2007 London Biennale

London Biennale

On 4 August 2007,  Joanna Jones and Clare Smith organised a London Biennale Pollination: A one-day Museum of Arrows and Archery, in the former offices of Dover Town Centre Management. Thanks to the support of David Somers for this event, the TCM office was transformed into a museum collection with contributions from over 30 interested members of the public and artists. Contributions came from as far afield as Canada and Belgium as well as from London, Dartford, Folkestone, Deal, Shepherdswell and of course Dover itself. A star contributor to the event was local Dover resident Steve Sallnow, who lent numerous books and artefacts including some beautiful prints and an intriguing popinjay chick. Contributors interpreted the theme widely through objects, videos/DVDs and images as well as stories and readings.

Some of the themes touched upon were The Battle of Dover, St. Sebastian, Cupid, The Golden Arrow steam train, the flight of arrows in Roger Parish’s sound piece, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles with an extract read by London Biennale artist Chris Burke, Eugen Herrigel’s Zen and the Art of Archery with an extract read by London Biennale artist Jill Rock, and Federico Garcia Lorca’s poem “The Saeta” (the song in the form of an arrow sung during Holy Week in Spain) read by Jaqueline Baoudi from Shepherdswell. Artist Felix Zakar from Canterbury introduced his project based on a description in Melville’s Moby Dick of an arrow-like object with drawings and a reading from the novel. David Medalla, founder of the London biennale contributed a brief retelling of the marriage of Draupadi from the “Mahabharata” as well as making a beautiful arrow from things he had found in Dover.

Photographer Alan Marsh, originally from Dover, came down for the day and stayed on to enjoy the evening fireworks. In his words:  “Now I feel much more informed about arrows and archery as a result of the focus of events.At all levels, educationally, socially, and spiritually, it was for me a fundamental success. It was good to return to London, (albeit reluctantly), with such warm feelings about a home town that can sometimes feel so drab and downbeat.”

All participants in the event received a museum souvenir in the form of a small lino print made by Clare Smith.

The Pollination was rounded off with a picnic on the forecourt in front of the Dover Town Centre Management offices at 21 Pencester Road.