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Margate NOW: Art, events and performance festival to celebrate Turner Prize 2019 at Turner Contemporary in Kent

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Margate is joyous in the midst of an ongoing art, events and performance festival to celebrate Turner Prize 2019 coming to Turner Contemporary.

Margate NOW is an ambitious and dynamic festival with the programme - which got underway in late September - set to run until January 12 next year.

Yuri Suzuki’s The Welcome Chorus. Outside Turner Contemporary. Photograph by David Levene. (19458875)
Yuri Suzuki’s The Welcome Chorus. Outside Turner Contemporary. Photograph by David Levene. (19458875)

Having already established its reputation as a rejuvenated town of the arts, celebrations to mark the Turner Prize in Margate are already in full swing with events curated by actor and avid art collector Russell Tovey.

And this year’s festivities are set to be bigger and better than ever before!

Over 500 artists and performers are producing 60 events over the course of the festival, responding to the theme ‘NOW’.

“I’ve always had a close relationship with art and began collecting art in my mid 20s whilst acting in The History Boys,” said Tovey.

“Initially, I was excited by the buzz of investing in art and buying something that would outlive me.

Margate NOW is an ambitious and dynamic festival of art, events and performances guest curated by actor Russell Tovey. Picture: Guy Farrow (19459253)
Margate NOW is an ambitious and dynamic festival of art, events and performances guest curated by actor Russell Tovey. Picture: Guy Farrow (19459253)

“As my collection has grown my interest has developed into supporting emerging and mid-career artists as well as becoming a patron for a number of not-for-profit public art institutions.”

Art works, music, dance, exhibitions, installations, performances are taking over galleries and theatres as well as shops and other unexpected places – inviting visitors to see the seaside town in a new light.

CLICK HERE TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT MARGATE NOW

The actor - who has appeared in the BBC's Being Human, Him & Her and Sherlock - added: “Art can be powerful and engaging and I am looking forward to seeing the town brought to life in unusual, surprising and entertaining ways.

“I’ve really enjoyed helping to curate and select artists for the festival. It’s great to be able to support and encourage the creation of new art and new ideas.”

Heather Tait's work on display during the Margate NOW celebrations. Photograph by David Levene. (19459002)
Heather Tait's work on display during the Margate NOW celebrations. Photograph by David Levene. (19459002)

Some of those ideas and creations include:

  • A fantastical sequence of daytime and evening projections produced by award-winning theatre company 1927 in collaboration with every Year 5 pupil in Margate. These will be shown in different locations throughout the town in December.
  • ‘Printed Whispers’, a major new public design commission by Yemi Awosile in collaboration with Open School East, the Margate-based space for artistic and collaborative learning that offers free programmes to emerging artists and the public.
  • A new interactive commission on Turner Contemporary’s terrace from Yuri Suzuki uses artificial intelligence to bring together digital sound and sculpture.
  • Specially programmed events from Dreamland including NOW and supporting four independent local producers working with music, performance and art to support the night time economy
  • A new creative installation by Studio TAC at Margate Train Station delivered in partnership with Southeastern Railway.

Margate NOW builds on the ongoing regeneration of the town driven by Turner Contemporary in Margate.

The winner of the Turner Prize 2019 - one of the best known prizes for visual arts in the world - will soon be unveiled at Turner Contemporary.

Ty Locke’s 23p Beans in Margate. Photograph by David Levene. (19458959)
Ty Locke’s 23p Beans in Margate. Photograph by David Levene. (19458959)

Four of the most exciting artists today are shortlisted to win the prize and their work can be seen on display at the gallery.

This year’s finalists include Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani.

The awards ceremony will take place in December with the exhibition having opened in late September.

Every other year the prize is hosted at a different venue outside of London.

One of the best known prizes for visual arts in the world, Turner Prize 2019 is coming to Turner Contemporary in Margate. Photograph by David Levene (19458980)
One of the best known prizes for visual arts in the world, Turner Prize 2019 is coming to Turner Contemporary in Margate. Photograph by David Levene (19458980)

Since opening its doors in 2011, the gallery has generated over £70 million for the local economy, led to the opening of over 150 new businesses and attracted over 3.4 million visits.

The prize and the Margate gallery are both named after English painter JMW Turner - who was said to be both controversial and innovative for his time during the 18th and 19th centuries and wanted to establish a prize for young artists.

Margate NOW is an ambitious and dynamic festival with the programme - which got underway in late September - set to run until January 12 next year. Photograph by David Levene (19458968)
Margate NOW is an ambitious and dynamic festival with the programme - which got underway in late September - set to run until January 12 next year. Photograph by David Levene (19458968)

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