The only presence of the artistic side of the project one is aware of is in the droit house, and the only art on display there yesterday was the display of cardboard and glue project work by eight year olds.
As I have two eight year old children I was in a position to judge this better than most, one could for instance see those artworks that had received considerable adult help.
Some of the writing on the cardboard had obviously had been written out for the children to copy, putting words into the mouths of babes and sucklings type of thing.
The question that occurred to me was this expensively refurbished venue with expensive staff and appropriate venue to display a small amount of class work?
Particularly incongruous when the town can’t afford to open its museum.
The inside of the droit house consists of two small rooms the other contained a man at a desk with the inevitable pc apart from the photographs of the construction work see http://www.turnercontemporary.org/design/ everything was very Spartan.
I would imagine in a world where bricks, tins of beans etc are art one has to be careful what one leaves about, lest the uneducated venerate one’s lunch, shopping etc.
So there was the man to explain what was or wasn’t art with nothing to explain, in that world this could have been an artistic statement; I took a walk upon the pier and saw some art that wasn’t there, type of thingy.
I mentioned to him how unfortunate it was that they were selling the car park, something with which he seemed to concur with.
I said how unfortunate it was that the new gallery is to be so small in terms of exhibition space, this seemed to surprise him, and he said most people seemed surprised how big it was. So I rambled on a bit about it not being big enough to attract enough people, this appeared to come as a surprise to him too.
A discussion about architecture then ensued, now I am loath to criticise something not yet finished but the discussion meandered about the problems that occur when architects are unfamiliar with our costal climatic conditions.
The principle aesthetic feature of the building is that it is to be coated with recycled glass, ostensibly to reflect the light. The problem for me has always been that this glass is not flat, which poses the awkward question how are they going to clean the salt deposited by the sea spray off of it, so that it continues to reflect the light.
Glass you understand is usually cleaned by a window cleaner with a squeegee, something that won’t work on the proposed lumpy surface.
He seemed to be a bit miffed about this too, so I went off in search of more culture in Margate.
The Turner Contemporary presence in the old M&S shop has gone now, even the jolly tiles have gone from the front making the building look somehow naked, strange really that they should not persue the continuity of atracting the art appreciating world in Margate.