This meeting was held to update the group as to the current position as regards exhibits for the 2018 exhibition , those that have now been agreed and those that are under discussion etc. The image by Man Ray ‘Dust Breeding’ has been agreed by the Pompidou Centre in Paris, so it will be exciting to see it ‘in the flesh’.
I had suggested a link via David Bowie and also to use Zineb Sedira’s film ‘Guiding Light’ which I felt to link with ‘The Wasteland’, but these were not taken up by the group.
My other suggestion for a Henry Moore is still under discussion.
Nick talked to the group about the design of the exhibition and some interesting thoughts, suggestions and views were expressed. Two members of the curatorial staff of the gallery also came in to talk about the practicalities of the actual hang, bearing in mind that some of the exhibits such as the one by Cy Twombly which is very large.
The emphasis of this walk led by Elspeth, was to look at the important contribution made by Vivienne Eliot to the work of T.S. Eliot and her influence on ‘The Wasteland’
Elspeth gave the group ropes which she had made, so that they could ‘knot’ things that had made an impact on them during the walk.
Contributions were made on different aspects of her life by Richard and members of the group during the day.
A very welcome break for a cream tea was taken at The Walpole Bay Hotel & Museum.
The final stop was at The Old Market where Judy read a piece she had written from the top of the converted bus inside the venue. The event had been advertised to the public and Sally Waterman’s video ‘In the Cage’ (2007) was projected onto the ceiling.
All these events have also been an opportunity for me to take images of interesting things I have also witnessed. In this case I took a picture of the baker inside the market who was busy in his work area. Although it was possible to see inside, there was a red film on the inside of the glass hence to colour of the image.
Sally was invited to speak to the group as being a possible contributor to the 2018 exhibition. Her work on ‘The Wasteland’ is the culmination of a five-year PhD project and has resulted in 12 photographic and video installations which have resulted from TS Eliot’s 1922 poem.
This was the first time that the group had met at the studio in Northdown Road, Cliftonville, Margate. It was chance for us to discuss the progress so far together with some members of the curating team from Turner Contemporary.
The lighting was extremely challenging and ideally the venue was not equipped to deal with so many people. So I was not able to move around freely to take images. However it was good to have a change of scene and to see some members of the group who are only able to come occasionally.
We met our visitors from Coventry for lunch at GB Pizza and then back to Turner Contemporary where they read a passage from the poem.
The TSE Research Group then discussed which works of art and artefacts have been agreed to be loaned to the gallery, and which are still to be agreed. Everyone then split into groups to decide which of the items best fitted to the thematic groups.
After an overnight stay in Margate the visitors met with Elspeth and the Walking Group, for a walk around the key sites in Margate that relate to the poem. It was another cold and blustery day but the intrepid walkers were not put off.
Various stops were made en route including The Pie Factory Gallery and Margate Museum. The museum provided valuable insights for the visitors into the Margate of the past and the interesting exhibit is which are held in the museum.
Following the walk to the Garden Gate Project, to coincide with the opening of the new exhibition at the gallery; a session was held with John Akomfrah in conversation with BBC historian David Olusoga. The film by John is being shown as part of the exhibition.
John had made the film installation (initially commissioned for the Venice Biennale 2014) entitled ‘Vertigo Sea’ which I had previously seen at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol. It is an extremely powerful and emotive film which addresses issues that are still relevant to issues today. I was anxious to meet him in person and engage in a brief conversation which I was able to do!