Thanet photographer aiming to take 200+ portraits for Action Against a Reaction Project

Do you want to feature on a poster for the Inside Out project?

Thanet photographer Sue Fewings will be capturing isle residents on camera as part of a new Action Against a Reaction. Project.

The black and white portrait shots will be created as posters for an Inside Out Global Art Project on the isle.

Artist and TED prize winner JR kickstarted the creation of a global participatory art project called Inside Out which features large scale portrait walls at locations across the world,

Each Inside Out work is documented, archived and exhibited online. More than 260,000 people have participated in 129 countries.

Photos for Thanet’s poster images and display, which is being organised by isle resident Dean Stalham, will be taken at a number of locations.

The first, this Saturday (March 26) will be at the Rhodes Gallery, The Centre, Margate, with isle photographer Sue Fewings behind the camera.

The session runs from 2pm-4pm. The pictures will then be sent to New York for the posters to be created, and will be displayed on the Newgate Gap ‘artbox’ and on the pathway running to Turner Contemporary.

Anyone can turn up to have their photo taken, there is no fee.

Sue said: “I’m looking forward to being the photographer for the project An Action Against A Reaction. I met Dean Stalham when I photographed him for my solo photographic exhibition to be held at York Street Gallery in July.

“I have a passion for portraits, and I have always liked the simplicity of the black and white pictures of the 1960s. As this combines the two, I immediately said yes when Dean asked me to take part.

“I’ll be at the Rhodes Gallery in Margate between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday 26th March. I’m aiming to take 200-plus portraits in that time, so I’d love to see loads of people from all over Thanet come down and get snapped!

“These portraits will be sent to New York and will return as huge black and white posters which will be displayed around the Art Box and the path leading to Turner Contemporary. It’s free to have your portrait taken, so come and get involved with a really fun project.”

There will also be a chance to have your photo taken at the Stretched Lips 10 performance poetry night at The Albion Rooms on Eastern Esplanade, Cliftonville, on March 27 from 8pm to 10pm, Sundowners in Albert Terrace on April 1 from 8pm and at the love Café, Marine Gardens on April 22 (times tbc)


  1. Perhaps it would be better if they came out onto the streets near the so-called art box and took photos of people in the local community instead of the arty folk who turn up to these conventions elsewhere. It would be more in keeping with the area and likely to be more appreciated too. The squalid mess this dirty art box is in at present, covered in graffiti is an eyesore for Cliftonville and should never have been approved by TDC.

    Ask anyone in this area and they will tell you they want to see the shelter refurbished back to how it should be, as a useful piece of historical architecture for everyone in the community and visitors to relax. It has just been left to decay and look derelict since being taken on by the group in charge and nobody knows what the heck these posters of unknowns are about as there is no information whatsoever about it on site.

  2. we are taking photographs of a cross section of Thanet residents and communities. Plans for photos of The Salvation Army residents at their Broadstairs hostel. The session at Sundowners on the 1st April is to represent Margates Gay Community. We have a planned session for people from the disabled community – my own daughter included- and Men and women from the BAME community are booked in also. Sue Fewings is a Thanet based photographer. We have actually listened to you all this time. Please visit this site . We have set up sites where photos are being taken – its not just for arts people- anyone – Local residents are welcome – why not join in? Instead of just rolling out the same old comments- I do not agree with ‘ask anyone round here’ I think you are in the minority. It’s not graffiti on the art box at the moment – Cat Neil is Margate born and bred who has just opened a center for art in Old Kent Market- a place that reflects the local art scene amongst its youngsters. Once the skateboard park is opened I’m sure the art box will be more welcomed- We keep telling you – it’s a temporary thing until we start building what we have always intended to build- If anyone wants to read a document of our plans- I am more than happy to supply you with one…

    • Correct it’s not graffiti on the box as graffiti is ‘art’ put onto someone else’s property without permission.

      This ‘art’ has permission ! So not graffiti even thought it looks like graffiti. Simples

        • I was being sarcastic.

          The really definition of graffiti is , if it’s done by an arty person on someone else’s property, like banksy than its art.
          If it’s done by a local nameless person its graffiti.

          The arty people have a different set of rules and laws than us non arty people.
          Why hasnt anyone tried to nick banksy for his graffiti instead of paying millions for it ? And local authorities using our taxes to try and save it ?

          Like I have said before my teenagers unmade bed is still up for sale, I have dropped the price to only 100k but still no offers, I am sure on went for millions.

          I dont think art is bringing our community together in fact the opposite. Our taxes seem to just go to the arty people.

          I am baffled that its art art art. The arty shops are expensive, it isnt aimed at working class locals.

          They are more flashy cars in thanet than ever, porsches are as common as fords now ! The divide is getting bigger.

          This isnt the thanet I grew up in, I am beginning to feel like an outsider. I dont do art but thanet is trying to turn into a St Ives with our taxes.

          Why cant Art pay it’s own way ? Why are our taxes used to support this one sector of our community ?

          • Well they do say that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. I don’t want to go into what you are saying. I have to say this though- not one penny of your taxes pays for any of the work we are doing at present. It’s a temporary art box- we are the custodians of it. And we do what we see fit at this present time. We have had two public consultations. No one from your ‘groups’ turned up to have their say. This action is of photographs of Thanet based people who like and enjoy art of any nature. Criticism is fair as all art is subjective. Personal attacks on us doesn’t help.

          • Dean

            So how ma t people turned up for the two public consultation? What percentage. 0000001 % ?

            Personally attacks dont help you say than in the next sentence you say ”
            we do what we see fit at this present time.”

            Think we get the message

            People not turning up should tell you that most people arent interested in art !

          • The only times I’ve ever read or heard the word arty have been when it’s used by people who seem to hate art.

  3. Negativity is definitely in the minority. This is a brilliant idea and I wish you all the best with it!

      • Don’t bother asking “real world” that! Most if not all his/her comments are
        automatically negative.

    • It’s about egotism.

      That’s OK, as I’m quite egotistical myself (though even I would draw the line at inflicting an enlargement of my ageing mug on the good people of Cliftonville), but let’s not pretend it’s art because it’s not.

      Still, it keeps the staff of a New York printing business in regular employment while those in Kent fail.

      • I’d fuess there’s an image rights issue, people have their pictures taken and give the rights to the image to the Global Arts Project. Totally inconceivable that no company in the UK is able to produce the posters , but the Art Box has hitched itself to the project and so abides buy its rules.

  4. it appears to me you are not allowed to ” open your mind ” yourself when we have this nonsense forced on us wether we like it or not. its getting very tedious now. oh and dont worry i have already worked out your reply , to save you the trouble.

      • Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear !

        This is typical of the ”we are going to do what we want and you can’t stop us attitude”.

        Such a pity that your mother never said ”no” and slapped your leg when you were a child. You may have grown up with less of a selfish attitude and more respect for others.

  5. Oh dear, Dean

    You clearly don’t like criticism so perhaps try to engage with the public rather get defensive and rude towards them!

    It’s really not professional and won’t win you the hearts and minds you crave!

    You realise information filters through any community at different rates? You may have to repeat information several times, but you could see this as an opportunity rather than a burden or annoyance!

    Finally, you must realise that what has been done to the shelter by TDC and latterly by you is controversial and so is bound to attract some ‘negative’ comments!?! If you care about this structure, its history, as well as its present and future under your control, surely its not beyond you to calmly and kindly inform without reaction and have some empathy for where these people are coming from – however tedious that may feel for you who are in such a privileged position with one of our precious local assets.

  6. This is shocking – another vanity project at the expense of local people. It looks an absolute disgrace and both TDC and the ‘artists’ should be ashamed of themselves.

  7. Dean, if I may ask, is the Global Art Project insisting you send images for printing there, just for multiple copies of each image to be shipped back here to the UK as huge posters?

    Otherwise, I find it hard to believe these is not one local printer who could cope with the printing work and even if true, surely there is a UK based printer who could?! How many UK based printers did you approach, assuming you were free to choose?

    Just doesn’t seem very environmentally aware/friendly as well as the issue of loyalty…?

    Is there a charge for the printing in the US, plus shipping? Does it compare well to a UK based printer?

    Whilst writing, I’d just like to thank you for listening to ‘us’ (who? When? Where?!!) “this time” as you stated above. Very gracious of you to listen to the public (allegedly) regarding plans for a public amenity that was in public hands and used to serve the public very well until those in ‘high’ office *meant* to also serve the public decided they knew better than the public what the public wants!

    Just a couple of questions occurring to some public here!

  8. Oh Dear Bernie. The posters are free. The sitters do so by choice. Art is subjective. I am only in charge of the box. The rest was derelict long before I got involved. I’m trying my best to make it as nice as possible until the real work begins. It’s not a public space any more. I do not have to serve the public. I just have to do my best with the limited tools I have. There is no cost to the public whatsoever. Sniping at me does not good, it just furthers my resolve. I have held two public consultations but none of you turned up to voice your opinions. I do not get paid any money to do what I do. It’s all voluntary- People should maybe check me out for all the good work I do within the community before having a go at my mum as some of you have. I am working at the food book next to the bowling alley on Friday between 10 and 1 pm- Why don’t you pop down? Have a chat? See some good work going on?

    • But the taxpayer is subsidising you and your project , you’ve been given the shelter, which could have been sold instead, so you’ve been subsidised by the local tax payer to the amount it would have achieved on the local market.
      To say you don’t serve the public rather flies in the face of your community spirit you talk of. As a criminal who’s been convicted and served sentences perhaps a little more humility would be helpful you hardly occupy the moral highground. Why should people trust you?
      You recently posted on facebook about your views of a landlord that chose not to rent a property to you, said viewpoint was no less scathing than some of the comments on here.
      As for the comment above about opening minds and trying to understand the art, most of us haven’t any formal art training or study and instead rely on art being something that we find for the most part visually engaging and enjoyable, where that isn’t instantly obvious perhaps a little insight would help many of us see what the “art” is trying to convey?
      A good few years back my parents were invited to a retrospective at Tate Modern, my mother was asked by one of the artists if she’d enjoyed the exhibition , when she remarked that she enjoyed the images but did’nt understand the context, the artist arranged for a private visit with a gallery intern to walk mum through the exhibition of their current worksand talk her through what was being represented. The artists in question are charming people ever wanting to explain what they portray, may i suggest you try and emulate their example , you might find it brings more people onside.

      • nope – we wasn’t given anything – 5 groups put in a proposal- not one was for restoration – one even wanted to make a giant hot dog stand- we won it fair and square- after a multitude of questions and checks- so far it has cost us nearly 10 thousand pounds- not one penny of that has been funding or tax payers money – The site was condemned and derelict when we got it and long before – the box is temporary – the real build will be completed within two years – Give us your name LC – don’t hide – or cower as you are…

    • You help our at a food bank which is fantastic.
      But do you not see the irony thanet the TC gets millions of our taxes and doesnt have to be self funding.
      Wouldnt those millions be better spent on help the poorest people in our society instead of going to the TC art sector ?

      That’s my beef with all this I personally dont see how all these millions being give to the art sector is helping the general public. Food banks are at the highest demand ever.

      Just doesnt seem right to me

    • Oh dear Dean,

      Seems you muddled me with other commenters!

      So posters are being produced and sent from the US for free – good to know – thank you – I only asked! Why the defensiveness?!

      Nobody said you have to serve the public! However, the shelter has a history and had seats prior to TDC’s actions, so did serve the public. TDC Councillors should be serving the public but they decided they knew better than the public what was needed – ie no renovated seating, and something else entirely!

      But tbf, what a comment from someone who clearly doesn’t like any questions and criticism, real or perceived! You’d think serving the public would be your honour and privilege, given that you now control the shelter space given its history! Might be old fashioned, perhaps, but if you came over as more engaged with the public, more friendly, less defensive and a tad more humble, it would probably go a long way towards getting you the public support that you clearly desire!

      Obviously it’s not a public space any more – and therein lies the problem which you seem blissfully unaware of! Were you more aware, you would not talk to people in the manner you have on here and would appreciate there are some very dismayed residents. Those residents may well have an opinion or two and are, just like you, free to express them (within the Law)!

      You don’t like people sniping at you, yet that’s exactly what you’ve done to people commenting in ways you don’t like lol!

      I’m sure you consider yourself a hero for doing something voluntarily, but there are plenty of people doing the same – myself and my youngest daughter for a start! Not to mention my 81 year old mum! We just don’t boast about what we do for others in a public place! No idea who your mum is but my comments were directed towards you! As we clearly know what voluntary work is and how to do it, we don’t need to see you in action, thanks.

      Maybe read back the things you’ve said –
      “We’ve actually listened to you all this time”
      “Maybe open your mind and try and work it out for yourself”
      “No amount of words can stop them going up”
      “I only respect those who respect me. I’m glad you don’t respect me John”
      “I do not have to serve the public”

      Are such words the kind to help people understand what’s going on, to gain public support, to lessen criticism which you don’t like, and to reassure concerned residents that you are the best person to be running this particular show?!

      I understand from an FOI there’s a ‘return to TDC’ clause in the contract and so think you might actually benefit from more public support and engagement, speaking more kindly to concerned residents, and demonstrating how good things with the shelter really can be, as opposed to insulting people, being rude and defensive and coming over as extremely unprofessional!

      PS I’m an artist and a designer. I have no particular issue with the portraits being taken – I’m sure the photographer will get signed releases from all ‘models’. I’m more concerned about the environmental issues in shipping huge posters from the US, wondering why you can’t find a UK based printer, (which you didn’t answer) and about why the person TDC has seen fit to hand over this shelter to reacts to public questions and comments in the way you have when you’re in such a privileged position!

      • Absolutely ‘spot on’ Bernie Tuffs.
        I absolutely get fed up with people who move to the area, with total disregard for the community they have chosen to live in.

      • I thought you might liked to have a chat face to face instead of of this thats all – You write like you know me- must be so nice being a judge and jury –

  9. ‘It’s not a public space any more.’ That’s the sad thing.

    Last time I looked, wooden planters had been constructed around the base of several pillars. Surrounding the pillars with damp soil will hasten corrosion – not something you’d do if you were looking to preserve this structure.

    What is the meaning of the title ‘An Action Against a Reaction’? Does it mean ‘If You Don’t Like It You Can ….’?

  10. It’s absolutely mind boggling how a totally free TEMPORARY art installation created and produced by volunteers, with absolutely no money changing hands has a reaction like this. People really need to step into the modern world. Quite sad.

    • What do you mean by stepping into this modern world?
      If it means getting rid of all historical buildings & structures then I am sorry I don’t agree.
      The Newgate Gap Shelter, was built in October 1904 on the old Coastguard Station at an approximate cost of £450 and big enough to house dozens of people.
      It has been totally neglected over many years by TDC who never seemed to maintain it.
      It should stay or be rebuilt as a shelter for walkers to sit, rest and watch the ever changing sea views.
      There must be many other places that Dean & Carlotta can use for their art.
      TDC seem hell bent on losing all our heritage in their disposal by community asset transfers of land, structures and buildings, that belong to the community of these areas.
      The Oval banstand springs to mind. That was run by a community group for years and now appears to be more like a business.
      In my opinion TDC should be ashamed of their actions

  11. Finchy

    So we arent allowed an opinion because its different to yours !

    If the modern world is art and art only I prefer the old world thanks.

    No money exchanged hands because TDC gave it away, it belonged to the people of thanet. I wonder what price this group would have paid TDC for it ?
    Perhaps the reaction is due to TDC just giving it away.

    Lots of local people wanted it restored, but no it’s gone to the art community like so much of our taxes.

    • TDC also gave away the 4 acre site freehold of the Oval Bandstand & Lawns at no cost to the group GRASS, in a community asset transfer. This same group are in line for £500,000 from the MTDB in the next two years.
      For what?

  12. Finchy, the shelter used to belong to the people of Margate, now it doesn’t. The degradation of the built environment and loss of public facilities is a feature of the modern world. And it is also a tendency that is accelerating. It is indeed very sad.

    If a dilapidated structure was being used as an art installation to draw attention to corporate / civic vandalism, incompetence & greed, that would have my support. But this is quite different, this is art – so far very ill-conceived art – being used to distract us from the fact that a public amenity has been purposefully neglected and disposed of. And the public are meant to stand around and clap. That’s not happening.

  13. What are your long term plans for the space Dean? Is the shelter being removed and the soil planters installed to hasten the corrosion of the structure so it’s then deemed unsafe by Building Control?

    • Theres no devious plan daniel – the gardener assures me that the columns are shielded from soil that the planters were sealed

  14. The Project seems ok to me My concern is the lack of places in Ramsgate to house this art at least I don’t see any and if it is for the Isle of Thanet Ramsgate should be included.

  15. Everyone seems to have gone off on a tangent- None of these comments are about the actual story that has been printed- I am sorry that I bothered to answer any you – what a waste of my time..

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