A Response to the ChalkUp21 Trail - Marcia Teusink’s drawing workshop at the white cliffs visitors centre

For Marcia Teusink’s fourth drawing workshop we met at the National Trust Visitor centre where there is plenty of parking and delicious refreshments. Gareth Wiltshire, Operations Manager for the National Trust, introduced the group to the building making available the original architects plans. Although the building is in many ways no longer adequate for the huge increase in visitor numbers, Gareth said that through his research he had discovered that the architect had indeed provided the National Trust with what they had asked for at the time. This brought up  interesting thoughts about buildings being living things, requirements changing, managing expectation and reality and a decision later in the year to co-produce an evenings discussion with the trail partners on this topic.

 The workshop took in :

  • The van Heyningen and Haward  National Trust White Cliffs Visitor Centre  … a deliberately modest building which sits on the cliffs overlooking Dover harbour. Its shallow vaulted roof is topped with grass so that the building merges into the landscape when seen from higher up. At ground level it explores a tectonic marriage of high-tech detailing and arts and crafts materials: welded steel elements resting on rustic brick piers.  (Charles Holland)
  • Artist Elaine Tribley’s Dover TotemsThere are six totems in all which mark the climb up to the white cliffs from the eastern end of Dover’s sea front. The walk is steep and vertiginous and offers amazing views of the Dover’s Eastern Docks and the English Channel. The totems are of various heights, some acting as markers and some as seats on which to sit and take in the view. They are fabricated from steel sheets, lazer-cut with the outlines of the fossilised plants that form part of the chalk cliffs, flowers and birds. Read more about Elaine Tribley’s process here