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Turner Contemporary

Based in Margate, Turner Contemporary is a dynamic visual arts organisation that presents a wide range of exhibitions and learning opportunities to promote the understanding and enjoyment of visual art.

Through an exciting programme, and the development of a major new gallery, Turner Contemporary is at the forefront of ambitious plans to revitalise one of the country's oldest seaside resorts.

The new gallery, designed by David Chipperfield Architects, opened in 2011.

Funding awards

  • 2012-2013: £550,000
  • 2013-2014: £570,000
  • 2014-2015: £600,000

Video feed

Maze event 11-15 April 2015

Buried deep into Margate’s caves, within the Winter Gardens, Maze awaits you.

Leave inhibitions behind and immerse yourself in the unknown. Choose the ‘light’ or ‘dark’ path and enter Maze, a foam structure of industrial proportions where the two worlds of dance and visual art collide to create an immersive adventure.

Moving through the labyrinth, a feast of multi-sensory moments submerse you into the Maze . Intimate and moving, delightful and uneasy, become observer and participant, as the world of Maze shifts and surprises.

Maze is an immersive new performance presented by Jasmin Vardimon Company and Turner Contemporary.

Choreographed by critically-acclaimed director Jasmin Vardimon, collaboration with Ron Arad and artist Guy Bar-Amotz.

11-15 April. Margate Winter Gardens
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Philosophical Enquiry: Jeremy Deller English Magic

At Turner Contemporary we use philosophical enquiry to enhance your visit and enrich learning. Watch this Philosophical Enquiry film to see how we used the method to open up discussion and generate deeper conversation about our autumn 2014 exhibition Jeremy Deller: English Magic - 11 October 2014 - 11 January 2015).

Siobhan Davies Dance Manual

Siobhan Davies Dance returned to Turner Contemporary to present a live movement installation Manual, choreographed by Siobhan Davies in collaboration with dance artist Helka Kaski.

Manual demonstrates how we are experts in the movements which make up our daily lives. Kaski invites visitors to Turner Contemporary’s current exhibitions, ‘Making Painting: Helen Frankenthaler and JMW Turner’ and ‘Edmund de Waal: Atmosphere’, to complete a familiar action by providing a set of verbal instructions. Through this conversation it becomes clear that movement which at first may appear easy is actually complex and extraordinary and often results in unexpected dialogue. Manual draws attention to simple actions, meticulously dismantling their timing and order.

Show 16 more videos

Spencer Finch: The Skies can't keep their secret

Spencer Finch: The Skies can't keep their secret exhibits at Turner Contemporary 24 May - 21 September 2014. Finch responds to light and colour, with new works including a large-scale suspended sculpture that subtly alters as the natural light changes throughout the day. See more about Finch's work at Turner Contemporary by watching this film.


On 16 April 2014, we celebrate our 3rd birthday! So we've created a film of the highlights from the last three years - we hope you enjoy looking back on the last 3 years as much as we have.

Art Debate: Public Art

For nearly a decade before the gallery opened, Turner Contemporary commissioned artists to make works in public spaces in Margate and the surrounding area.

In October 2013, the artist Alex Chinneck realised From the Knees of My Nose to the Belly of My Toes, popularly known as the ‘Slidey House’, on Godwin Road in Cliftonville with the support of Margate Arts Culture Heritage (MACH) and Thanet District Council. Six months on, we invite you to discuss the purposes and challenges of realising artworks in the public realm with a panel of experts including artists, curators, commissioners and architects.

Panelists include:

Alex Chinneck, Artist
Mark Davy, Founder, Future City
Tamsin Dillon, Director, Art on the Underground
Professor Gordana Fontana-Giusti, Director of CREAte - Centre for Research in European Architecture, Kent School of Architecture, University of Kent
Daphne Wright, Artist

The debate will be chaired by Dr Terry Perk, Course Leader MA Fine Art & MA Curatorial Practice, University for the Creative Arts.

This event is the second in our series of Art Debates, following on from What is Art? in November 2013.

Organised in collaboration with Margate Arts Creativity Heritage and the MA Curatorial Practice at the University for the Creative Arts at Canterbury.

Explore our handling collection

Explore our handling collection with pupils and teachers from

Schools can use our special artist-made handling collections to look at the exhibitions in more detail, guided by one of our trained Navigators.

Objects that can be touched and explored provide starting points for critical responses to the artworks on display.

For Key Stage One these 45 minute sessions are just £2 per head, with a minimum charge of £18. For Key Stage Two and above a 60 minute session is just £2.50 per head, minimum charge of £20.

Visit for full details.

School iPad challenge presentation 15 Jan 2014

On 14 January 2014 Turner Contemporary hosted a packed out event for local Primary schools taking part in our iPad challenge. Having trained 10 teachers on iMovie in November, we set teachers and children the challenge of making a one minute film on the iPad around the theme ‘what my town means to me.’ 75 children from six East Kent schools took part, and lots of them came to show their films. 120 parents and teachers joined us too. 17 fantastic films were shown, and a panel of judges including Richard, Andy Somers from Hartsdown Academy and two guests from Stormfront in Canterbury chose a film by Cliftonville Primary School as the winner. The film goes through to the grand final in the summer.

The next challenge is being launched on the 31st January and we look forward to a similar event in March.

This film was made by one of the teachers to capture the presentation.

What is Art? A debate at Turner Contemporary

Grayson Perry is tackledthe eternal question What is art? in his Reith lectures and we didthe same. On Thursday 14 November 2013, we held a discussion with a panel of artists, critics and curators during a 'Question Time' style event.
Phyllida Barlow - artist
James Brett - Founder, Museum of Everything
Tony Heaton - Director, SHAPE
Alan Kane - artist
Sam Thorne - Associate Editor, frieze International
Jean Wainwright - critic and art historian, Head of Cultural Studies, School of Film and Media, University for the Creative Arts
Lauren Wright - Curator, Turner Contemporary
Chaired by Sacha Craddock - independent critic and curator

Reflecting on questions raised at recent exhibitions, including Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing at Turner Contemporary, Jeremy Deller's English Magic at the 2013 Venice Biennale (which will be exhibited at Turner Contemporary in 2014) Massimiliano Gioni's The Encyclopedic Palace at the Venice Biennale and the Hayward Gallery’s The Alternative Guide to the Universe, this talk follows on from Venice Agendas, a series of discussions, events and performances examining issues of live art and art and politics during the preview week of the 55th Venice Biennale, 2013.

Life In TechniCOLOUR - a response to Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawing #1136 by young people

In autumn 2013, a group of young people ages 13-25 years from Thanet, Kent learnt how to be film producers by taking part in our Life in techniCOLOUR project.

They produced and directed their own film about colour, inspired by Turner Contemporary's new Clore Learning Studio display of Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #1136. The young people worked with filmmakers Max Philo and Mark Castro to discover the ins and outs of filming, visited London galleries and museums, practiced interview skills with Claire Miller, News Editor for Heart FM 103.1 102.8(South East), interviewed artists and colour fanatics, and created own artwork and film content in hands-on workshops with artists.

See their final film here.

Platform Graduate Award 2013 panel discussion

On 7 November 2013, we celebrated the announcement of the Platform Graduate Award winner with a discussion about the opportunities and challenges facing emerging artists.

We asked -
What are the challenges and opportunities artists face when embarking upon a career? What support can they expect from galleries, dealers and other artists?
How do they make sure they keep up their momentum after graduation?

The panel of experts were:

Adam Chodzko, artist
Jonathan Viner, Director, Jonathan Viner Gallery, London and Margate
Matthew de Pulford, Limbo studios and project space, Margate
Lauren Wright, Curator, Turner Contemporary
Joella Wheatley, Platform Award winner 2012

About the Platform Graduate Award
Devised through the CVAN South East network and now in its second year, the Platform programme aims to support graduate professional development and nurture new talent, and is supported by a coalition of visual arts organisations in the South East: Aspex, Portsmouth; Modern Art Oxford; MK Gallery, Milton Keynes and Turner Contemporary, Margate.

Turner Contemporary showcased the work of seven BA Fine Art graduates from universities in Kent who have been selected to participate in the Platform Graduate Award, on display from 9 October until Sunday 10 November 2013.

Hannah Allison-Finucane Canterbury Christ Church University (shortlisted for award)
Charlotte Smith University of Kent (shortlisted for award)
Daniella Turbin University of Kent
Rachel Johnston Canterbury Christ Church University
Louisa Love University for the Creative Arts
Linda Simon University for the Creative Arts
Harry Tompkins University for the Creative Arts

Information about the award and the selected artists from all participating galleries in the Platform programme is available at

ARTIST ROOMS: Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing #1136 installation timelapse

Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #1136 goes on display in Turner Contemporary’s Clore Learning Studio from 29 November 2013. The installation team have spent two weeks re-creating the piece for the gallery. Watch our time lapse film of the installation and what you can expect to see at the gallery.

The artwork has been made possible through ARTIST ROOMS.

ARTIST ROOMS On Tour is a partnership with Arts Council England and the Art Fund, making available the ARTIST ROOMS collection of international modern and contemporary art to galleries throughout the UK. ARTIST ROOMS is jointly owned by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland and was established through The d’Offay Donation in 2008, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund, and the Scottish and British Governments.

Dorothy Cross: Connemara, an exhibition at Turner Contemporary

From 5 October 2013 - 5 January 2014 Turner Contemporary presents Dorothy Cross: Connemara. Here the artist talks about her work, the exhibition, her home Connemara, on the wild west coast of Ireland, and the connection with Margate's coastal location.

Katie Paterson interview

Exhibiting artist Katie Paterson talks about her work in Curiosity - a meteorite she has melted down and reformed to send back into orbit.

Curious Margate - discover the wonders of Margate

Curious Margate is a project between Turner Contemporary and local businesses and shops. Margate is a cabinet of curiosities - see the many fascinating wonders of the town in this complete film about 'Curious Margate'.
The film has been made by Mark Castro & Max Philo.

Curious Margate #3

Curious Margate is a project between Turner Contemporary and local businesses and shops. See more of the many fascintating curiosities you can see in Margate, including the town's museum, Tom Thumb Theatre, Tudor House, Walpole Bay Hotel.
The film has been made by Mark Castro & Max Philo.

Dan Graham Interview at Turner Contemporary on 17 July 2013

Following his talk at Turner Contemporary on the 17 July 2013, influential American artist Dan Graham talked to Turner Contemporary about his practice and this outdoor pavilion Two Cubes, One Rotated 45° (1986), which is currently on display on our South Terrace.

Curious Margate #2

If you think that Margate is just about sandy beaches, ice cream and art then think again...Margate is a wonderland full of curiosities and hidden artefacts. Watch this film and find out about our underground mermaid, shell grotto and Margate's very own Mad Hatter!
Filmed by Mark Castro and Max Philo.

Curious Margate #1

Curious Margate is a project between Turner Contemporary and local businesses and shops. The idea is that we'd like visitors to our summer exhibition Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing to also be curious about Margate and explore the town. Businesses and shops are showing weird and wonderful things, for you to discover. Here's a taster.
The film has been made by Mark Castro & Max Philo.

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Contact details

The Rendezvous


51.39114, 1.38442

(0) 1843 280268

  • 51.39114 1.38442

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