Exhibitions: August 2014 and February 2015


In the popular imagination, the image of the seaside town has an enduring relationship with sex. It plays host to secret liaisons, illicit trysts and dirty weekends, frequently conducted against a scenic, yet simultaneously shabby and dilapidated backdrop. The ‘sex shop’ is also a staple of the seaside town, often selling genuine sex aids flanked by an assortment of humorous trinkets and throwaway paraphernalia. Before the advent of the Internet, it was also the place where many children got their first glimpse into the hidden world of blue movies, adult toys and playthings.

As part of the 2014 Folkestone Fringe, we are opening a temporary Sex Shop. We have invited 40 people – primarily artists and designers, but also creative people from other professional fields – to design and develop a prototype version of their own sex or fetish object.

The prototypes that have been created embody a wide range of different approaches to the curatorial framework. Some artists have chosen to reference the vast cornucopia of contemporary and historic sexual implements and erotic merchandise, while others have taken a more abstract or personal approach, drawing inspiration from deep within the id of their own arts practice. Meanwhile, participants from other professional backgrounds have drawn upon their own professional discipline, combined with their unique psychology and experience, to structure and inform their response.

Featuring works in various media – from 2D visualisations and 3D maquettes, to sound and video based responses – the Sex Shop will be situated in one of the vacant commercial properties in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter. It playfully references rather than mimics an actual sex shop, and utilises the tropes of a design showroom in contrast to the more dilapidated aspect of the high street shop interior.

All the pieces on display in Sex Shop will be for sale, and presented within a context of critical engagement. After its debut run as part of the Folkestone Fringe, the Sex Shop will tour to Transition Gallery, London, in January 2015 (16/01/15 – 15/02/15) to coincide with a special sex themed edition of Garageland magazine.

The Sex Shop project is conceived and curated by three London based artists: Sarah Gillham, Jack Stokoe & Darren Nairn.

Launch Party Drinks Saturday 30th August 2014, 4:00pm – 6:30pm Programme of Talks Sunday 31st August 2014 from 2.00pm (speakers TBC) Exhibition runs Saturday 30th August – Saturday 4th October (Sat & Sun 11 – 5 only) (Friday by appointment)

5 Rendezvous Street, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1EY

For further information please contact Darren@darrennairn.co.uk

Salvatore Arancio | Susan Beattie & Yvonne Stone | Bronwen Buckeridge | Robert Cary Williams |Tamsin Clark & Peter Saville | Blue Curry | Jorge de la Garza | Jess Eaton | Tessa Farmer | Keith Farquhar | Jon Fawcett | Nick Fox | Tom Gallant | Sarah Gillham | Patrick Goddard | Paul Hazelton | Richard Healy | Joey Holder | Liane Lang | Debbie Lawson | LEAK | Mindy Lee | Cathy Lomax | Dave Maclean (Django Django) | Clare Mitten | Catharine Morland | Laura Morrison | Évelie Mouila | Darren Nairn | Mike Nelson | Benjamin Orlow | Cathie Pilkington | David Rayson | Frances Richardson | Freddie Robins | Chris Rogers (Exotic-Erotic) | Sh! (represented by Roxy Topia and Paddy Gould) | Alli Sharma | Corinna Spencer | Amy Stephens | Jack Stokoe | Marloes ten Bhomer | Mimei Thompson | Suzanne Treister | Tom Walker | John Walter | Phil Wilson-Perkin

Please visit Transition Gallery website for further information and images.