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Margate NOW to be guest curated by Russell Tovey

26th Jun 2019

Margate NOW, an ambitious and dynamic festival of art, events and performances will be held across Margate in the Autumn to celebrate the world famous Turner Prize coming to Turner Contemporary for its 2019 edition. Developed by a consortium of partners and artists, the town-wide programme will be bigger than ever before and will place art works in unexpected places. This follows a successful bid to the Arts Council, as well as further contributions from Kent County Council, Thanet District Council and Dreamland Margate.

As part of an open call, led by Margate Festival, artists were invited to respond to the theme ‘NOW’. 500 artists and performers will produce 60 events and have been selected to be part of the programme guest curated by Russell Tovey. There will be music, dance, exhibitions and installations.

The festival runs from Saturday 28 September to Sunday 13 October, with a number of events and exhibitions continuing until the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition leaves Margate on 12 January 2020.

Guest Curator and Actor, Russell Tovey says:

I’ve always had a close relationship with art and began collecting art in my mid 20s whilst acting in ‘The History Boys’. Initially, I was excited by the buzz of investing in art and buying something that would outlive me. As my collection has grown my interest has developed into supporting emerging and mid-career artists as well as becoming a patron for a number of not-for-profit public art institutions. ‘Margate NOW’ is such an exciting programme. Art can be powerful and engaging and I am looking forward to seeing the town brought to life in unusual, surprising and entertaining ways. I’ve really enjoyed helping to curate and select artists for the festival. It’s great to be able to support and encourage the creation of new art and new ideas.

In addition to the open call programme, there are a number of co-commissions. Turner Contemporary is working with international sound artist and electronic musician, based in London and Margate, Yuri Suzuki to create a new work for the gallery’s South Terrace, in partnership with Kent Libraries. A new work, ‘Printed Whispers’, is also being developed by Yemi Awosile in collaboration with Open School East. Awosile is collaborating with local groups and organisations and will make use of natural resources and reconditioned objects, sourced from the local area.

Further highlights include; theatre company 1927’s fantastical sequence of evening projections, created in collaboration with 500 local primary school children; specially programmed events from Dreamland; as well as a creative installation by Studio TAC at Margate Train Station delivered in partnership with Southeastern.

Read Turner Contemporary’s full press release here.

Image: Margate Festival 2018, photo: Heather Tait.

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