Transition at the Whitstable Biennale
Artist Studio, Rear of 5 Harbour Street
(Entrance in Sea Street), Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1RG
John Butterworth, Tamara Dubnyckyj, Olli Vainamo,
Cathy Lomax, Keara Stewart, Cathie Pilkington,
Rosemary Shirley, Alex Michon, Caitlin Heffernan
21 June - 6 July 2008
Friday - Sunday 12-6pm
That’s Entertainment presented by Transition gallery was a thoughtful exhibition that contemplated its surrounding but with their own personal edge... as I walked in, I noticed immediately that the window, which framed the sea and sails outside seemed to be a part of the work on display. The exhibition captured the quirky essence and Britishness of England’s seaside resorts with silent alluring paintings, a driftwood sculpture, and the hugest and most grotesque Punch I’ve seen yet.
Margaret Tran, A Day Out at the Whitstable Biennale / an Interface
Taking that peculiarly English sense of melancholic ennui associated with populist entertainments That's Entertainment plays with ideas associated with making up your own amusement at the seaside
The show takes a wry look not only at the concept of escapist pleasure domes and local community activities but also at the lo-fi, hobby-craft worlds of leisure activities which have in many cases overtaken the garish seaside entertainments of the early twentieth century. From karaoke, collecting souvenirs and forming a band, to Mr Punch, the local park's trim trail and rainy-days in caravans watching the seaside on black and white films; That's Entertainment's themes are underpinned by a not always comfortable sense of the growing gentrification of our seaside towns.
Whitstable's recent history as a place that artists gravitate towards and contemporary art's recent colonisation of the seaside through the various festivals, provides an interesting backdrop to an exhibition, which explores its themes in a number of thought provoking ways.
That's Entertainment is accompanied by a special issue of Cathy Lomax's cult art publication Arty. Arty 24: Entertainment includes contributions from all the That's Entertainment artists plus a set of artist designed tarot cards, activities to while away a rainy day and lots more. Other contributors include Stella Vine, Harry Pye, Lady Lucy, Marcus Oakley, Nina Ogden, Jo Wilmot and Emma Talbot.