As the Turner Prize opens in Margate, Kent looks ahead to an exciting year of culture in 2020. According to Visit England’s recent Annual Attractions Survey, England’s art galleries and museums are currently enjoying significant growth in visitor numbers with figures up by 6 per cent in 2018 compared to the previous year. With millions of visitors wanting to experience, enjoy and engage with England’s rich cultural offering, Kent is keen to play a major part in this rapidly expanding visitor trend.
Turner Contemporary in Margate is one of the most distinctive galleries in the UK, and since its opening in 2011 it has had a huge impact on social and cultural regeneration in Kent and welcomed over three million visitors.
The Turner Prize exhibition contains works from the four shortlisted artists – Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani – and will be open to the public from 28 September 2019 to 12 January 2020. One of the best-known prizes for the visual arts in the world, the Turner Prize aims to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary British art. This year, the winner will be announced on 3 December 2019 at an award ceremony live on the BBC.
Other cultural events in the country include the Deal Music & Arts festival which has been bringing the best in arts and culture to East Kent for over 35 years. Presented in a range of locations, from historic castles to art galleries, and from theatres to ancient churches, the festival takes place in June 2020 in the ancient ports of Deal, Sandwich and Dover. The 2020 festival line up is yet to be released but will include world-renowned artists set to excite and inspire visitors from around the world.
And England’s Creative Coast is a new collaboration led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent, featuring Waterfronts — seven new site-specific commissions by contemporary artists — and the world’s first art Geotour – all launching throughout 2020.
Meanwhile Folkestone Triennial is the flagship project of Creative Folkestone and the largest exhibition of newly-commissioned work presented in the UK. Artists are invited to use the town as their gallery, utilising public spaces to create striking new art that reflects issues affecting both the town and the wider world. Four Triennials have taken place attracting more than 440,000 visitors, inviting artists to engage with the rich cultural history and built environment of the locality, and to exhibit newly commissioned work in public spaces around the town. This year, the exhibition takes place from September to November 2020, with many of the artworks remaining on display for visitors to enjoy throughout the year.