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  • Lemn Sissay, Wise Words

    Poetry Projection

    Turner Contemporary, 2012
  • Summer of Colour, Red Ladies

    Credit: Manu Palomeque
  • Art Inspiring Change

  • Credit: Carlos Dominguez

This autumn, Turner Contemporary will host Turner Prize 2019, one of the best-known prizes for contemporary arts in the world. In response to this major moment for Margate and Kent, the gallery and partners will develop an exhilarating and ambitious arts programme. This follows a successful bid to the Arts Council for £219,000 of National Lottery funding as well as further contributions from Kent County Council, Thanet District Council and Dreamland Margate.

The programme, which will take place alongside the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition, has been developed in collaboration with partners. This includes; Margate Festival, Open School East, Resort, 1927, Crate and Limbo Studios, Dreamland Margate, Kent County Council and Kent Libraries, Thanet District Council and local artists. Together, the partners will deliver a town wide programme of arts, activities and events in response to the once-in-a-lifetime moment of Turner Prize 2019 coming to Margate.

Among other highlights, the programme will see the expansion of Margate Festival, which has been running since 2013, with a significant increase in open calls for local artists and new artworks throughout Margate. Margate Festival will also connect artists with businesses, taking the programme across the town. Dreamland will programme two special events supporting the night time economy during the autumn season.

Find out more about Margate Festival and the 2019 open call here.

Turner Contemporary will commission an artist to develop a significant new digital artwork, inspired by JMW Turner’s passion for technological innovation. The gallery, and commissioned artist, will collaborate with members of the public at Kent libraries and shopping centres to generate content for this spectacular new work. It is anticipated that it will appear on Turner Contemporary’s building during the autumn season.

Margate based theatre company 1927 will map vivid animations, created by 75 local young people, onto buildings around Northdown Road and the High Street. Visitors can expect a series of magical moments as they journey through the evening streets. Open School East will work with Cliftonville residents to devise an artwork with an artist on Northdown Road designed to expand the programme beyond the seafront.

Once the town wide programme is in place, Turner Contemporary will work with children and a designer to create a child’s view of the town and realise an exciting new map drawn from their perspective. The gallery will also train over 150 new volunteers who will greet visitors and act as guides to all the events and happenings across the town.

The insights and experiences gathered from this major cultural programme spanning across Kent will be shared with Coventry 2021, who have won the title of UK City of Culture for 2021.

The programme will be launched at Pie Factory Margate on Friday 15 February 2019 from 5pm to 8pm. The Margate Festival team will also be available for discussions from Saturday 16 to Wednesday 20 February 11am to 3pm each day.

Clive Stevens, Chair of Board of Trustees at Turner Contemporary said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded funding to deliver this ambitious programme of activity in collaboration with such an impressive range of partners. The programme is designed to inspire absolutely everyone to connect to Turner Prize 2019 as well as to expand Margate’s visitor offer with art, creativity and innovation, encouraging people to visit throughout the year. With such an unmissable line-up, we anticipate an unforgettable Autumn Season in 2019 at Turner Contemporary.”

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “We’re delighted that Turner Contemporary will host this year’s Turner Prize. It is a great tribute to everyone at Turner Contemporary and everyone at Kent County Council that has supported their success. Art, culture and creativity have all played a really impressive role in Margate’s rejuvenation over the last few years and so it is fitting that one of the art world’s biggest prizes should now be hosted there. It is particularly important to see so many partners involved and together they will produce something very special that celebrates both the local community and contemporary arts. Arts Council England will work closely with Turner Contemporary and Kent County Council to make the most of this great opportunity.”

Tony Witton, Manager, KCC Culture and Creative Economy Service, said:  “We are delighted to support Turner Contemporary to deliver Turner Prize 2019 in Margate and look forward to developing a wider programme of cultural activity to engage communities across Kent with exciting activities to add our own local perspective to the national and international debate on contemporary art.”

Claire Orme, Dan Chilcott, Jenny Duff and Jo Murray, Festival Delivery Team, Margate Festival, said: “Margate Festival celebrates the best contemporary culture from Margate’s world-class creative community. Art, music, performance, written and spoken word, collective action and visual culture will form a dynamic programme featuring co-commissions in the public realm and over 200 local, national and international artists. The theme NOW brings urgency and relevance - 2019 is our most ambitious year yet.”

Jo Crowley, Executive Producer, 1927, said:  “We’re delighted to be collaborating with our local arts and culture peers to deliver a vibrant programme that capitalises on the unique and timely opportunity that Turner Prize 2019 offers for the local community, creative ecology and businesses of Margate.  1927 is hugely excited to have this opportunity to collaborate with children in Thanet to conceive and co-create a series of animated films that will be mapped and shared across the canvas of Margate - animating the town and celebrating the creativity of our young co-collaborators and local residents.”

Anna Colin, Director and Naami Padi, Deputy Director, Open School East, said:  "We are excited to be working with excellent regional partners on the town wide programme, to celebrate Turner Prize 2019 coming to Margate. Our contribution will be a large-scale project that blends commissioning and considered local engagement. The commission will be awarded to an Open School East alumnus with a penchant for the extraordinary and a passion for the town and its people.”

Rebecca Ellis, Senior Creative Producer, Dreamland, said: “2019 is going to be an incredible year for Margate. We’re delighted to be working on brand new special events to complement the exciting Margate Festival programme and to create a cultural night time buzz for the autumn. Art and the arts are so important to Margate’s identity and we are pleased to be part of a great team of partners championing our corner of England as a leading cultural destination.”

Sarah Bottle, Service Manager, Kent Libraries, said:  “Kent Libraries are delighted to be involved in this project, using our network of libraries to engage the wider community of Kent with this unique and exciting experience in Kent.”

Cllr Ash Ashbee, Cabinet Member for Coastal Development, Thanet District Council, said: “This is a major opportunity to showcase Thanet and Kent at its best. The spotlight will be on us, both nationally and internationally, confirming our place on the map as a key cultural destination and has the potential to generate significant, measurable social and economic benefits for Margate.

We will be supporting this landmark event in a number of ways to ensure that visitors experience all that Thanet has to offer. It is a unique opportunity to showcase Margate, as well as the surrounding towns and countryside.

We are excited for such a significant occasion to be coming here and sure it will go down as another coup in Margate’s substantial history.”

Notes to editors

About Turner Prize 2019

One of the best known prizes for visual arts in the world, Turner Prize 2019 is coming to Turner Contemporary. Every other year, the prize leaves Tate Britain and is presented at a venue outside London.

Four of the most exciting artists working right now are shortlisted to win the prize based on an outstanding exhibition that has taken place in the previous year. The names of these artists will be announced in Spring 2019.

The prize is renowned for triggering debates around new developments in contemporary British art. The work of the four artists will feature in the exhibition at Turner Contemporary and the winner will be announced at a major awards ceremony in December 2019.

The Turner Prize is named after J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) who was an innovative and controversial artist in his day, is now seen as one of the greatest British artists, and expressed a wish to establish a prize for young artists. Turner Contemporary is named after the artist for similar reasons; our work is inspired by Turner’s innovative and radical approach to art.

About Turner Contemporary

Turner Contemporary in Margate is one of the most distinctive galleries in the UK; its impact stretches beyond culture-led regeneration and the showcasing of world-class exhibitions, to pioneering change by making the arts more vital and connected to daily life.

Since opening in 2011, Turner Contemporary has:

  • Generated over £68 million for the local economy
  • Led to the opening of over 150 new businesses
  • Safeguarded 155 jobs
  • Attracted over 3 million visits

Turner Contemporary

  • In copy please refer to Turner Contemporary and not ‘The Turner Contemporary’ or ‘The Turner’
  • Summer opening times: Open every day in July and August, 10am – 6pm.
  • Turner Prize 2019 opening times: Open every day, 11am-6pm. Admission to the gallery is free.
  • Address: Turner Contemporary, Rendezvous, Margate, CT9 1HG
  • Information: + 44 (0) 1843 233000,
  • Turner Contemporary is a charity, receiving public funding from Kent County Council and Arts Council England.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.


Margate NOW 2019.jpg


Posted by: Turner Contemporary on Thu 24 Jan 2019