research into the song of the pied butcherbird. Below is a transcript of Emma Leach talking to Paxton about his relationship with Layzell and his role as activator or trickster in Layzell’s working process.
WB2016 artist Richard Layzell discusses ‘Softly Softly’, his performance for the festival, catapulting soft toys, and the artist use of alter egos. Interviewed by Emma Leach.
Caitlin and Andrew Webb-Ellis on the development of their WB2016 video installation ‘Parlour Walls’, the relationship of water to memory and future directions. Interviewed by Ben Hawkins.
The Third in a series of posts by WB2016 artist Trish Scott discussing the development of ‘Medium’: her new work for the festival, and her collaboration with psychologist Dr Ian Hocking.
Read about the 2016 Whitstable Biennale: ‘The Faraway Nearby’.
The second in a series of posts by WB2016 artist Trish Scott discussing the development of ‘Medium’: her new work for the festival, and her collaboration with psychologist Dr Ian Hocking.
Mikhail Karikis talks to Kiira Laurikka about his WB2016 work ‘Ain’t Got No Fear’, made over the course of eighteen months with a group of teenagers on the Isle of Grain.
Links to the online documents assembled by participants in our 2016 series of artist walks with Ruth Ewan, Mike Nelson & Janice Kerbel.
The first in a series of posts by WB2016 artist Trish Scott discussing the development of ‘Medium’: her new work for the festival, and her collaboration with psychologist Dr Ian Hocking.
Artist Ben Judd interviewed about Stories In The Dark: Contemporary Responses To The Magic Lantern, the exhibition he curated for Whitstable Biennale and The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge. Interview by Whitstable Biennale 2015-16 intern Sarue Jokonya
Artist Jeremy Millar’s essay to accompany Speak Near By, the artist’s film programme he curated for Whitstable Biennale 2012
S Mark Gubb discusses his WB14 artwork, a coach tour of the East Kent Coast called It All Began With Richard Burton. Interviewed by Whitstable Biennale 2014-15 Intern Mira Kuure.
WB2010 artist Anna Lucas discusses her relationship with film and film-making with Whitstable Biennale 2014-15 Intern Rebecca Bloomfield.
Fay Schopen is a writer and journalist living in Whitstable. For the 2014 Whitstable Biennale, her house was used as a site for Bronwen Buckeridge’s sound installation, The Sorrowful and Immaculate Fall of One Hundred Grazing Sheep. Here she writes about her experiences hosting a work for the Biennale.
WB2012 artist Tanya Axford on the space between performance and installation, music and improvisation, as well as her collaboration with Leo Chadburn. Interviewed here by WB Performance Curator Emma Leach.
Emma Hart is an artist who makes video, sculpture and performance. She participated in the Whitstable Biennale in 2010 and 2012. Jennifer Thatcher, freelance writer and lecturer based in Folkestone, interviews Emma Hart about her work for WB2012 and how it relates to her wider work. Jennifer Thatcher: Could you describe your project for the […]
Benedict Drew’s work uses the apparatus of film, video and music to test and reflect on the relationships we have with technology and its oscillation between the exalted and the commonplace. He participated in Whitstable Biennale 2012 with his video installation NOW, THING, which was sited in the Oyster Indoor Bowls Club. Performance curator Emma […]
John Walter is an artist whose practice includes drawings, paintings, performance, video, song, sculpture and architecture. He participated in the 2014 Whitstable Biennale with his work Turn My Oyster Up, a phrase translated as ‘make me smile’ taken from Polari, the 1950’s gay slang popularised by Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick in the BBC radio […]
Writer and artist Rachel Lichtenstein gave an illustrated talk, with artist Jeremy Millar and chaired by Whitstable Biennale’s Director Sue Jones, at the Whitstable Biennale 2014. Rachel’s talk focused on research she is undertaking for a book on the Thames Estuary, titled Estuary: A Deep Exploration of Place, which will be published by Penguin in […]
Writer and editor Brian Dillon curated the film programme, UR-NOW: The Ruins of the Contemporary, for the Whitstable Biennale 2010. This short essay accompanied the programme. ‘I am convinced that the future is lost somewhere in the dumps of the non-historical past.’ – Robert Smithson It’s a commonplace of contemporary culture that we live our […]
Emma Leach: Your film Tidal Island was shot partly on location in Outer Trial Bank, an artificial island off the Lincolnshire coast. When you shot the original test film you left a camera on the island to capture time lapse footage, so you didn’t know what you would see when it came back from the […]
We commissioned Mark Aerial Waller to create a film programme at the Whitstable Biennale. Mark works as an artist, and also runs film evenings titled The Wayward Canon. His programme for us was screened at the Horsebridge Arts Centre, and featured works by contemporary artists, interspersed with clips from the 1970s TV sci-fi detective series Sapphire and Steel.
Adam Chodzko works in the poetic spaces between documentary and fiction, public and private space. Investigations into memory, archiving, and the imaginary are shaped by the act of looking. Ghost is a custom-built kayak that arose out of a previous film work – but it is also a sculpture, a coffin, bed, costume.
Stages in the Revolution was curated by Andrew Bonacina and Victoria Brooks (The Island), for the Whitstable Biennale 2012. Whitstable’s metal-clad aggregate factory is an unexpected presence on the town’s popular shoreline, looming over the oyster sellers and beach huts for which Whitstable is better known. It is an incongruous industrial presence in the gentrified […]