Sculpture of a young soldier made from concrete, calcite, sand and earth from Basra with chalk from Margate stood on a plinth on a grass area opposite beach. In the background empty beach, wooden listed white with tiled roof shelter, seafront businesses and concrete harbour arm pier
Michael Rakowitz: ‘April is the cruellest month’. A Waterfronts commission with Turner Contemporary for England’s Creative Coast. Photo © Thierry Bal.

'April is the cruellest month' by Michael Rakowitz

An England’s Creative Coast Waterfronts commission by Turner Contemporary

Rakowitz’s sculpture is modelled after Daniel Taylor, a young soldier who served with the Royal Artillery in Basra, Iraq, during the Iraq War in 2003 and whom Rakowitz counts as a friend. His figure is cast out of an aggregate the artist has made from concrete, calcite, sand and earth from Basra with chalk from Margate in which is embedded fossil-like items that embody trauma: military medals and other votive offerings that have been personally donated by Taylor and members of Veterans for Peace UK and by residents of Margate. Read more about it here

Michael Rakowitz makes works that draw on the histories of buildings and objects, frequently revealing stories and connections between people and places from different times and places. Find out more here

Conceived by Project Director Sarah Dance, England’s Creative Coast is a landmark project that connects the landscape and arts organisations across the South East coast. Led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent, this new cultural travel experience sees Cement Fields, Creative Folkestone, the De La Warr Pavilion, Hastings Contemporary, Metal, Towner Eastbourne and Turner Contemporary join forces for the first time to present ‘Waterfronts’ — seven outdoor art commissions by leading contemporary artists — and the world’s first ever art GeoTour. The project launches on 1st May 2021 with Michael Rakowitz’s commission for Margate, with subsequent works by Andreas Angelidakis (Hastings), Holly Hendry (Bexhill-on-Sea), Pilar Quinteros (Folkestone), Mariana Castillo Deball (Eastbourne), Jasleen Kaur (Gravesend) and Katrina Palmer (Southend-on-Sea) through spring and summer, running until November 2021. ‘Waterfronts’ is Curated by Tamsin Dillion. For further information visit

England’s Creative Coast is led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent (Go To Places), funded by Arts Council England and Visit England as part of the Cultural Destinations programme and Discover England Fund, with support from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), East Sussex County Council, Kent County Council, Essex County Council, Visit Essex, Southend Borough Council, The Historic Dockyard Chatham and Southeastern.



Royal Crescent Promenade

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