For Dover Arts Development, Dover is central. Dover may be on the periphery of England and the most iconic border between England and Europe, but the centre or centrality of Dover in relation to its identity is key to the philosophical perspective of DAD.

If identity of place is determined by where it is not, as much as where it is, Dover’s position is constantly looking out towards Europe and back towards England. This, in turn, is reflected in the diversity and transience of the town’s population – some constant and rooted in Dover’s cultural history and others rooted (or up rooted) in histories of other places – a kind of entropy – a term the artist Robert Smithson adapted from thermodynamics where it is the event of a hotter (or colder) fluid being added to its other – in cultural terms, this must mean that neither native nor incomer can claim identity that is exclusive of the other. Another Smithson artistic term could be useful here – site/non-site – in this scheme the site that is represented is encountered in the non-site of its representation – a picture is the non-site of the site that it depicts.

Could there be a cultural equivalent in DAD’s Dover – what form might this take in the constantly folding and re-folding between England and Europe? DAD’s commissions are concerned with finding and exploring the possibilities of such forms, all of which may seem to resonate a sense of place. (Adrian Lovis)

Project Legacies

Helen Lindon, Clare Smith and Joanna Jones met each other during the early days of Dover Arts Development (DAD) and the evolving art scene in Dover and Folkestone. DAD invited Helen Lindon to introduce the Port of Dover’s paintings in the Land & Sea exhibition at the Dover Yacht Club and co-lead the Land & [...]

New Pocket sized booklet with tips for artists and local authorities on working together. As part of the Art in the Park – Kearsney Interpreted project Dover Arts Development (DAD) and Dover District Council (DDC) produced a couple of guides. One  ‘How to work with local authorities – a guide for artists’ and the other is [...]

From each park bench in Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens in Dover there is a different view – equally from each park bench each person’s view will be different as they daydream, remember or become lost in the landscape. The idea of recording with drawings from direct observation falls into the tradition of Casino dal [...]

Discover 21st Century Art & Architecture along the Strait of Dover at

A Kearsney Discovery, an animation directed by Phil Saunders  based on a story written by Barry O’Brien insdpired by a newspaper report from 1841 about a discovery in Kearsney Abbey Gardens, Dover.

The 2 musical portraits of the town of Dover composed by Nigel Clarke in collaboration with violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved and Malene Skaerved have been released on CD by Toccata Classics. We are very proud that the contact with Dover through DAD  led to the  composition of these works. Many Dover residents supported the Kickstarter crowd funding [...]

DMAG WW1 Joined Up project legacy website: featuring the artists, their works and the museums and heritage sites they worked with in the Dover Museums and Arts Group WW1 project 'Joined Up'.

DAD managed a partnership project with 8 Dover schools under the cultural strand of INSPIRE Phase III, the Kent Schools’ Olympic Legacy Programme ‘Ways to Rio’. Astor College for the Arts (Cultural Leader School) St Mary’s CEP (Cultural Leader School) Hornbeam Primary School St Martin’s School Priory Fields School Barton Junior School Selsted CEP School Vale [...]

Weathertime developed from a conversation with Kate France and Sylvie Reteuna and their invitation to develop a project together with them and the group they were working with in Dunkirk. It brings together works by 30 artists from the coasts of England, France and Belgium that form the ‘maritory’ around the Straits of Dover. Together they created [...]

The DAD4DADs 6 WAYS 2 WELLBEING project film is a wonderful achievement and legacy to an exceptional project. It shows the dynamic relationship between Dover Arts Development (DAD) and partners the Jasmin Vardimon Company, the practitioners: Richard Bundy, Luke Burrough, Greg Stobbs aka Squirl, Leah Thorn and filmmakers Ewan Golder and Dominic Pillai. It features [...]