Exhibition

Jeremy Deller: English Magic

11 Oct 2014 – 11 Jan 2015

Turner Contemporary

Kent, United Kingdom

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Travel Information

  • Direct buses to Margate from all surrounding towns in East Kent. Visit Kent County Council's Public Transport website to find your most direct bus route. There you can also download a map of Kent and all available bus routes in the county.
  • High speed trains from London St Pancras and Stratford International run every hour and take just 90 minutes. - Mainline trains from London Victoria, Cannon Street, Charing Cross and London Bridge, which take a little longer. Victoria offers a frequent s

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William Morris returns from the dead, a hen harrier seeks revenge on a Range Rover, and Jersey's capital St Helier burns as Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller conjures his ‘English Magic' in Margate. Deller uses ‘English Magic' to explore mysterious acts and ‘magical' transformations in British society - its people, myths and folklore as well as its broad cultural, socio-political and economic history. The mythical power of popular music, the transformative promise of socialist movements and the trickery and concealment of politicians, oligarchs and big businesses all come under the spotlight as Deller assembles large-scale murals, drawings, photographs, film and historical materials to question what Englishness really means today. From Neolithic hand axes, through William Morris, John Ruskin and the socialist movement, to David Bowie's 1972 Ziggy Stardust UK tour, 21st Century capitalism and the invasion of Iraq, the exhibition weaves a mythical narrative through moments and events from Britain's shared cultural memory, moving back and forth between the past, present and an imagined future. For Turner Contemporary, a number of watercolours, sketchbooks and paintings of Venice by JMW Turner and John Ruskin have been added to the exhibition. Both artists, along with William Morris, a central character in the exhibition, were radical figures in Victorian society and campaigned for social and political change. This is your chance to see the final showcase of English Magic, commissioned by the British Council for the British Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale — the world's most prestigious contemporary art event. The UK tour is the first time a British Pavilion commission has been on tour since the Biennale began in 1895 and has enabled audiences across the country to see the exhibition at the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow; Bristol Museum & Art Gallery; and Turner Contemporary, Margate in 2014. The UK tour of the exhibition is supported by the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, with additional generous support from Arts Council England.

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