Press Release & Interview


Weird Whitstable - Art and artifacts

by Quinton Winter

Gallery 3, Horsebridge Centre, 16 February - 31 March 2013

Within the beautifully compact interior of Gallery 3 at The Horsebridge lies the archives of Weird Whitstable. What do you know about this heritage town? You can be sure you won’t know all the wild and wonderful stories hidden within Quinton Winter’s exhibition. The unnatural and unbelievable truths, the parable of the lusting seafarer, the monster wave, the giant fox, the drowned Victorian tea party. All these beautiful awful truths are depicted in Quinton’s archive of illustrations and found things.

This exhibition was born out of love for this funny, unique and almost untouched little town; it’s eccentricities, history and folklore have been twisted and accentuated within this eerie show. Quinton, who hails from Devon, moved here last year and found the town full of stories and secrets. This archive is a genuine homage to the town and it’s whispered tales, a nod to to the old storytelling tradition and the art of the tourist poster.

Quinton is an artist and illustrator who has worked for Time Out Magazine, The Guardian, illustrated children’s books and recently the new book by Victoria Hislop. He has also animated a film about the Staffordshire Treasure Hoard as part of the Cultural Olympiad 2012. Quinton has exhibited his paintings at the Horsebridge and his prints and cards are for sale at the centre.

Interview with Quinton Winter:

Is there any truth in these weird tales Quinton?

All the tales are true. The panther is real. The giant fox is definitely real. But with all folk tales and news reports, the truth is open to interpretation. For instance, is there really a sea serpent in the waters off the coast near Herne Bay? According to a report made in 1935 there is. Or was. I doubt its still around. Its probably been frightened away by the vibration of the turbines.

Did you have to research these tales?

In my time in Kent I’ve heard many stories of the goings on in Whitstable - normal, and paranormal. Once you start to ask around, and dig a little deeper all sorts of terrifying things emerge from the pebbles. There’s a great history here, of smuggling, oysters, ghosts, evil animals, and of course the origin of the town. I researched in old newspapers, online, libraries, and asked men with beards.

What have people’s reactions been to your Weird Whitstable postcards which have been selling from the centre?

Very positive. I think people have a sense that something else is going on in Whitstable aside from oysters, gastro pubs and baby boutiques - something eerie. So I think the cards help to reassure them that its ok, that the howling they’ve heard in the night isn’t their imagination.... its actually a giant fox.

Do you have a favourite tale?

I think the barely discernible sounds of china tea cups and polite conversation drifting over the water from the Street, is one of my favourites. Such a sad tale...

Have you found any alien remains? Or seen the Giant Fox yourself?

I have a few artifacts and photographs in the collection that surely defy explanation. Whether they are of alien origin I’m not sure. I hope local people will come along and offer their own thoughts on the possible origin of some of the things on display. Also if they have any peculiar or unexplained experiences of their own of the town, they are invited to share them in the visitor’s book in the gallery.

All images and text © Quinton Winter 2019