Margate, UK.- Artist Tracey Emin and composer, pianist, bandleader and broadcaster Jools Holland will launch the Turner Contemporary Gallery to the public in Margate on Saturday 16 April. The gallery has been designed by internationally acclaimed architect David Chipperfield and has been created by Kent County Council with additional funding from Arts Council England, Thanet District Council and the South East England Development Agency. The gallery stands on the site of a cottage where the 19th Century artist JMW Turner lived, on the Margate seafront. Tracey Emin grew up in the town and last year unveiled a pink neon love letter to Margate. The work was later sold to raise money for the gallery. The opening day will also see the switch-on of Graham Gussin’s illumination rig, the Kent ‘Cultural Baton caravan’ (a converted US Airstream trailer), Willi Dorner’s ‘Bodies in Urban Spaces’ performance.
The Turner Contemporary Gallery is a dynamic visual arts organisation that believes in making art open, relevant and fulfilling for all. Inspired by JMW Turner’s sense of enquiry, they offer a space for everyone to embrace their curiosity and to discover different ways of seeing, thinking and learning. They do this by offering a stimulating programme of temporary exhibitions, events and learning opportunities. This programme enables intriguing connections to be made between art from 1750 to the present day. Admission to the gallery is free. the gallery is the largest exhibition space in the South East of England, outside of London. The Turner Contemporary project began in 2001 and in the build-up to the Gallery’s opening, the arts organisation has been putting on exhibitions and events in various local buildings, and without a permanent building, have already attracted almost 700,000 people to their exhibitions, workshops and courses. As well as providing a place where art can be exhibited, the building has been designed to provide space for local and visiting artists to work with local people.
The gallery’s opening exhibition, ‘Revealed: Turner Contemporary Opens’ will be on view from 16th April until 4th September 2011 and will bring together work by the visionary British painter JMW Turner and six contemporary artists. The exhibition centres on Turner’s extraordinary painting The Eruption of the Souffrier Mountains, in the Island of St Vincent, at Midnight, on the 30th of April, 1812, from a Sketch Taken at the Time by Hugh P. Keane, Esqre ,1815, which portrays the drama of a volcanic eruption. Turner never saw the event, but was inspired to make the painting by Keane’s sketch and his interest in the natural world. Turner’s painting is evidence of the power of his imagination and his curiosity about new places and natural phenomena. This desire for knowledge marked the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when many discoveries were made in science and technology and artists and scientists worked in close dialogue. The six contemporary artists in the exhibition work in the same spirit of enquiry, invention and interest in the natural world that flourished during Turner’s lifetime. Just as Turner explored nature in paint and colour, so these contemporary artists play at the borders between what we can see and know and the truly fantastic. Four of the artists have made new work for the opening of Turner Contemporary. Like Turner, their work responds to the special setting of the gallery in Margate, on the North Kent coast. Visit the museum’s website at … http://www.turnercontemporary.org