Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’

Turner Contemporary
Margate, England
3 February – 7 May 2018

“On Margate Sands.
I can connect
Nothing with nothing.”
(T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land)

Berenice Abbot I Fiona Banner I Christiane Baumgartner I Sir Peter Blake I William Blake IFrederick Callcott I Leonora Carrington I Cecil Collins I John Davies I Tacita Dean I Tess Denman-Cleaver Benedict Drew & Nicholas Brooks I Jacob Epstein I Elisabeth Frink Philip Guston I Henrik Håkansson I Rozanne Hawksley I Patrick Heron I Edward Holloway I Edward Hopper I David Jones I R.B Kitaj I Käthe Kollwitz Winifred Knights I Barbara Kruger I Matt Lewis Wyndham Lewis I Nalini Malani I Helen Marten I Bernard Meadows I Ana Mendieta I Lee Miller I Henry Moore Olive Mudie Cooke I Paul Nash I John Newling I Eduardo Paolozzi Deanna Petherbridge I Man Ray Paula Rego I Julia Riddiough I Martin Rowson I Rosalie Schweiker I Monir Sharoudy Farmanfarmaian Walter Sickert I John Smith Lalage Snow I John Stezaker I Jo Stockham Graham Sutherland I Emma Talbot Berny Tan Vibeke Tandberg I William Turnbull I JMW Turner I Cy Twombly I Sally Waterman Jane & Louise Wilson I William Lionel Wyllie Carey Young

Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ is a major exhibition exploring the relationship between T.S. Eliot’s 1922 poem and the visual arts.

In 1921 Eliot spent a few weeks in Margate at a crucial moment in his career. He arrived in a fragile state, physically and mentally, and worked on his poem The Waste Land, sitting in the Nayland Rock Shelter on Margate sands, which was published the following year. He wrote to a friend:

“I have done a rough draft of part of Part III but do not know whether it will do, and must wait for Vivien’s opinion as to whether it is printable. I have done this while sitting in a shelter on the front – as I am out all day except when taking rest.” (Letter, 1921 – 22, © Estate of T. S. Eliot)

Writing shortly after the First World War, the world beyond Eliot was also fractured and fragile. Out of this devastating event, a new generation of writers, artists and musicians emerged. Eliot’s poem quickly became seen as one of the most important works of the 20th century and the poem’s techniques and images continue to resonate with literature and visual arts. The resulting exhibition includes works by major 20th artists alongside historic pieces, contemporary works and new commissions.

Presenting over 60 artists, and almost 100 objects, the exhibition is the culmination of a three year project designed to radically rethink traditional curatorial processes.