Visitors entering Turner Contemporary on the opening weekend of Turner Prize 2019

Over 140,000 Visits to Turner Prize 2019 at Turner Contemporary

Posted in – NewsTurner Prize 2019

Turner Contemporary in Margate today announced that the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition attracted 141,550 visits.  It was the gallery’s most popular Autumn exhibition ever.  It was also the second most visited Turner Prize exhibition of all time since the Prize was established in 1984.

Turner Prize 2019 was awarded to a collective bringing together the four nominated artists: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo, and Tai Shani. The artists came together to request that the jury consider awarding the Prize to them as a collective in recognition of their shared commitment to urgent social and political causes. The prize was presented by Edward Enninful, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue, at a ceremony broadcast live on the BBC from Dreamland Margate.

Specially devised to run alongside this year’s exhibition, more than 500 artists took part in Margate NOW, a town-wide festival of art, events and performances guest curated by actor Russell Tovey and developed in collaboration with partners. The festival included the installation The Welcome Chorus by sound artist, designer and electronic musician Yuri Suzuki which has now been extended until 23rd February 2020. The work saw 12 horns installed on the terrace of Turner Contemporary, each singing lyrics generated live by a uniquely trained piece of AI software. In London, University of the Arts marked 35 years of Turner Prize with the exhibition Counter Acts (until 22 January 2020) at the Lethaby Gallery in Kings Cross, showcasing previous winners and nominees who studied or taught at UAL.

The exhibition programme at Turner Contemporary continues with We Will Walk – Art and Resistance in the American South (7 February 2020 – 3 May 2020). The exhibition is the first of its kind in the UK and reveals a little-known history shaped by the Civil Rights period in the 1950s and 60s. It will bring together sculptural assemblages, paintings and quilts by more than 20 African American artists from Alabama and surrounding states produced from the mid-20th century to the present, many of which will be coming to Europe for the first time.

Notes to Editors

Turner Prize Exhibition at Turner Contemporary

  • Research undertaken by Canterbury Christ Church University shows that 7.52% of Turner Prize exhibition visitors had never before visited an art gallery in their lives
  • The gallery has welcomed 120+ visits from schools, 3000+ children and young people attended with their school and engaged in Turner Contemporary’s learning programme
  • Over 800 hours of volunteering time have taken place during Turner Prize 2019 from individuals based in Margate and the surrounding areas. Turner Contemporary volunteers directly connected with over 5000 individuals as part of the wider programme, Margate NOW
  • Over 26% of all visits have been from individuals who live in Margate and Thanet
  • 33% of survey respondents visiting Margate, who attended the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition, stayed overnight in the area

Previous Turner Prize winners

1984 Malcolm Morley; 1985 Howard Hodgkin; 1986 Gilbert & George; 1987 Richard Deacon; 1988 Tony Cragg; 1989 Richard Long; 1990 (Prize suspended); 1991 Anish Kapoor; 1992 Grenville Davey; 1993 Rachel Whiteread; 1994 Antony Gormley; 1995 Damien Hirst; 1996 Douglas Gordon; 1997 Gillian Wearing; 1998 Chris Ofili; 1999 Steve McQueen; 2000 Wolfgang Tillmans; 2001 Martin Creed; 2002 Keith Tyson; 2003 Grayson Perry; 2004 Jeremy Deller; 2005 Simon Starling; 2006 Tomma Abts; 2007 Mark Wallinger; 2008 Mark Leckey; 2009 Richard Wright; 2010 Susan Philipsz; 2011 Martin Boyce; 2012 Elizabeth Price; 2013 Laure Prouvost; 2014 Duncan Campbell; 2015 Assemble; 2016 Helen Marten; 2017 Lubaina Himid; 2018 Charlotte Prodger.

Supporters and Sponsors

Turner Prize 2019 was supported by AKO Foundation, Eurotunnel, BNP Paribas, Southeastern, Canterbury Christ Church University, Lord Browne of Madingley and Lance Uggla, with additional funding from Kent County Council. Turner Contemporary is a charity receiving public funding from Arts Council England and Kent County Council.


To deliver Turner Prize 2019 and expand its reach across Margate, Kent and beyond Turner Contemporary worked in collaboration with many additional partners, local artists and creatives including; 1927, Applause Rural Touring, Arts Council England, BBC Arts, Crate and Limbo Studios, Dreamland Margate, Kent County Council, Kent Libraries, Liddicoat and Goldhill, Margate Festival, Open School East, Resort, Tate, Visit Kent and University of the Arts London, among others.

Margate NOW
Margate NOW was been developed in collaboration with partners. This includes; Turner Contemporary, Margate Festival, Open School East, Resort, 1927, Crate and Limbo Studios, Dreamland Margate, Kent County Council and Kent Libraries, Thanet District Council, Southeastern and local artists. The programme is funded by Arts Council England through National Lottery funding, as well as contributions from Kent County Council, Thanet District Council and Dreamland, Margate and the Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust.

The AKO Foundation, a UK charity, was founded by Nicolai Tangen, the CEO and founder of AKO Capital, in 2013. Funded with a total of more than £300m, the primary focus of the AKO Foundation is the making of grants to projects which improve education, promote the arts, or mitigate climate problems.


Eurotunnel is delighted to sponsor the 2019 Turner Prize, an event that draws the eyes of the world to Margate and to Kent and that will further enhance the cultural reputation of our county for years to come. We look forward to bringing overseas visitors to Turner Contemporary during the exhibition and beyond. Eurotunnel is the operator of the Channel Tunnel and runs the car, coach and truck carrying Le Shuttle service, the vital link for tourism and trade between the United Kingdom and continental Europe.

Southeastern have been a longstanding corporate supporter of Turner Contemporary. Southeastern’s sponsorship of Turner Prize 2019 builds on this and provides opportunities to further strengthen the close links with the communities we serve. Southeastern is Britain’s third-largest rail franchise, serving South East London, Kent and parts of East Sussex. Running the UK’s only high-speed domestic train line and this year celebrating its 10th anniversary. The service runs from London St Pancras International, with trains calling at 37 stations across Kent – including Ashford International, Canterbury, Folkestone, and Margate.

BNP Paribas is a leading European bank, with global reach. The Group has a presence in 72 countries, employs more than 202,000 staff, of which over 9000 are based in the UK.

BNP Paribas has supported art and culture around the world for over 30 years. In the UK, it supports the Turner Prize as well as Turner Contemporary, Royal Academy of Arts, V&A London, V&A Dundee, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives, and the Royal Opera House.

Twitter: @BNPParibasUK #accessart25

Canterbury Christ Church University is a major contributor to the arts and creative industries in Kent and Medway, with strong and established partnerships across the South East, including Turner Contemporary. Its students are a key talent pipeline to creative industries locally and nationally, and the University is proud to be part of a vibrant and flourishing creative sector that is supporting regional economic growth and success.

Kent County Council (KCC) has been the prime sponsor of Turner Contemporary from its inception and continues to invest in culture and the creative industries, appreciating the benefits these bring to the local economy and communities. KCC sees culture as a driving force in attracting visitors to Kent, generating significant economic growth. This is especially true of Margate and its surrounding area, where Turner Contemporary has had a huge impact on the social and economic regeneration. KCC believes its investment in Turner Contemporary has encouraged significant private investment in Margate, with shops, restaurants and hotels all opening to support the regeneration of East Kent.

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, Arts Council England will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.