CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe for £25 today CLICK HERE

Turner Contemporary opens in Margate

PUBLISHED: 18:35 20 March 2011 | UPDATED: 19:01 20 February 2013

Turner Contemporary opens in Margate

Turner Contemporary opens in Margate

Landmark Kent art gallery looks to historic past to aid regeneration through art

Turner Contemporary opens in Margate


Landmark art gallery looks to historic past to aid regeneration through art


Credit: pic of Turner Contemporary courtesy of Richard Bryant


Down the hill and onto the seafront, suddenly you see the great new landmark for Margate: the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery.


It is sited right on the spot where the artist Joseph Mallard William Turner would visit Sophie Booth in her guest house before he went off to Europe to create his impressive works on nature.


Ironically, despite his great inspiration from nature and its power, the art work featured in Turner Contemporarys first exhibition to open 16 April is a depiction of a volcano, The Eruption of the Souffrier Mountains, in the Island of St. Vincent at Midnight, on 30th April 1812, from a Sketch Taken at the Time by Hugh P. Keane, Esquire, 1815. The painting is a view Turner had never actually seen, yet not less impressive for that, indeed a tribute to artistic imagination.


Plenty of artistic imagination has also gone into the actual building of this gallery, designed by architect Sir David Chipperfield. From the outside it looks rather like a series of silver boxes, set up against each other, while from inside the space is just delightful.


In the words of press and events officer, Chloe Barker, it is a beautiful and elegant building, showing painstaking attention to detail, with a stunning cladding of opaque glass which permits different perspectives and a variety of colours depending on the light and the weather.


It is one of just two buildings that Chipperfield has created in the UK, the other being the Hepworth in Wakefield, opening in May. The architect is renowned for his restoration and recreation of the Neues Museum in Berlin and the American Cup Pavilion in Valencia, amongst many other projects worldwide.


It is a great tribute that he should have created this building in Margate. The building faces out over the North Sea, with the north light reputedly favourite of painters and specific to the Thanet coast, in the south of England. For Turner, the skies were reportedly the best of all Europe.


The gallery spaces, part of the 2,865 square metre gross floor area (the entire site comprises 6,570 square metres), are all carefully lit with natural light from high windows. A 20 slant to the roof is designed to capture it. The six individual galleries are the now almost traditional contemporary (if thats not a contradiction in terms) white cube, clear open spaces with white-painted walls. Although there has been a mixed bag of responses from the people of Margate, Chloe tells me that the building is generally viewed as giving hope to the area.


The opening exhibition, Revealed, will take as its point of departure Turners volcano depiction and include three important new commissions which will be varied contemporary responses from artists of international repute.


They are: Michael Craig-Martin, whose piece will remain on permanent display, greeting visitors on arrival, Conrad Shawcross, Ellen Harvey, Daniel Buren, Russell Crotty, Teresita Fernandez, and Douglas Gordon. The works are installations. You will be able to walk into Ellen Harveys work. Conrad Shawcross is influenced by science, with Daniel Buren doing a site-specific work. Russell Crotty will present a series of suspended globes covered in meticulous drawings, which depict land- and sea-scapes. Revealed: Turner Contemporary Opens will also include two works by Teresita Fernndez: Sfumato uses pieces of graphite and drawing on the wall to depict a rising cloud of smoke, while the floor piece Eruption represents the mouth of a volcano as seen from above in glass beads.


Finally, the exhibition will include Douglas Gordons After Turner, a poetic text piece responding to Turners mythic final words: The sun is God.


The exhibition will continue until 4 September, to be followed by Nothing in the World but Youth, an exhibition exploring how youth experience has been reflected in art, culture and the media from the late 19th century to present day. Each exhibition will include a work by Turner, who has of course been the inspiration for the gallery, with an eponymous exhibition in January next year.


There will always be a Turner painting in the shows which are programmed about two years in advance, by a team that includes Victoria Pomery, the Director, the Head of Commissioning, and Head of Exhibitions, Sarah Martin, as well as Lauren Wright, who meet fortnightly for discussion and research into new shows.


The opening show will also synchronise with Folkestones Triennial this summer, and cooperation between the two organisations aims at cross-marketing and encouraging visitors to the two south eastern areas, to encourage people not just to visit Margate.


In the first year, it is hoped to encourage 150,000 visitors, with 143,000 in the following year. A new website has been relaunched and public programming with a rich educational programme and many ticketed public events aim to draw people in.


Turner Contemporary has well-established links with Thanet-based schools with much outreach with schools and with the University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury.


The educational programme to be launched in the summer will be for children of all ages, aiming to dovetail into broad-based learning for life, going beyond art. There has also been significant work with the artists of the area, forming Margate Creative, to move forward and stimulate art and the galleries in the Old Town.


On the day I visited, the North Sea was a vibrant area of shipping, the light bright. The cafeteria area is attractive, with inspiring terraces overlooking the sea. I am thrilled that such a beautiful gallery space should be within reach and without going into central London and cant wait to see all the exhibitions, regularly, every four months.


FACT FILE


Turner Contemporary, 18 The Parade, Margate CT9 1EY


01843 294208 and follow events on Twitter @TCMargate, Facebook and Flickr.


Exhibitions


Revealed: Turner Contemporary Opens


Saturday 16 April 2011 4 September 2011


Opening exhibition features six major international artists, including four important new commissions.


Nothing in the World but Youth


17 September 2011-8 January 2012


An exhibition exploring how youth experience has been reflected in art, culture and the media from the late 19th century to the present day.


Hamish Fulton


14 January-13 May 2012


His first one-person show in the UK since 2002, will include new work made as the result of group walks in Kent commissioned by Turner Contemporary.


Turner and the Elements


28 January-13 May 2012


For more information, tel: 01843 294208





More from Out & About

Mon, 14:11

The Westerham Walk travels closely with the famous Greensand Way trail, taking you through superb woods and hidden valleys, to Churchill's house at Chartwell and striking views out to the Weald of Kent

Read more
Mon, 13:54

Kent Life suggests some of the best spots in the Garden of England for a walk on a crisp, misty autumn day

Read more

Known for its wild countryside and farmland, the wonderful Weald of Kent is interspersed with some of our county's prettiest historic villages and towns

Read more

Close to Sevenoaks and with links to not one but two famous leaders, Westerham is a small country town with a big personality

Read more
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Let the Trust's series of festive events and activities help you enjoy a stress-free and fun lead-up to the big day

Read more

Join us on a literary journey around the Kent coast to see how it has inspired writers over the centuries

Read more
Monday, November 4, 2019

Barn or castle, golf club or famous public school - the choice is endless for couples looking to tie the knot in Kent

Read more

Bridging the gap between Kent and London, these two neighbours have plenty to offer visitors

Read more
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Our county has lent its name to a number of different items and places that are now recognised across the world and linked to Kent. Here are some that might surprise you

Read more

They're very different but just a couple of miles apart. Let's look at the ancient medieval market town of West Malling and the cutting edge community of Kings Hill

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life