Russell Tovey to curate an ambitious arts festival across Margate to mark Turner Prize 2019


Russell Tovey Photo: Candace-Lake

Margate NOW, an ambitious and dynamic festival of art, events and performances will be held across Margate from 28th September to 13th October 2019 to celebrate Turner Prize coming to Turner Contemporary for its 2019 edition. Developed by a consortium of partners and artists, the town-wide programme will be bigger than ever before and will place artworks in unexpected places. 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.

Margate Festival NOW 2018_Artist Helder Clara_photo by Heather Tait
Margate Festival NOW 2018_Artist Helder Clara_photo by Heather Tait

As part of an open call, led by Margate Festival, artists were invited to respond to the theme ‘NOW’. 500 artists and performers will produce 60 events and have been selected to be part of the programme guest curated by Russell Tovey. There will be music, dance, exhibitions and installations. The festival runs from Saturday 28 September to Sunday 13 October, with a number of events and exhibitions continuing until the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition leaves Margate on 12 January 2020.

Guest Curator, Russell Tovey says:

“I’ve always had a close relationship with art and began collecting art in my mid 20s whilst acting in The History Boys. Initially, I was excited by the buzz of investing in art and buying something that would outlive me. 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. Margate NOW is such an exciting programme. 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.”

In addition to the open call programme, there are a number of co-commissions. Turner Contemporary is working with international sound artist and electronic musician, based in London and Margate, Yuri Suzuki to create a new work for the gallery’s South Terrace, in partnership with Kent Libraries. Suzuki will use artificial intelligence to bring together sound and sculpture, inspired by people from across the county. A new work, ‘Printed Whispers’, is also being developed by Yemi Awosile in collaboration with Open School East. Awosile is collaborating with local groups and organisations and will make use of natural resources and reconditioned objects, sourced from the local area.

Further highlights include; theatre company 1927’s fantastical sequence of evening projections, created in collaboration with 500 local primary school children; specially programmed events from Dreamland; as well as a creative installation by Studio TAC at Margate Train Station delivered in partnership with Southeastern. 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 train 150 new volunteers under a programme supported with funding from the Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust. Volunteers will greet visitors and act as guides to all the events and happenings across the town.

Artists, Collectives and Companies:
1927 I Adam Carr & Jan Noble I Anna Symes, Round in Circles I Anthony Giles I Appletye I Arts Education Exchange I Kavel Rafferty | Ash Mukherjee Dance Company | Bob Chicalors | Charlie Evaristo-Boyce I Coney | Connor Sansby | Dan Bass | Dan Scott | Dawn Cole, Dan Thompson, Tracey Thompson, Graham Ward | Dominic Rose, Jon Spencer, Simon Cole, Margate Stanza I Emma Gibson | Free Range Orchestra | Genetic Moo | Heather Tait | Helen Whitehead | Holly Slingsby | Invisible Women | Jay Rechsteiner | Jemma Channing | Jessica Jordan-Wrench | John Hislop | Jordan Gray | Katie Fiore | Katrin Hanusch | Laura Durward & Emily Wood | Lee Cavaliere | Leigh Clarke | Liam O’Driscoll I Liene Steinberga Cesar | Lunatraktors | Matt Mapleston | Maxine Sutton | Mel Cole | Open School East Associates 2019 | RL-a | Roy Eastland | Ruth Fox | Sadie Hennessey | Sara Trillo | SLiDE | Steve McPherson | Studio Tac | Teresa Limbrick | The Waste Free Fashion Collective | Tom Verity and Melanie Wheeler I Turner Contemporaries | Ty Locke | Well Projects | Yemi Awosile | Zoe Murphy

Participating Venues:
Bon Volks | Carl Freedman Gallery | CRATE | Dreamland, Margate | Gordon House | Joseph Wales | Limbo | Lombard Street Gallery | Marine Studios | Margate WI | Northdown Studios | Pie Factory Margate | Pump House Yard | RESORT | Theatre Royal Margate | Turner Contemporary

Victoria Pomery OBE, Director of Turner Contemporary Margate, said:

“We are delighted to be leading this dynamic collaboration to ensure that Turner Prize 2019 has maximum impact on the cultural life of the UK. Artists and creativity are at the heart of Turner Contemporary’s work and this autumn offers plenty of opportunities to see and experience the diversity of contemporary practice in the gallery, around Margate and across Kent.”

Margate Festival NOW 2018 Artists Moving Memory photo by Heather Tait
Margate Festival NOW 2018 Artists Moving Memory photo by Heather Tait

Margate NOW: www.margatefestival.org

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper' AofC - Issue 1 Autumn 2018