Saturday, August 05, 2006

Turner MARGATE public consultation when where how

In last week's press release, from Kent council we were told that designs will be on display in due course and that Turner contemporary will fully engage with the public throughout the process.

This is good news assuming that you actually believe that there is any sincerity in that pledge, but I have to say so far things don't look that good. We're told that the master plan is to have our gallery built by the end of 2009, so really there isn't an awful lot of time. It would be reassuring if the Turner Gallery people were to make some sort of stab at consultation.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I received a telephone call from one of those honchos at KCC, involved with project and certainly they intimated the projects commitment to consultation, but I just got the impression that their heart was not in partaking of such an exercise.

This week's Gazette has reasonable coverage and one quotation from David Chipperfield director Victoria Jessen-Pike which I hope is not as revealing, as it sounds to me, ''How consultation will be carried out hasn't been decided. But in the past David Chipperfield has given a talk.''

That quotation gives me the impression, rather worryingly that once again opinion and views of Margate and Thanet in general, have a lesser value than perhaps a clique of art and design professionals, we only have to look back at the previous design which KCC have taken to calling euphemistically Turner offshore in their ludicrous attempt to sidestep criticism over their role in the previous unrealistic and out of control design.

I have no wish to criticise the chosen architect's, for a start they have yet to show their hand, lets hope they do a good job, so far all we have to go on is a couple of pictures in the local paper and a photograph of the architect looking enigmatic?

The main point is the Turner contemporary must be representative of Margate, and let's trust the clique responsible for the previous Turner debacle consult. As usual I may be talking bull, I get the impression that arty types live in a rarified environment resulting in an arrogance that only they have taste, of course the problem with this is that even in the art business you have to have patronage and in this case the patrons are taxpayers.

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