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Art, Memory and Place, September 2022

14 September 2022

artwork image - historic photographic image in sepia tones to left, a deep crevice bridged by an iron structure, the sea beyond; to the right a colour photograph of the interior of a cave or rock arch, foliage beyond, and blue sky and sea to right beyond that


On Wednesday 14th September 2023 Art360 Foundation hosted a seminar, supported by the British Art Network, at Turner Contemporary, Margate, posing the question: how does art allow us to think about memory and place?  

The panel represented a diverse range of practices and approaches to the question of ‘place’ within their work, from the fields of curatorial practice, visual arts, architecture and performance. The thread of ‘place’, and in particular the coastal landscapes of South East England, tied the speakers together.  Speakers explored art through the lens of place and environment, contextualising the memory of artists and communities amidst changing landscapes and townscapes, exploring related questions including:

  • What and who ‘makes’ a place?
  • What happens to the artist communities that use and come together in a space?
  • If a place ceases to exist what’s lost? What can be kept?
  • How vulnerable are culturally important places to destruction and erasure?
  • How can places be preserved, shared and continue living?

Matthew de Pulford and Katie Hare spoke about the legacy of Margate-based Artist Lizzy Rose (1987-2022), the presence of Margate in her work, and her impact in the artistic landscape of the area. Sam Causer discussed the role of architecture in creating place, moderating behaviours and keeping the wild at bay, with examples of how this is made visible in the locality of Margate. Benjamin Sebastian discussed several site-specific performances organised by ]Performance Space[ and performed by artists including hacock&kelly, Jade Montserrat, Selina Bonelli, Keijuan Thomas and Poppy Jackson, with a focus on the role of testimony, text and documentation in preserving the memory of ephemeral and live art practices.

Reflections from the audience included questions around memorialisation and erasure, drawing specifically on Margate’s links to the global slave trade and colonialism, prompting discussion over how place and the control of place, determine what practices are preserved and become cultural memories and narratives.

Image Credits: Left: Newgate Gap, Margate c. 1906 © Margate Local History. Right: Newgate Gap, Margate 2022 © Sam Causer.


14 September 2022


Turner Contemporary
Margate, CT9 1HG
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