Monday, 24 September 2012
Didn't we have a loverly time...
I didn't go to Bangor on Saturday, I went to Margate. I know you're humming the tune...
Margate, it has to be said, isn't the most beautiful of seaside towns - yet.
It appears to have had a colourful history.
But it seems to have lost much of its charm. I took a trip with J and L to see the recent work of Margate's prodigal daugter.
Our destination gleamed in the low September sunshine.
It, the Turner Contemporary, is truly a beacon of cultural hope and modern optimism. It's strapline (we must all have one) is 'art inspiring change'.
In it we saw a selection of Tracey Emin's new drawings, watercolours and embroideries. They were/are beautiful, raw and poignant.
I learned that Turner's champion, Ruskin, took it upon himself to censor Turner's more intimate, physical works to ensure that his idol was seen as a master of light, colour and landscape, not legs, tits and bums. There were three of Turner's tiny sketchbooks on display. Mesmerising.
Tracey obviously wanted to demonstrate that her work is, in fact, nothing new or shocking. Displaying her work alongside Rodin and Turner watercolours, she made the links clear. I loved the way she referenced 'my house in France' and the trauma of having her olive grove brutally pruned. One of the rooms was painted 'cooking apple green' by Farrow and Ball. As they say - the girl done good.
I loved it but then I've always admired her. I love the way she's just carried on, doing what she does, having the heart and sheer brutal determination to work amidst the fury that often surrounds her. Now the Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy, I think she's worked for her good life and I'm interested in how her confessional work will change as she ages.
Around the gallery, it seemed that there are changes afoot in Margate. It felt as if there was a little seaside garden of creativity and entrepreneurship being nurtured and protected by the sea wall and this brand new artistic venture. Almost as if the gallery had just moved in to a house with a run down plot and had started to plant the basics - there were cafes and vintage stores and pop-up galleries.
Old Town seemed to be the main hub of regeneration. There was a little on the sea wall that jutted out from the Turner but there needs to be more than a few fuschia parasols involved to make this Brighton.
Margate left me hoping that it would succeed, that Londoners would take the trouble to train it to the seaside again. It's got all the raw materials. I might go back again one day.
Posted by janicebotterill at 08:33