The Grit in the Oyster is a body of work that represents the often overlooked rituals and aesthetics of carnivalesque culture in the traditional British seaside resort. It reflects a cultural space where the conventions and boundaries of socially acceptable behaviour or reckless hedonism could become blurred.
Rowe’s imagery depicts a desolate landscape in transition, a topography where the industry of pleasure seeking was interlaced with the gritty reality of the town’s social and economic divides.
Rowe’s pictorial accounts of Folkestone capture a seaside resort in permanent off-season as it breaks away from its mass cultural identity. His sculptural and performative work echoes this fading sense of place, and celebrates the recent social history of the run-down resort – the remnants of the seaside town they forgot to close down.