Group exhibition devised by renowned Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey opens at Turner Contemporary

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Group exhibition devised by renowned Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey opens at Turner Contemporary
In The Offing 2023 Installation View. © Courtesy Turner Contemporary. Photo by Reece Straw.

MARGATE.- Turner Contemporary opened In The Offing, a group exhibition devised by renowned Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey (b. 1964, Birkenhead). Embracing a dual role in this exhibition, Leckey serves as both artist and editor, utilising the concept of a magazine editorial as his foundation to choreograph an experience that seamlessly blends moving image, sound, light, and painting throughout the galleries. The phrase ‘in the offing’, dating back to the late 1700s, evokes the image of the distant sea visible from the shoreline and carries a sense of anticipation and foreboding, hinting at what lies on the horizon. Leckey has commissioned artists and musicians to make work responding to this title and will himself present a new video. The exhibition is the culmination of a multi-year project generously funded by Freelands Foundation as the Principal Supporter.

Since the late 1990s, Leckey’s influential practice has explored the relationship between popular culture and technology, and ideas around youth, class and nostalgia. Over the past six years Leckey has hosted a programme on NTS Radio presenting experimental music by emerging and established artists, several of whom are being featured in the exhibition alongside visual artists. The commissions encompass themes of the horizon, the seaside, the past and the future, and resonate with the wider social and political context of British coastal towns. Also inspired by Dreamland – the amusement park and music venue on Margate seafront – Leckey’s immersive approach in programming moving image, sound and light to appear and flow throughout the exhibition spaces, give visitors the experience of both a gallery and fairground attraction.

Participating artists include ANGUSRAZE, Lucy Duncombe, Theo Ellison, Ashley Holmes + Seekersinternational, Darren Horton, Mark Leckey, Lost at Sea Project, nakaya mossi, Charlie Osborne, Alessandro Raho, Hannah Rose Stewart + Blackhaine, and Iceboy Violet.

As part of In The Offing, Leckey conceived and hosted Salamagundy ‘22 in December 2022 – a Variety Show which brought an eclectic line-up of artists to Dreamland’s iconic Roller Room to explore ideas around modern entertainment and contemporary art practice. The event was a Creative Estuary Co-commission, delivered by the Emerging Producers, a group of eight local young people, selected as part of Creative Estuary’s Re:Generation 2031 programme which provides employment and skills development in the creative industry.

The exhibition has been curated with Melissa Blanchflower, Senior Curator, Turner Contemporary.

Mark Leckey said: “Spending time in Margate, where the horizon is ever present, I found out the origin of the phrase 'in the offing' and its sense of the near future moving inexorably towards us. I wanted to see how young artists and musicians would respond to this idea of the offing, with its sense of promise and foretelling, of auguries and harbingers, of looking out to the horizon to see what is coming.”

Clarrie Wallis, Director of Turner Contemporary said: “I am delighted Turner Contemporary will present In The Offing, a group exhibition by Mark Leckey, one of today’s most exciting artists. Inspired by magazine editorials, Leckey will blend painting, moving image, sound and light to create an immersive experience. The title ‘In The Offing’ captures the sense of something on the horizon, soon to come.

We are grateful to our Principal Supporter, Freelands Foundation, for their unwavering generosity during these challenging times in the arts sector. Their multi-year collaboration and commitment to developing an exhibition model that resonates with new and existing audiences has been invaluable. We also thank Creative Estuary. Their two-year programme with the Emerging Producers will further enrich opportunities for young people in Kent interested in careers in the creative industries.”

Clore Learning Studio

Over the course of two years, the Emerging Producers have worked with Turner Contemporary to help research, develop and deliver a series of programmes. For In The Offing the group has worked alongside the gallery’s Learning team to re-design the Clore Learning Studio space to create a hub for creativity, designed for young people of all ages to relax, reflect and experiment. This Creative Estuary Co-commission takes the form of a playfully designed space which takes inspiration from faded seaside resorts with a contemporary twist. During the autumn 2023 season, the space will host art workshops and the Children's Art Library during the day, turning into a music venue for emerging local talent on selected evenings, also programmed by the group.

The Emerging Producers are: Oliver Castle, Layla Crick, Oliver Fisher, Daniella Jasper, Miroslava Karaskova, Eridanus Kyren, Phillipa Raye and Stuart Rayner, led by Jennifer Scott, Learning & Engagement Manager at Turner Contemporary.

Arts Education Exchange Music and Video Lab

Following on from Leckey's Music and Video Lab run with CAST, Cornwall, in summer 2022, Turner Contemporary has partnered with Arts Education Exchange to deliver a Lab in Margate. The initiative is designed to create a space for experimentation and discovery through video editing, music production and digital media for young people aged between 18 and 25 years. The short course will run during In The Offing and in collaboration with AEE Tonetic Records, a youth-led record label, introducing musicians and industry professionals to young people and providing mentoring and masterclasses. Outcomes of the Music and Video Lab will be showcased via NTS Radio and at Turner Contemporary.

Mark Leckey

Mark Leckey (b. 1964, Birkenhead) is a contemporary artist working with a variety of media including film, sound, sculpture and performance. His work explores the relationship between popular culture and technology and explores the subjects of anxiety, class and nostalgia. In 2008 he won the Turner Prize for his exhibition Industrial Light and Magic. He has had numerous solo exhibitions including: Tate Britain, London (2019); MOMA PS1, New York (2016-17); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2015); the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2013); and the Serpentine Gallery, London (2011). He has participated in the Carnegie International (2013), the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), and the 8th Gwangju Biennial (2010). Leckey lives and works in London.

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