Thousands visit Emin, Turner and Arp exhibition at Turner Contemporary

My Bed at Turner Contemporary Photo Manu Palomeque

Turner Contemporary had 8256 visitors during the first weekend of its new exhibition season, which includes work by Tracey Emin, JMW Turner and Jean Arp.

The exhibition opened with a preview event on October 12 where visitors packed out the gallery to hear Tracey Emin and comedian Vic Reeves speak.

Visit numbers increased by 23.5% compared to the opening of the Autumn season last year and the gallery has now welcomed over 2.5 million visits.

Tracey Emin spoke of her excitement at exhibiting My Bed again before leading the crowd in a chant for Margate. When asked if her installation will bring more people to Margate, and reflecting on her move back to her home town, Emin responded: “Margate’s already blossoming… Margate’s really edgy… I feel like London’s crushing me.”

Photo Manu Palomeque

The evening also included the premiere of composer Helen Caddick’s brand new composition, Amphora, which is inspired by the work of Jean Arp and his collaborator Sophie Taubeur, and featured live music, song and dance.

Photo Manu Palomeque

Victoria Pomery OBE, Director of Turner Contemporary, said: “It was fantastic to see so many visitors at our opening. The season brings together an extraordinary range of work – from works by Jean Arp which have not been exhibited in the UK for over 50 years, to Tracey Emin and JMW Turner – internationally renowned artists with a deep seated connection to Margate.

Tracey Emin talks about My Bed and Turner

“We’re looking forward to a successful Autumn ahead and are grateful to all of our supporters who make world class art in Margate possible.”

Since opening in 2011, Turner Contemporary has welcomed over 2,554,735 visits. The gallery has exhibited the work of over 400 artists in more than 45 exhibitions, and has brought over 250 JMW Turner paintings to Margate.

My Bed and  JMW Turner and Jean Arp: The Poetry Of Forms

The exhibition runs from October 13 to January 14 2018.

Admission to Turner Contemporary is free

Opening times:

Tuesday – Sunday and public holidays 10am – 5pm

Closed Mondays except public holidays


  1. I don’t doubt that this exhibition is popular – but how does the gallery arrive at precisely 8,256 unique visitors when there is no ticketing or admission fee?

    Door counters are notoriously optimistic – but maybe they have something more sophisticated. It would be good for ratepayers, who subsidise the gallery, to know just how the performance is monitored.

    • I think that on any given day you can judge the performance of the gallery for yourself with the people that are in and around the gallery and of course the old town.

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