Turner Contemporary prepares for May reopening

Ellen Harvey will be among the 2021 exhibitors Photo Ellen Harvey Studio

Turner Contemporary in Margate aims to reopen on May 18, government roadmap allowing.

The gallery is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and is planning a busy programme which includes work by Ellen Harvey and Steve McQueen, plus the Turner Contemporary Open 2021, curated in partnership with local community groups.

Founded in celebration of JMW Turner’s connection with the town, Turner Contemporary celebrates its namesake alongside breaking work and contemporary artists.

Following exhibitions by Helen Frankenthaler, Joachim Koester and Katie Paterson, its programme continues in 2021 with an exhibition by Kent- born artist, Ellen Harvey, paired with JMW Turner.

New exhibitions

Further highlights within the gallery in 2021 include the presentation of Steve McQueen’s film-installation Ashes and the Turner Contemporary Open 2021 – a major open exhibition celebrating the creativity of the artistic community in Margate and across Kent.

Barbara Walker, Place, Space and Who, Photograph by Stephen White

There will be a new joint commission by Anne Ryan and Sophie von Hellerman created for Turner Contemporary’s Sunley Gallery and the continuation of Barbara Walker’s Place, Space and Who, which was created over a four-month residency at Turner Contemporary in 2019.

Beyond the gallery, offsite projects and installations created in collaboration with local communities include new commissions by Conrad Shawcross and Yinka Illori and the unveiling of April is the Cruellest Month, a new sculpture by Michael Rakowitz commissioned as part of England’s Creative Coast.

New statue Photo Frank Leppard

This forms part of seven commissions across East Sussex, Kent and Essex. The Margate sculpture of a war veteran who served in Basra during the 2003 Iraq invasion is now installed in Marine Terrace and positioned between the Surf Boat Memorial and the Nayland Rock promenade shelter.

This year’s Turner Contemporary programme also includes a new series of audio works by composer Emily Peasgood which will be played across seven train stations in Thanet as part of the Creative Isle Community Rail Partnership.

Another Time Photo John Horton

Turner Contemporary has also confirmed that Antony Gormley’s Another Time will remain in Margate for another 10 years.

Turner Contemporary closed last March when the pandemic restrictions were brought in by government. The gallery reopened during the summer but then closed while a £2million upgrade was carried out.

It had been due to reopen in February but remained shut as the country was once more in lockdown.

With the next step of the government roadmap out of restrictions due to take place from May 17, the gallery is now preparing to open to the public once more.


  1. News Update…..Turner Contemporary making former Gallery Assistants sign Non-disclosure Agreements (Gagging Orders) to prevent them talking about ACAS cases regarding Unfair Dismissals and lack of Redundancy payments.

  2. Yes, saw the smug one on telly a day or two back boasting & saying how it divided opinion. As you can see more doodles & pretentious garbage.

  3. NDA should be abolished, what they hidding????. Turner centre is as much use as a polished turd, as for money spent on it it should be a solid gold turd with diamonds

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