In The Offing exhibition coming to Turner Contemporary

Mark Leckey, DazzleDark, 2023, (production still). Commissioned by Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK. Courtesy Cabinet, London, Galerie Buchholz Berlin/Cologne/New York and Gladstone Gallery, New York. © Mark Leckey

By Dan Thompson

Turner Contemporary’s next exhibition, titled In The Offing, brings together a group of artists, musicians, and film-makers.

The exhibition has been devised by Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey.  He started his time in Margate with the 1953 documentary O Dreamland, filmed by Lindsay Anderson, as he began to explore what makes the town distinct.

He soon came across the nautical origins of the phrase ‘in the offing’, which means looking out for approaching ships from the shore – the ‘offing’ being the area towards the horizon which can be seen from shore.

He found a similar sense of anticipation to that in the O Dreamland film, which follows day trippers as they arrive in town, so commissioned artists and musicians to make work responding to this phrase.

Artists and musicians in the show include  ANGUSRAZE, Lucy Duncombe, Theo Ellison, Ashley Holmes + Seekersinternational, Darren Horton, Lost at Sea Project, Nakaya Mossi, Charlie Osborne, Alessandro Raho, Hannah Rose Stewart + Blackhaine, and Iceboy Violet.

Since the late 1990s, Leckey’s work has explored the relationship between popular culture and technology.

He is particularly interested in rave culture and hosts a radio show dedicated to experimental music. Some of the people he has commissioned are young musicians he has featured on his show.

The exhibition will bring together moving image, sound and light through the exhibition spaces, and Leckey promises it will give visitors an experience between a gallery and a fairground attraction.

Alongside Leckey’s exploration of Margate, a group of Emerging Producers have been on their own exploration of Margate. For In The Offing, they have worked alongside the gallery’s  team to re-design the Clore Learning Studio space as a hub for creativity. They have created a space which takes inspiration from faded seaside resorts. The space will host art workshops and the Children’s Art Library during the day and turn into a music venue for emerging local talent on selected evenings.

In The Offing is at Turner Contemporary, Margate from 7 October  – 14 January 2024. Full details of the programme created by the Emerging Producers group will be announced soon.


  1. another waste of money on this turner and art obsession , i have never been there and never will , just the pictures of the nonsense are enough for me thanks

  2. Have heard on the radio that funding will be cut or hopefully stopped for the turd centre which is great news. Should never have been funded in the first place, now let’s charge £10 a head to visit that place and see what happens. Total waste of money in the first place and tax payers should not be paying for it, money better spent on health of the people of Thanet

    • The Turner centre! Why are there so many crude allusions in this paper’s comments to what is just one art gallery among many in Britain? If you don’t think you’d like the exhibitions, fine. Don’t visit them. But if you haven’t actually seen them, your opinions on them are invalid – as invalid as your opinion on a book you haven’t read or a piece of music you haven’t heard.

      • M.M.Rees

        It might be because the turner centre can only operate with out taxes.

        Council’s are going broke all over the country, workers from all walks of live are striking for better pay and conditions. More and more people are using foodbanks. Mortgages and rent had gone up.

        Yet the money just keeps on flowing into the arty community.

        Perhaps that’s why so many people are against the turner centre.

        Stop wasting our taxes and the arty community pay to visit the turner centre. 10quid per head is very cheap.

        • How are other galleries funded- Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery? Because if they too are funded by taxpayers, should they all be charging for entry? I shall of course look them up and see how they’re funded, and how many of them charge entry fees.

          • Can’t find a list of publicly funded art galleries.

            If the Turner was full of artworks dating from, say, the 16th century to the early 20th, would the people who currently revile it and its contents still be against it?

        • Art is no different to any other job or career, so why should their chosen career be subsided by our taxes ?

          I have nothing against art apart from the drain on our taxes.

          If I go the cinema I pay. If I go to a sporting event I pay. If I go a music gig I pay. If I join a club I pay. If I drive a car I pay. If I travel my train I pay.

          What is the arty community so afraid of of they have to pay ? We are told Turner centre has huge footfall, so pay an entrance fee.

          • It’s the art galleries which are subsidized- by large companies and by wealthy individuals,as well as by the government – not the artists whose work appears there.

  3. Truly a modern masterpiece. Echoes of Emin’s Neon Sign, Hirst’s The Beheading Of John The Baptist, Warhol’s Banana & Kapoor’s Sacrifice. All rolled up magnificently into one collage of enlightenment like an orange Blancmange enveloping a flock of Seagulls.

  4. Art should find its self ,as other sporting and entertainment ,organisations have to.The money wasted on this so called art ,is terrible ,especially with the cost of living crisis, going on .As someone has stated ,charge an entrance fee,and then see ,how many people turn up.Some people will go to see anything ,if it is free of charge

  5. Shame that some people don’t like the building or what it shows. But, the lovely quote feels right – “art should comfort the distressed and distress the comfortable”.
    Art is proven to improve mental health, both by producing works and viewing them. This said “art” is primal to our species, it is the lack of it that is damaging to communities and the individuals that inhabit them. Creative efforts are done by most people, in ways as numerous as they are.
    That might be a valuable exhibition, creative efforts of the everyday, cooking, sewing, decorating, gardening, storytelling, dressing-up, etc.

    • The ‘lovely quote’ might say “art should comfort the distressed and distress the comfortable” but it doesn’t say it should cost the taxpayers millions!

    • You use the term art very loosely for what is in there Garry. Anybody with eyes would see the infantile sticking stuff to walls, piling junk up on floors, drawing stick people with huge genitals etc would be distressed-not only that this is dubbed art, but the huge cost to the taxpayer of funding this nonsense.

      I think more damaging that a lack of art-certainly no lack of what passes for it it in Thanet, but certainly a lack of art with any value at Turner, the on life support Margate School & Emin’s place, is people having to rely on foodbanks to survive, mortgage rates etc going up due to incompetence from our leaders, while the arts gets millions year after year to keep turning this tripe out.

      • The fact that modern art doesn’t necessarily mean anatomically accurate depictions of people or indeed any realistic imagery doesn’t bother me. I think the rise of photography partly explains why art has become increasingly abstract / conceptual.
        But I do object to art’s sacred cow status. We do indeed all have creative instincts and cherry picking a few artists to raise up to ludicrous heights of fame & wealth is obnoxious, especially when so many are struggling to pay their food bills. Celebrate particularly talented, interesting and unusual artists by all means. But don’t worship them as if they were gods which is what Turner Contemporary does. It’s like a weird church.

    • Yes Garry the next time I am struggling to pay my fuel bill or buy food, I’ll just pop down to the turner centre to improve my mental health. Sod worry about keeping warm or eating I’ll just pop down and look at something a monkey could have painted better

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