So Lubaina Himid won the Turner Prize tonight, good, especially at her age, really was about time they worked out that age doesn’t matter. You’ll no doubt find bag loads of editorial and comment elsewhere and it really isn’t needed that much here. Never did see art as a thing to win prizes for, never saw it as a competition that puts one artist up against another, but if someone was going to win it then rather pleased it was her, if for no other reason then for that rather engaging Pavilion of the beach at Folkestone this year. Made quite a few visits to her Jelly Mould Pavilion this summer – jelly, sugar trade, a prize in association with the Tate, slavery, wonder if anyone has put all that together yet? The whole thing does bring a smile (and I have resisted saying anything about the awfully turgid coverage from the BBC here or that arse from the Whitworth who said… no, who cares what he said, or the way the whole thing works, and no, let’s not go anywhere near any of that), if someone has to win it then good that Lubaina Himid did… rather enjoyed sitting in that pavilion or watching others doing so this summer, it was one of this year’s artistic highlights, congratulations Lubaina Himid.
Back in the summer – “Lubaina Himid’s Jelly Mould Pavilion is perfectly positioned, it didn’t really say jelly mould at the time, it still doesn’t really, the pavilion is brilliantly positioned – it seems the artist has a thing for jelly Moulds – The artist has collected ceramic jelly moulds for many years, adding her own painted pattern decorations. In 2010, in Liverpool, she laid out 30 Victorian moulds as if they were architectural maquettes, in an exhibition paying tribute to the Black community, recalling the slave trade and sugar plantations. One of these has now been realised as a full-scale pavilion in Folkestone. It sits looking out to sea on the former ‘Rotunda’ site, which was until recently filled with amusement arcades, a roller coaster and a Lido Pool, the sugar of candy floss and toffee apples fuelling the fun of summer visitors – the pavilion is another of the highlights, the pavilion uses the environment and the open space of the beach and the big sky and the blue blue sea so wonderfully well, I guess the jelly mould aspect makes perfect sense as well, it just didn’t say “jelly mould” at the time – a perfect place to sit and look out to sea or back at the town or up at the cliffs or to the Lees or out to the lights of France or…” more on the Folkestone Triennial
And while we’re here and prizes are being handed out, another of the highlights at the Triennial this year was Emily Peasgood’s beautiful Halfway To Heaven installation. We see Emily is nominated in the British Composer awards that are due to be announced any moment now
“It really is wrong to pick and choose but the two really outstanding pieces in terms of the official Triennial presentation surely are Jonathan Wright’s excellent gilded trawlers and Emily Peasgood’s rather beautiful Halfway To Heaven installation up there on that extremely mysterious burial ground (and in the shadow of that amazing railway viaduct)
– Emily Peasgood is a composer and sound artist. She creates research-led music and sound works for galleries and public spaces, ranging from large-scale community events to intimate sound installations. Her work explores the value and perception of sound and music, connecting people with environments that are forgotten or ignored; and is often rooted in political realities –
Emily Peasgood’s piece of sound art is rather magical, it really is something special up there up above the street and above the rooftops of the terrace houses in the rather mysterious Baptist Burial Ground. The sound up there, and the silence and the space around the sound is beautiful, the site really is magical, the giant railway viaduct is glorious, her art fits so so well. People buried up in the sky, halfway to heaven. It really is worth making the effort to get up those steep steep stairs, Emily Peasgood’s piece is absolutely perfect, her piece is absolutely right, and so much going on up there before you even get to experience her art – the brutality of the original 170 year old development, so relevant in terms of what’s going on now, that sense of the people back there hanging on to something so special to them, a burial ground floating almost precariously while all around the land, all those years ago, te land around chiseled away just to make the money for the Victorian property developers and their house building that is now long gone. The graves are still there while the original story of how the burial ground got to be almost marooned up there in the sky almost lost – a wonderful art work, a beautiful experience, magical – and explained rather well by the artist via an interview on Soundcloud…”