Thursday, 16 February 2012

Turner Contemporary Margate and how do you take a picture of something that isn’t there, a day off ramble about this and that.

With The Turner Contemporary there was one work of art that was there when the gallery first opened, see this means that to those of us who know the gallery from the beginning have come to accept this as part of the building.

Frankly when the gallery’s first exhibition which this work of art was part of closed and all the other artworks were removed leaving this one behind looked like a case of aesthetic cold feet on the part of the management.

What I am talking about here is “Borrowing and Multiplying the Landscape” by Daniel Buren, well I wrote abut this exhibit ages ago, see

Well now it’s gone and about time I think, there is a blank canvas to photograph people and “The Kiss” against.

The Turner Contemporary fascinates me, it was very busy today and obviously busy with visitors with money to spend, although for the most part Margate has lost places to spend it.

There was a queue of parents and children waiting to spend £2 on painting with the elements, I rather like the idea letting children paint with fire.

Something that occurred to me looking at the Turner paintings today is that Turner didn’t sign any of them. So I guess having a signed Turner would be a bit suspicious, some on ones tried to sell me I signed first edition of “Under Milk Wood, Dylan Thomas died the year before it was published.

The protestors were still there, chatting to the gallery visitors and taking advantage of the milder weather to thaw out a bit.
Another new neighbour for the gallery is The Ramsgate Tunnels exhibition in the Droit House. 

Coming back to photographs in the gallery I have to say I miss the opportunity to take photographs in the upstairs gallery, although I understand why it has to be forbidden, I do wonder how in an age when everyone’s mobile phone contains a camera how long this sort of photography ban will remain workable.

Anyway I did take some pictures today here is what was on the camera card 

I see the shadow cabinet details are still missing from the council’s website, something that is beginning to look like more than a TDCIT glitch, perhaps they really are having a reshuffle.

Like the significance of the absence of “Borrowing and Multiplying the Landscape” by Daniel Buren, the significance of something missing reminds me of the poem.

Indeed the very existence of this artwork meant that a large proportion of what’s in the picture above wasn't there.

Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away
When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door
Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

Do I miss the missing infinity? I don’t really know yet, perhaps I will know better when I get used to them taking away what mostly wasn’t there. 


  1. Another great set of photos, thanks.
    Building on the on-going success of Turner Contemporary I reckon Margate could support an annual seven-day literary festival.
    More at my blog ... which I'd love to have added to your list.

  2. Good luck with your literary festival idea.

  3. Link done Col, I though I did it before.

    Literary festival sounds interesting, it would need a large venue though, although there are plenty of large empty shops in Margate I expect the rules and regulations would make it very difficult to use them for anything like that.

  4. Michael, is the tunnel exhibition worth visiting or is there not much there ?

  5. Ross, ah a tricky one, being half term and as I have primary school children I did everything at a rush so I didn’t stay long. He main draw seemed to be the archive film footage which is what all the otter people there were watching and I didn’t have time to.

    I would say one to combine with the gallery and a chat with the protesters, which is what I did.

  6. Why couldn't the Ramsgate Tunnels Exhibition be held in Ramsgate?
    Is it another way to try and get people to nip in to the Turner?

  7. I have to say I miss the Buren window piece in the gallery. The yellow stripes warmed the display area and it now looks rather cold. The cicles helped to frame the large expanse of glass and give a cosier feel to the experience of viewing through the glass. Thankyou for your excellent blog which always helps to focus matters in East Kent.

  8. Tony, the great little tunnel exhibition benefited from the 10.000 or so visitors the Turner contemporary received over half term, my grandchildren included, who btw enjoyed the footage and spoke to the friendly chap manning room, so i think your comment is slightly disingenuous.

  9. And don't you think more people should be encouraged to visit things in Ramsgate instead?

  10. What a most dull, uninteresting venue. And who is interested in seeing a block of old marble/stone anyway in a disgusting pose.


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