An image of ripples on the surface of the sea

World Ocean Day

It’s World Ocean Day.

At Turner Contemporary, we are on a mission to protect the planet from its pressing environmental challenges. Located on the breathtaking coast of Kent, the gallery is committed to minimising its environmental impact, preserving, and safeguarding cultural and natural heritage, and empowering audiences to contribute to a sustainable future.

We are working with organisations including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as part of the Climate Neutral Now Initiative and RISE UP. CLEAN UP. We have also established Thanet’s first Teachers’ Environmental Network.

We continue to implement measures, such as creating a staff Green Team, and exploring ways in which our exhibition planning and delivery can be made more sustainable. Find out more.

We also promote sustainable travel through the Creative Isle Community Rail Partnership, which is a collaboration between Turner Contemporary, Southeastern, and Thanet District Council. Find out more.

In addition to encouraging sustainable travel by train, we strive to promote the use of Thanet’s many cycle networks, working with the Bikeability Trust and Kent Coast Volunteering to involve as many people as possible from the local area. 

You can read more about our environmental work here.

Our exhibition programme also has important links to the environment and our coastal location:

Beatriz Milhazes: Maresias

Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes is widely recognised as one of the leading abstract artists working today. Maresias, on until 10 September 2023, is Milhazes’ first UK solo institutional exhibition in over two decades.

Nature is an enduring and increasingly important theme in Beatriz Milhazes’ work. Widely recognised as one of the leading abstract artists working today, Beatriz Milhazes: Maresias encourages us to reflect on our own relationship with the environment, speaking to Turner Contemporary’s unique coastal location and the gallery’s programme dedicated to contemporary ecological issues. Her work is inspired by her location in Rio de Janeiro, and many of her paintings feature landscapes mimicking the ocean, waves and sun.

Open until 10 September 2023.

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Portfolio   X   RISE UP. CLEAN UP

Portfolio is a platform for young people to get their art and ideas out in the world. Each year we work with with a local organisation to set the brief and select work to be shown as part of our summer exhibition. This year Turner Contemporary has collaborated with RISE UP. CLEAN UP.,  a local community-driven social initiative with a mission to clean up Margate’s beaches and protect the local coastline, ocean and native wildlife.

This year’s theme, Rising, reflects the fact we are living in a time of climate crisis: rising numbers of plastics produced, rising pollution, rising sea levels. The exhibition includes art that addresses the full spectrum of these issues.

Open until Sunday 10 September 2023.

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Lily Mixe: Balaenoptera Acutorostrata

We also present a new commission, created alongside Portfolio   X   RISE UP. CLEAN UP.

Lily Mixe is originally from Paris and has lived and worked in the UK for the past ten years. Her practice revolves around drawing and painting on a variety of surfaces including paper, canvas, found objects and walls. The focus of Mixe’s work is the natural world and in particular the ocean. Mixe presents subjects and specimens as otherworldly; aliens from our own planet and reminders of how beautiful and complex life on Earth can be.

Using chalk collected from the beaches in Margate, Mixe has chosen to paint a life-sized Minke whale, the most commonly seen whale around the UK coastline. Chalk is comprised from planktonic remains of micro-organisms: fossils believed to be 66 to 100 million years old. Using this material to draw such a giant creature is a way to show the connection between all living things.

Open until 10 September 2023.

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If you would like to join us in the fight against the climate emergency, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Together with artists, educators, environmentalists, suppliers, scientists, and innovators, we can create a brighter, more sustainable future for all. 

Read more about Turner Contemporary and the Environment here