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  • Tracey Emin spoke proudly of Margate in her speech at the opening of Turner Contemporary's autumn exhibitions
  • Jim Moir, a.k.a. Vic Reeves, speaks to the crowd
  • Helen Caddick's Amphora is performed
  • The preview night of Arp: The Poetry of Forms and Tracey Emin: My Bed / JMW Turner
  • The preview night of Arp: The Poetry of Forms and Tracey Emin: My Bed / JMW Turner
  • The preview night of Arp: The Poetry of Forms and Tracey Emin: My Bed / JMW Turner
  • The preview night of Arp: The Poetry of Forms and Tracey Emin: My Bed / JMW Turner
  • The preview night of Arp: The Poetry of Forms and Tracey Emin: My Bed / JMW Turner
  • The preview night of Arp: The Poetry of Forms and Tracey Emin: My Bed / JMW Turner
  • The preview night of Arp: The Poetry of Forms and Tracey Emin: My Bed / JMW Turner
  • The preview night of Arp: The Poetry of Forms and Tracey Emin: My Bed / JMW Turner

Turner Contemporary starts its autumn season with one of the most popular previews to date

The gallery welcomed 8256 visits during the first weekend of its new exhibition season, which includes work by Tracey Emin, JMW Turner and Jean Arp.

These figures follow an exciting preview event on Thursday 12th October, which saw numerous visitors flock to the gallery to hear Tracey Emin and comedian Jim Moir (also known as Vic Reeves) open the exhibition. 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."

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.

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. 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."

Turner Contemporary’s autumn exhibitions are: Tracey Emin: My Bed / JMW Turner, which includes Tracey Emin’s 1998 iconic and controversial installation of her own bed that featured in her 1999 Turner Prize exhibition, and 11 watercolours and 3 oil paintings by JMW Turner; and Arp: The Poetry of Forms, which includes over 80 artworks by Jean Arp, one of the 20th century’s most versatile and original abstract artists.

Also showing at the gallery until November 5th is Platform Graduate Award 2017, which features the work of seven graduate artists chosen from Kent’s universities. Visitors can also interact with Jyll Bradley’s colourful Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block) on Turner Contemporary’s terrace, and can watch Antony Gormley’s ANOTHER TIME sculpture emerge from the sea at low tide.

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.

Posted by: Turner Contemporary on Fri 20 Oct 2017