Dissertation – Finding a Gallery

Originally I had been thinking about using Penrhyn Castle as the location for the imaginary museum because of it’s links to the slave trade, however after discussion with Helen, I settled on the Turner Contemporary in Margate, primarily because of its proximity to Dover and the connections with Dover that relate to migration, refugees and Diasporic communities.

Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s leading art galleries.

Situated on Margate seafront, on the same site where Turner stayed when visiting the town, Turner Contemporary presents a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions, events and learning opportunities which make intriguing links between historic and contemporary art. The gallery offers a space for everyone to discover different ways of seeing, thinking and learning.

The organisation was founded in 2001 to contextualise, celebrate, and build on the artist JMW Turner’s association with Margate, Kent. In 2011, Turner Contemporary gallery, designed by Sir David Chipperfield, opened, and has fast become a visitor attraction of national and international importance.

Turner Contemporary is a catalyst for the regeneration of Margate and East Kent, already welcoming over 1.5 million visits. The vision of the organisation is Art Inspiring Change, using collaboration, learning, ambition and transformation to give everyone to access to world-class art.

“Turner Contemporary’s purpose is to stretch the boundaries of current visual arts practice, to make the exhibitions sufficiently varied and to bridge the gap between the historical and contemporary.”
Victoria Pomery, Director, Turner Contemporary

John Akomfrah, one of my chosen artists for this work has also recently exhibited there.

Sat 8 Oct 2016 – Sun 8 Jan 2017

Turner Contemporary is a partner on the UK tour of John Akomfrah’s multi-screen installation Vertigo Sea, premiered at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

A meditation on whaling, the environment and our relationship with the sea, the work is a film essay continuing the ‘recycled aesthetic’ of John Akomfrah’s recent gallery pieces, fusing archive material, original footage and readings from classical sources.

Shot on the Isle of Skye, in the Faroe Isles and in the North of Greenland and Norway, the film is inspired in part by two influential books: Hermand Meville’s Moby Dick (1851) and Heathcote Williams’ Whale Nation (1988). Also referenced is the incident on board the slave ship Zong that led JMW Turner to paint The Slave Ship almost a century later, exhibiting it in 1840 to coincide with a meeting of the British Anti-Slavery Society.

In the first instance, I contacted Jennifer Scott to ask if they possibly had any photographs to use as part of this project. Jennifer was particularly supportive and provided me with photographs to use, as long as I credit the photographers. Below is a PDF of the email thread.

The photographs Jennifer provided me with are shown below:

I also located on the internet floor plans for the Turner Contemporary from David Chipperfield Architects website.

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