Sunday 30th June 2019

Urban Room Folkestone

Commissioned by Magic Carpets, Cherry Truluck hosted a community cocktail party & discussion, with unique drinks created from locally growing plants that have the ability to heal the land they grow in. This was part of her Near:Bower, a project derived from a series of plant identification walks on the tracks of the Harbour Line and surrounding area.

NEAR:BOWER is a moment of intersection, an architecture of coincidence, a node in a constellation. A geographical link between two people from opposite sides of the tracks pinpoints an apparently random location for breaking bread along the abandoned railway – the potential for communion between two strangers at an imaginary industrial-scale community dinner table. It’s an old cook’s saying that ‘what grows together goes together’. Folkestone’s derelict Harbour Line – left to its own devices for a relatively short time, began to ‘re-wild’. It was invaded – or reinvigorated – with extraordinary ‘weeds’: Alexanders, valerian and mallow by the harbour, brambles, sycamore, nettles and hogweed at the top. Seeds blew in from the countryside at one end and the coastal grasslands at the other, mapping out a story – a unique thumbprint of the shifting connection between land and sea. In this I found a mirror – this piece of land that seems to cut through the town, also contains the very nature of this corner of Kent. Not so long ago seemingly abandoned by industry and tourism alike, Folkestone is now characterised as much by its ‘native’ residents as by its newer arrivals. These non-natives, like the plantlife, migrate both from inland and overseas. They take root and make their lives here. What grows together goes together.

Cherry Truluck is the founder of Custom Food Lab, she is working on the 2020 research programme and is an artist member of the Speculative Landscapes collective