Saturday, 14 January 2017

A very disappointing day at Turner Contemporary Margate

I can’t help this, you understand it’s like a wobbly tooth I just can’t leave it alone, what am I talking about here? This is about our fairly new local art gallery here in the corner of Kent. What corner? Well right at the bottom on the far right or as far southeast as you can go in the United Kingdom or England.

With a contemporary art gallery you would expect a fair amount of jokes about packed lunches and fire extinguishers being taken for exhibits, but this, well it’s a different type of kidney.

You see most art galleries have a permanent exhibition and then have visiting exhibitions as an add on, but our gallery, Turner Contemporary Margate only has visiting exhibitions. The last one “JWM Turner, Adventures in Colour” was a cracker, about as good an exhibition as you would get outside of London.

But now, at the moment, they are changing the main exhibition and for visitors to the gallery who turn there isn’t much to see. Now this combined with the whole business of visiting a contemporary art gallery, well it produces an atmosphere which as I say, I have to keep going back to experience.

There is the art crowd, bald, bearded, bespectacled, intent – the gallery staff who have to do the explaining – and of course the people who just turned up to say how emperors own clothed contemporary art is.

You will probably soon see the comments on tripadvisor, but the fact remains that the exhibition times are well advertised on the gallery’s website, so visitors who turn up at the wrong time only have themselves to blame.

Anyway my attempts to express this in paint are not so good as you can see from today’s.

I would like to produce something expressive like “Caïn venant de tuer son frère Abel” by Henry Vidal, but obviously visitors to TC are not Cain and presumably haven’t just killed their brothers, so something a bit toned down,

Anyway I turned around and started painting the view of Margate, but this all went wrong when I got to Arlington as you see.

It was the light which so inspired JWM Turner, it just got in my eyes.

The real disappointment though was it seems we are not going to get a look a Turner’s stud book, I posted about this last month, see

Oh actually easier here is the quote of the relevant bit from that blog post.   

“The next Turner exhibition there is called Liber Studorium on the gallery’s website, vide and starts on the 28th January, this translates from the latin as – the stud book with the edge.

To begin with I thought this would be an exhibition of Turner’s erotica, see I had hoped that some of the Turners Ruskin allegedly burnt had appeared and there would be a first and possibly only showing in Margate.

However it seems this is to be an exhibition of prints of his work, and as his erotica – bonfire or no bonfire, never made it into being engravings, I am beginning to wonder if the gallery really meant to write Liber Studiorum which translates as – studies book.

Anyway it’s either a book of sharp studs or a book of studies and as I am in the book business I will have to look into this one.”  

I was sad to note that this has now been changed to “Liber Studiorum, which translates as – studies book.” So it will be all about the introduction of the rocker, unfortunately not in Margate but in fine art engraving where it produces halftone.

Or to put it another way mezzotinto engravings, here is one from my shelf as I am anticipating spring.



  1. At least the Turner is free entry! Are you saying that KCC tax payers and UK tax payers by way of the Arts council are not getting value for money? If the Turner had to charge an entry fee than maybe they would realise that they would soon go out of business if some of the exhibits were poor.

  2. Not really cranforduk, at the moment it’s the middle of winter and there doesn’t seem much for me to post about, I do however go out painting on my days off and I suppose as most people don’t I think putting pictures of the pictures on the internet interests some people. The counter on the sidebar, which is something I don’t really believe and have no control over as it’s a blogger app says this blog gets around 1,000 visits a day so I sort of feel obliged to write something. “Do you like my nice or not so nice picture?” seems a bit. “Do you like my tight sweater?” sic Moloco. So I go for something that I think is humorous, sad ain’t it?


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