The new Michael Armitage exhibition at Turner Contemporary in Margate is part of ‘Every day is a new day’. Peace coma displays over 20 new pieces of his work. Many tell stories of his childhood and what it was like growing up in East Africa. Since moving to London, he continues to paint and draw. Pieces such as ‘Strange fruit’ and ‘Necklacing’ tell particularly hard hitting stories about folk law in Africa and torture methods. The use of vibrant colours and different layers of oil creates a surreal image with odd perspectives. For example, ‘Strange fruit’ has a perspective of someone lying on the ground. This may seem odd, but the longer you observe the work, the easier it is to work out what is happening in the picture. I personally think that this exhibition is extremely interesting and eye opening. It gives the viewer an insight into what happens in different parts of the world, such as Africa. A lot of the work displayed at Turner Contemporary is recent or 2016. This means that the work is up to date in the stories it tells and the lessons it teaches.
Another piece that I was particularly impressed by was ‘Necklacing’. This piece tells the story of an occurrence that Armitage witnessed when he was a young boy in Africa. It tells the story of a man running, with a tyre around his neck. He is running from a group of men who held lit torches. This was in fact a method of torture. Although Armitage had not realised at such a young age, the tyre around his body was filled with petrol, and then set alight. This method of torture happened and continues to occur all over Africa, and other places. These hard hitting real life accounts are what make Armitage’s work special. Overall, I would definitely recommend this exhibition to anyone who is interested in Art or other cultures around the world. Armitage’s work is very eye opening and appeals to anyone.
Jacob Jackson from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School wrote this review while on work experience at Turner Contemporary