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England's Creative Coast

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The cultural renaissance transforming the seaside towns of England’s South East — spearheaded by the region’s world-class galleries and arts organisations — is the inspiration for England’s Creative Coast; a series of art commissions and creative initiatives that will connect the coastline of Essex, Kent and East Sussex, bringing new visitors to the region.

In 2020, England’s Creative Coast is launching seven new outdoor artworks by leading contemporary artists, entitled Waterfronts; and the first art-inspired geocaching tour in the world, to connect these creative places. The first artwork will be launched in Spring 2020 with Michael Rakowitz’s commission in Margate, with the others following sequentially over the Summer. You can experience cultural adventures along this coastline using specially curated package itineraries, featuring art, events, food, drink and accommodation offers, and to plan for your visit in 2020, when you can enjoy the ultimate travel experience.

This ground-breaking project, which is led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent and principally funded by Arts Council England and Visit England / Visit Britain through the Discover England Fund, encompasses: 

  • Waterfronts, curated by Tamsin Dillon– a series of seven new site-specific art commissions by Andreas AngelidakisMariana Castillo DeballHolly HendryJasleen KaurKatrina PalmerPilar Quinteros and Michael Rakowitz launching through 2020 and on display until late Autumn. 
  • The world’s first art GeoTour England’s Creative Coast encompasses a whole cultural travel experience. Through the world’s first art GeoTour, you will be able to game as you move through the landscape, discovering the commissioned artworks, finding hidden gems and geocaches created by the communities that live there in these coastal towns through a digital treasure trail that extends into the surrounding landscape.
  • Art Homes, to be piloted in Margate during the 2019 Turner Prize, which invites visitors to stay in the homes of local artists.
  • Self-build itineraries Plan your trip to see these time-limited artworks you can curate your own journey using the England’s Creative Coast itinerary website and find further cultural adventures across Essex and Medway.

Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hastings ContemporaryCreative FolkestoneTurner Contemporary in Margate, Cement Fields in Gravesend and Metal in Southend-on-Sea are joining forces for the first time to pioneer a cultural adventure that stretches from the South Downs to the Thames Estuary, running from Spring to late Autumn of 2020. 

The breath-taking coastline of Essex, Kent and Sussex is home to some of the UK’s most distinctive and visionary galleries and art events. From the iconic modernism of the De La Warr Pavilion — designed by architects Mendelsohn and Chermayeff to offer a new model of cultural provision for the people of Bexhill-on-Sea in 1935 and re-opened in 2005; through to the Chipperfield-designed Turner Contemporary in Margate, host of Turner Prize 2019, which has attracted over 3.2million visits and become an internationally renowned visitor attraction since opening in 2011; to Creative Folkestone’s mission to transform its town through collective creativity, the area has been at the forefront of arts led regeneration. 

Over the past twenty years this arts regeneration has driven a significant renaissance in the region, expanding local economies by bringing new jobs, businesses and visitors to the coast while connecting the arts to daily life. With improved rail links such as Southeastern’s High Speed service, travel from London and moving from place to place along the coast has become easier and faster, bringing even more people to the area. 

England’s Creative Coast builds on and celebrates this success, bringing together these coastal arts organisations for the first time in a project that connects art with the coastline to explore its ecology, history and future, and invites visitors to explore the region in a new way. 

Where will you visit on England’s Creative Coast? Share your trip #CreativeCoast


England’s Creative Coast is led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent and aims to inspire visitors to the region. The project is principally funded by Arts Council England’s Cultural Destinations programme and Visit England/Visit Britain through the Discover England Fund, supported by South East Local Enterprise Partnership, East Sussex County Council, Kent County Council, Essex County Council, Visit Essex, Southend Borough Council, Coastal West Sussex, Historic Dockyard Chatham and Southeastern and is in partnership with Creative Folkestone, De La Warr Pavilion, Jerwood Gallery, Metal, Towner Art Gallery, Whitstable Biennale, Pallant House Gallery, Cass Sculpture Foundation and Arundel Castle.

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