Show image caption Mark Leckey Photo credit: Tim Topple

O Dreamland

Turner Contemporary is working with Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey in an ambitious, multi-year project generously supported by Freelands Foundation as Principal Supporter, leading to an exhibition at Turner Contemporary in 2023. The O Dreamland project is co-produced with eight local young people, selected as part of Creative Estuary’s Re:Generation 2031 programme, providing employment and skills development and the opportunity to shape the production of the exhibition. 

Mark Leckey is Artistic Director for O Dreamland and one of the most influential artists working today. Since the late 1990s, his practice has explored the relationship between popular culture and technology and the subjects of youth, class and nostalgia. For the first public event as part of the project, Leckey selected an eclectic line-up of artists and brought them to Margate to explore the theme of modern entertainment within the context of Dreamland, an amusement park that has stood in the seaside town since the 1880s.  

The event’s title, Salamagundy ‘22, derives from the culinary term for a dish made of different ingredients – much like a mix tape – a concept that is reflected in the diverse selection of artists and acts that will perform. 

Speaking about the Variety Show, Mark Leckey says, “As a little kid I always liked the format of the Morecambe & Wise show; comedy, music, dance, with somebody doing a ‘turn’. I carried around this idea for a long time and I’ve finally got the opportunity in Margate, an ideal place for a variety show. For the past six years I’ve had a radio slot with the magnificent NTS and this has put me in touch with musicians. I’ve been able to ask some of my favourites to perform at Dreamland in December.” 

Salamagundy ’22 is a Creative Estuary Co-commission – part of the enterprising initiative which showcases 60 miles of the North Kent and South Essex region as one of the UK’s most dynamic and creative areas in the whole of the UK. 

The Variety Show is the first strand of public programme from the ambitious, multi-year project O Dreamland, supported by Freelands Foundation. The project takes Lindsay Anderson’s short film O Dreamland, filmed at Margate’s Dreamland Amusement Park in 1953, as a starting point to discuss themes of class and entertainment. Leckey will draw on digital technologies, social media, music and performance, including elements of Salamagundy ’22, for an exhibition at Turner Contemporary in autumn 2023, which will be the culmination of the project. 

Over the course of two years, a group of young Emerging Producers are working alongside Mark Leckey and Turner Contemporary staff to help research, develop and deliver an exhibition. This will include realising significant new commissions and a public programme of live performance and provides valuable paid experience for those with an interest of working within the creative industries. 

Speaking of her involvement in the project, Emerging Producer, Miroslava Karaskova says: “Turner Contemporary has created a very accommodating and supportive environment for me to learn on the job and to take initiative. Working at the gallery for a year has opened my horizons and introduced new ways to get involved with the artistic community. I can already see the growth in my confidence and readiness for a future career in the creative industries.”

Mark Leckey (born 1964, Birkenhead), is a contemporary artist working with a variety of media including film, sound, sculpture and performance.

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Freelands Foundation 

Freelands Foundation works to broaden access to art education and the visual arts across the UK. 

We work with teachers and educators to develop diverse and ambitious approaches to art education. We support artists and arts organisations across the breadth of the UK to develop and present original ideas and practices. We commission research that explores the value that art and culture bring to society. 

Our initiatives include a unique programme of residencies, workshops, films and resources for art teachers and educators; the annual Freelands Award championing mid-career women artists; and the Freelands Artist Programme supporting emerging practitioners in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We fund art organisations across the UK to expand their work within their communities.  

Our London project space in Chalk Farm houses workshops, discussions, exhibitions, films, residencies and an extensive library, which explore new approaches to teaching, learning and making art. 

Freelands Foundation was set up in 2015 by Elisabeth Murdoch. It is a registered charity (number 1162648). 

www.freelandsfoundation.co.uk 

 

Creative Estuary 

CREATIVE ESTUARY has a vision to forge a new future founded on creative energy and innovation, along the length of the Thames Estuary. The project is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and led by the University of Kent on behalf of a consortium of public sector and cultural organisations. They include the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), Kent and Essex County Councils, the Greater London Authority, 11 local authority areas represented by Greater North Kent and Opportunity South Essex, South East Creative Economy Network (SECEN), University of Essex, Locate in Kent and cultural organisations Metal and Cement Fields. In early 2019 the University of Kent was awarded £4.3m from the DCMS Cultural Development Fund on behalf of the partners. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport funds the Cultural Development Fund which is administered by Arts Council England. Further information about Creative Estuary can be found at www.creativeestuary.comTwitter @creativeestuary / Linkedin / creative-estuary / Instagram @creativeestuary  

Creative Estuary Co-Commissions supports a wide range of cultural projects with new commissions for Estuary-based producers and artists, from activity for emerging cultural activists to large scale commissions with a diverse mix of partners. The Co-commissions raise widespread awareness of existing creative talent across the region and support creative practitioners and organisations to make and present new work. We are committed to engaging our local communities to contribute to their creative identity and will give artists, organisations and creative practitioners opportunities and support to help them realise their creative ambitions. The Co-commissions create opportunities for creative innovation and new cultural production – we want to capture imagination and provide opportunities for greater collaboration and knowledge sharing. 

For more information visit www.creativeestuary.com. 

About Re:Generation 2031. The cultural and creative future of the Thames Estuary should be shaped by the ambitions of its young people. We want to empower more young people to access creative careers and develop the skills they need to lead new commissions, produce events, create the jobs of the future and make the Estuary a creative production hub. We intend to champion the next generation of creative talent and future cultural leaders in the region by giving them new access to training, mentoring and aspirational opportunities. RE:Generation 2031 is an innovative approach to developing the creative skills of young people aged 16 to 25 years in disadvantaged areas of North Kent and South Essex.