Turner Contemporary
  • Jeremy Deller, A Good Day for Cyclists, Painted by Sarah Tynan

    Jeremy Deller, A Good Day for Cyclists, Painted by Sarah Tynan

    Copyright British Pavilion 2013
  • Jeremy Deller, We Sit Starving Amidst our Gold. Painted by Stuart Sam Hughes

    Jeremy Deller, We Sit Starving Amidst our Gold. Painted by Stuart Sam Hughes

    Courtesy of British Council
11 October 2014 - 11 January 2015

William Morris returns from the dead, a hen harrier seeks revenge on a Range Rover, and Jersey’s capital St Helier burns as Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller conjures his ‘English Magic’ in Margate.

Deller uses ‘English Magic’ to explore mysterious acts and ‘magical’ transformations in British society - its people, myths and folklore as well as its broad cultural, socio-political and economic history.

The mythical power of popular music, the transformative promise of socialist movements and the trickery and concealment of politicians, oligarchs and big businesses all come under the spotlight as Deller assembles large-scale murals, drawings, photographs, film and historical materials to question what Englishness really means today.

From Neolithic hand axes, through William Morris, John Ruskin and the socialist movement, to David Bowie’s 1972 Ziggy Stardust UK tour, 21st Century capitalism and the invasion of Iraq, the exhibition weaves a mythical narrative through moments and events from Britain’s shared cultural memory, moving back and forth between the past, present and an imagined future.

For Turner Contemporary, a number of watercolours, sketchbooks and paintings of Venice by JMW Turner and John Ruskin have been added to the exhibition. Both artists, along with William Morris, a central character in the exhibition, were radical figures in Victorian society and campaigned for social and political change.

This is your chance to see the final showcase of English Magic, commissioned by the British Council for the British Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale – the world’s most prestigious contemporary art event.  The UK tour is the first time a British Pavilion commission has been on tour since the Biennale began in 1895 and has enabled audiences across the country to see the exhibition at the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow; Bristol Museum & Art Gallery; and Turner Contemporary, Margate in 2014.

The UK tour of the exhibition is supported by the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, with additional generous support from Arts Council England. 

Watch Jeremy Deller interviewed by the BBC's arts editor Will Gompertz >

Watch an exclusive film of Jeremy Deller's work for the Venice Biennale on the Guardian website 

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Left by David Foley on Jan 9, 2014 10:21AM

Jeremy Deller has the rare distinction of being awarded the RSA’s Albert Medal which places him in a the same category of social impact as Tim Berners-Lee, Stephen Hawking, Yehudi Menuhin, Alexander Fleming, Orville Wright, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Louis Pasteur and Michael Faraday. You don’t have to be a fan of Arthur Scargill to appreciate the quality of Jeremy Deller’s art, thank goodness. The Turner Contemporary is living up to its name with a splendid menu for 2014 which promises something to delight every palate.