New work by Sam Belinfante to feature in this year’s Folkstone Triennial

The 5th edition of Creative Folkestone Triennial will present newly commissioned site-specific artworks by internationally acclaimed artists including Sam Belinfante’s On the Circulation of the Blood.

Curated for the third time by Lewis Biggs, the 2021 Triennial (entitled The Plot) invites visitors to explore Folkestone, and to consider urban myths and their relation to verifiable realities.

The Plot uses three historic Folkestone narratives as a point of departure: St Eanswythe’s watercourse; the physician William Harvey’s discovery of the circulation of the blood; and Folkestone’s industrial road ‘The Milky Way’.

Referring to passages of movement - the movement of water, blood and goods - the exhibition will present artworks in public spaces across the town, along the various routes associated with these stories. By borrowing from, or lending to, existing narratives, the exhibition raises questions around the universal need to distinguish reality from myth; encouraging viewers to question the gap between fact and fiction, and what ‘place-making’ really means.

The title of the exhibition suggests multiple meanings. Conceptually, a ‘plot’ can be a narrative or conspiracy; from a material point of view, it can also mean a plot of land, or to plot a course or graph – things that are mathematically verifiable. Observing the gap between personally verified experience and what is otherwise told or narrated, the Triennial urges viewers to consider the voids left behind by ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truths’.

Artist Sam Belinfante will create a mobile sculptural performance called after William Harvey’s key work of 1648, ‘On the Circulation of the Blood’.

Belinfante’s artwork will move between several key sites around the urban landscape of Folkestone, animating the town for the duration of the exhibition. Performers will sing duets, whilst carrying netting from one place to another, referencing many of the unusual physical interconnections across the town.

Sam Belinfante, University Academic Fellow in Fine Art and Curatorial Practice at the University of Leeds, said:

“I am excited to have the opportunity to work on such a largescale project, working across the whole town and in collaboration with numerous local performers and industries.”

 Lewis Biggs, Creator of Creative Folkestone Triennial, said:

‘‘Although set in Folkestone, the exhibition’s theme is a universal one, prompting us to consider the relation between stories and material realities everywhere in the world.

“Everyone becomes aware at some point of the gap between our lived experience and what is narrated about it. Sometimes this gap is so extreme that we assume it is the result of malice – it’s a plot. With conspiracy theories becoming ever more popular, it’s never been more urgent to think about the gap between the talk and the action, between our stories and our realities.”

The Creative Folkestone Triennial will run from Thursday 22 July to Tuesday 2 November 2021.

See here for more details, including information about the artists taking part.


On the Circulation of the Blood, Sam Belinfante, 2021. Work in progress.