“They looked like silver birds. The sun was shining on them…” is a piece from 2012 about the people who were killed by a bomb which exploded amid a shopping queue in Tontine Street, Folkestone, during the air raid of 25th May 1917. I became obsessed with this subject and worked on it, off and on, from about 2010. This particular piece was selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize (now the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize) and has been exhibited at various galleries on various occasions. It finally made its way to Folkestone for a one-off event on the occasion of the centenary of the raid and the inauguration of a new memorial plaque. It would be lovely if it could eventually find its way back to Folkestone one day. It’s most recent showing was as part of my Margate Now, art festival, solo show in October.
As a result of showing this piece, I have been contacted by relatives of people who were caught up in the 25th May 1917 air raid and I now have more visual reference material and more stories to add. If I had the money to do so I would work on this subject more. I feel that I’ll return to this in the future. It has been a, very sad, labour of love.
I’ve written a lot more about this in previous posts. Please click on the ‘Folkestone’ category of this blog or scroll back to find my previous posts.