Saturday, 23 August 2008

Mobile Gull Appreciation Unit

The town of Folkestone is holding an arts festival this summer, called the Folkestone Triennial, presented in public spaces around the town. One of the, er, exhibits is the Mobile Gull Appreciation Unit created by American artist Mark Dion, to educate the townsfolk and visitors about seagulls - specifically to persuade them that gulls are not just messy, noisy, aggressive beasts but are intelligent beings that we should be proud to be near. The MGAU has a knowledgeable chap inside with a library of books on gulls, and an inexpensive booklet on the 12 types of gulls that can be seen from the beach (some like Caspian, Sabines etc can be seen only very occasionally of course).
The Old High Street has some craftsmen's and artists' workshops which are interesting to browse. I particularly like the sea creatures on the side of the building on the right.

There is a dog park (cats not allowed) with amusing signs, on the site of an old dogpoo lawn.

A number of small Tracy Emin sculptures are dotted around the town, like this 'lost' child's shoe by the beach.
On a more serious note, Folk Stones is a pavement of pebbles, numbered for each of the British soldiers that died in the first day of the Battle of the Somme, in 1916. There are over 19,000 - many of the soldiers left Britain from the port of Folkestone.


Mary said...

What a fascinating town! I love the big gull....hope it educates as intended. I'm glad you pointed out the sea creatures on the building...that's really cool! The stones are an interesting memorial and certainly a heart rending one.

Greenie said...

Steve ,
I've read about the 'Wooden Horse of Troy' , but the 'Wooden Gull of Folkestone' is taking things a bit far .
I think that tribute to the British soldiers , young men who never returned , is really moving .Thank you for posting it .

John Rakestraw said...

The MGAU is brilliant! We need such a beast on the Oregon coast. Thanks for sharing.

Steve Gale said...

Like the cultural shift from birds to art! Have added you to my links.

me ann my camera said...

Shades of Homer, I love the big gull. I would think little kids would too. Also fascinating, the triangular building where the streets converge, I would love to see the dimensions of the rooms inside. I love unique architecture.

Thank you for your comment on my Monarch Butterfly.