Saturday, July 04, 2009

Margate’s empty canvas

can1 Last Sunday, I went down to Margate seafront in pursuit of the meal and maybe some sort diversion after a weekend spent, at work.

Now in fairness to the local authority, there had been an event going on over the weekend, that being the volleyball, which I assume to have been a success. However looking round the seafront, you just wonder, what there is to hold people in Margate, I suppose 6.00 PM on Sunday afternoon is the wrong time to be of looking for somewhere to eat or something to do, even so I found it surprising the amount of establishments, that if they hadn't already closed for the day, appeared to be in the process of closing up.

Obviously cafes, restaurants etc. are businesses who offer there services when commercially viable, with Margate offering no big draw attraction, that it once use to like Dreamland, it's no surprise that businesses close early.

The Turner contemporary operation, currently offers no real incentive for anyone to travel to these parts, until such time as the permanent gallery is built, so far, the exhibition's running at the project space, or as some of us prefer to call it, the old Marks and Spencer building, have varied from the not bad category, to the “what the hell's that!” exhibits.

The unfortunate thing with the Turner contemporary concept, is the word contemporary, since if you look at most contemporary art, as available say in the Tate modern, frankly it's mainly complete garbage, but to those conditioned and probably brainwashed minds of the arts council its brilliant.

Of current contemporary artists including local girl Tracey Emin and say Damien Hirst, I like to think that these artists are having a bit of fun and making lots of money out of pretentious well educated Muppets in the art world.

can2 One contemporary artist that I would go out of my way to see would be Banksy, and I'm thinking maybe the arts council could bung him a few quid to brighten up Margate, with some thought provoking and amusing graphics. God knows there enough potential canvases for street artistry in Margate, like the Dreamland fin, the Marks and Sparks building, the hideous council buildings, maybe the Arcadian and perhaps the temporary fencing erected around the Turner construction site. CAN3

The thing about Banksy's work is that it probably appeals to a wide cross section of society including people like me, reading about his exhibition in Bristol I would if I had the time the money and the opportunity go and see it, not something I would say about Emin or Hirst although I have seen their stuff in galleries. CAN4

Briefly on the subject of Turner contemporary gallery, we will have to wait and see what the great and good of the established art world, we'll foist on us in Margate and of course vital for business in this part the world is the actual timetable on its opening.


  1. My daughter reports from Bristol that when she walked past the museum a couple of days ago there were at least a thousand people in the queue

  2. Conversly Tony it may because there is nowhere to eat after about 5.30 that folks dont come to Margate.

  3. Giorgios and the italian restaurant above are both open and serve lovely reasonable food Tony

  4. I think what you mean is Contemporary art is mainly complete garbage in your opinion.
    I love the open at M&S. It's got some fabulous work and I intend to go back for second helpings. Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it's rubbish.

  5. well said.the open atM&S is really great-I particually like the piano,when you press the keys it plays bird song(different keys play different bird songs)my grandchildren spent ages trying to identify which bird was which.and it is free