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page 76 REVIEW / AUTUMN 201131Pictured:SnowStorm - Steam-Boat off aHarbour'sMouth, JMWTurner, exhibitedat the TurnerContemporary in MargateDonald McGill's saucy postcardswere once the sort of art mostassociated with the seaside. Buta string of galleries springing up aroundthe south coast has changed that, withAndy Warhol turning up in Bexhill,Robert Mapplethorpe in Eastbourne andthe Turner Contemporary in Margatecelebrating romantic land and seascapepainter JMW Turner.The tide began turning in 1993, whenTate St Ives emerged from the remainsof a former gasworks overlookingPorthmeor Beach, Cornwall andboosted tourism. Now visitors flock to the refurbishedDe La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, Sussex,and the Towner, along the road inEastbourne. And Hastings is about toget in on the act, with the £4 millionJerwood Gallery due to open by themiddle of next year.Often spectacular examples ofmodern architecture, they are not justshelters for soggy tourists taking refugefrom the rain-slashed prom. They areseen as bringing potential prosperity totired towns. Margate's Turner Contemporary is anexample. As artist Tracey Emin declaredwhen she opened the £27-million galleryin her hometown last April: "It has givenpeople hope that things are going tochange here and also puts Margateback on the map." She may be right. Turner Contemporaryexpected 150,000 visitors in its first yearbut hit that number in three months. Director Victoria Pomery is thrilled: "Itis fantastic to have hit our visitor targetso early in the year. Research showsthat we are meeting our aim to attract awide range of local, regional, nationaland international visitors."Now the Old Town has a cluster ofquirky shops and cafes and there areplans to restore the Dreamlandamusement park with its Grade II listedscenic railway. Margate's reputation forhaving more boarded-up shops thananywhere else might be in danger.Designed by award-winning architectSir David Chipperfield, TurnerContemporary consists of a series of glass-clad silver boxes reflecting sky and sea.It sits on the site of the guesthousewhere Turner frequently stayed. Visitorssee the same view he saw when he fellin love with the light - and with his landlady."The skies over Thanet are theloveliest in all Europe," he said, provingBY THE SEA

BY THE SEA32NADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN a comment at a public meeting."The first responsibility of TurnerContemporary is to regenerate society,give community a place," says Sir DavidChipperfield. "I'm sure it will bring peoplefrom London and beyond, but first of allyou've got to make it locally popular."For a decade before the opening,exhibitions and projects were organisedaround the town. Last year, 30unemployed local people were trained towork with the public at the gallery.Fifteen now have permanent jobs there.By the time Turner Contemporaryopened, 690,000 people had been incontact with its work, throughexhibitions, projects or training courses.It was already part of their lives. Nearlyhalf of Turner Contemporary's visitorsare from the Thanet area. Five per centhad never been to a gallery before."People are proud of it," says Head ofLearning Karen Eslea. As well as"navigated tours" of exhibitions, thegallery offers a range of workshops forthe point with over 100 paintingsinspired by the Kent coast. But though it bears his name, TurnerContemporary will exhibit work by otherartists too -though there will always beat least one of his paintings on display. The sole Turner painting in theopening show, Revealed: TurnerContemporary Openswas The Eruptionof the Souffrier Mountains, a volcanopainted purely from imagination. Thisimagination acted as inspiration for thesix international artists whose responsesto the gallery and its surroundings arealso on show. Those wanting to see more Turner willhave their wish from 28 January whenTurner and the Elementsexamines therole of the elements in his work. The idea for a Turner gallery camefrom local man John Crofts, and theviews of local people have always beenvital to the project with 8,000 peopleinvolved in the consultation process. Theshape of the roofs were even changedClockwise from above:Catherine Yass'sLighthouse(East)2011,exhibited at the De La Warr Pavilion;Artist BrendanJamison's Towerat EastbourneTowner; One ofthe galleries atDe La WarrPavilion