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Turner Prize 2019 comes to Margate

Turner Prize Comes to Margate's Turner Contemporary from 28th September 2019 to 12th January 2020.

This autumn, Turner Prize 2019 is coming to Margate! Our internationally renowned art gallery Turner Contemporary is hosting the prize, one of the best known for visual arts in the world, from 28th September 2019 to 12th January 2020.

Every other year the Prize moves from Tate Britain to a venue around the country, and this year it’s coming to the Isle of Thanet.

Four of the most exciting artists working right now have been shortlisted for the prize and will have their work displayed at the gallery, with the winner announced at an awards ceremony in Margate in December 2019.

Both the Turner Prize and Turner Contemporary take their name from the artist JMW Turner (1775 - 1851), who was an innovative and controversial artist in his day. He is now seen as one of the greatest British artists, and frequented Margate often. 

Having come to the town as a child, Turner became a regular visitor from the 1820s onwards. He declared that “the skies over Thanet are the loveliest in all Europe” and produced a number of works of Margate. Capture a famous Turner sunset. It’s this connection with Margate and Turner’s radical approach to art that was the founding inspiration for Turner Contemporary, and why seeing the Turner Prize in Margate is an experience not to be missed. Read our experiences to discover more 

The festival, Margate: NOW will be town-wide, and across the Isle you’ll be able to find fringe events connected to the exhibition in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. 500 artists and performers will produce 60 events and have been selected to be part of the programme guest curated by actor Russell Tovey. Read the Margate NOW blog for more 

Discover the range of events happening during Turner Prize 2019 

Discover the range of events happening during Margate NOW 

From 20th February 2020, the new issue £20 will feature the artist JMW Turner. A large see-through window with a blue and gold foil on the front depicts Turner Contemporary and the Margate lighthouse, among other elements associated with the artist. 

Discover more of what is available in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate with our 'Insider's Guide Film'

  • Turner Prize 2019 Artists

    Tate Britain have announced the four artists who have been shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2019: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani.

    An exhibition of work by the four shortlisted artists will be held from 28 September 2019 to 12 January 2020 at Turner Contemporary in Margate. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 3rd December 2019 at an award ceremony live on the BBC News Channel, the broadcast partner for the Turner Prize.

    LAWRENCE ABU HAMDAN - For his solo exhibition Earwitness Theatre at Chisenhale, and for the video installation Walled Unwalled and performance After SFX at Tate Modern, London. Self-proclaimed ‘private ear’, Abu Hamdan’s work investigates crimes that have been heard and not seen; exploring the processes of reconstruction, the complexity of memory and language as well as the urgency of human rights and advocacy. The jury was struck by Abu Hamdan’s exploration of sound as an architectural element and the way he recreates particular situations through sound and performance.

    HELEN CAMMOCK - For her solo exhibition The Long Note at Void, Derry~Londonderry and IMMA, Dublin. The jury praised the timely and urgent quality of Cammock’s work which explores social histories through film, photography, print, text and performance. Creating layered narratives that allow for the cyclical nature of history to be revealed, The Long Note looks at the history and the role of women in the civil rights movement in Derry Londonderry. The work highlights how the complexities of the politics of Northern Ireland have overshadowed the social history of the region and the variety of political positions taken by women during that time. The film was commissioned by Void before travelling to IMMA for showing. 

    OSCAR MURILLO - For his participation in the 10th Berlin Biennale, his solo exhibition Violent Amnesia at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge and solo exhibition at the chi K11 art museum Shanghai. The jury particularly praised the way Murillo pushes the boundaries of materials, particularly in his paintings. His work incorporates a variety of techniques and media including painting, drawing, performance, sculpture and sound, often using recycled materials and fragments from his studio. Murillo’s work reflects on his own experience of displacement and the social fallout of globalisation.

    TAI SHANI - For her participation in Glasgow International 2018, solo exhibition DC: Semiramis at The Tetley, Leeds and participation in Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance at Nottingham Contemporary and the De Le Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea. The jury noted the compelling nature of Shani’s ongoing project Dark Continent, particularly the work’s ability to combine historical texts with contemporary references and issues. Developed over four years, it takes inspiration from a 15th century feminist text, Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies. Shani uses theatrical installations, performances and films to create her own allegorical city of women populated by fantastical characters, transporting the viewer to another time and place.

  • How to plan your Turner Prize trip

    We’re here to make your visit to Turner Prize 2019 easy. We can help you with information on how to get here, accommodation, food and drink and the many things you can see and do in Margate and around the Isle of Thanet to give you the best (and most fun-filled) experience possible. Just browse this website or contact us at

    For details of where to park during your visit, please click here and also at Morrisons Car Park (College Square/Hawley Street)

  • Experience Turner Prize coming to Margate

    As the best-known visual arts prize captures the world’s gaze, don’t just let the exhibition provoke thought and wonder - turn your cultural visit into a coastal adventure with our inspiring travel experiences.

    Experience the art, explore the Isle of Thanet
    Whether you’re an art aficionado, outdoors lover or keen to tick off bucket list must-sees, you can enhance your exhibition experience by exploring all that Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate have to offer.

    Lunch hour, half a day, 24 hours, 48 hours or mini break – however much or little time you have, the Isle of Thanet is bursting with possibility for a trip like no other, where you can discover hidden gems and surprises around every corner and coastline.

    Be Inspired - the must-sees

    Culture Lover's Fix 

    Off the Coastal Path 

  • Find out what is happening

    Discover the wide range of events taking place in Margate, across Thanet and Kent during the Turner Prize 

    View Events 

  • What the papers say

    The Turner Prize has been awarded and all four shortlisted artists win after asking the judges to recognise ‘commonality, multiplicity and solidarity. Read what the papers say here

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