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Turk Talk: Gavin Turk Talks to Jennifer Saint and Mark Wallinger

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Prerona Prasad.

Artist Gavin Turk will be in conversation with best-selling author Jennifer Saint (Ariadne, Elektra, Atalanta) and Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger about why the story of Ariadne, Theseus, and the Minotaur is retold by each generation’s writers and artists. Gavin Turk and Jennifer Saint will be signing books at the end.

The series is part of the public programme for GAVIN TURK : IN SEARCH OF ARIADNE at The Heong Gallery, Cambridge. There will be an opportunity for members of the audience to pose their own questions to the artists.

About Gavin Turk

Gavin Turk (b .1967) is a British born, international artist. He has pioneered many forms of contemporary British sculpture, including the painted bronze, the waxwork, the recycled art-historical icon and the use of waste in art. Turk’s Oeuvre deals with conversations of authorship and identity. Concerned with the ‘myth’ of the artist and the authenticity of a work.

Prestel published a monograph on Gavin Turk in 2013, showcasing more than two decades of his work and in 2014 Trolley Books published This Is Not A Book About Gavin Turk, which playfully explores themes associated with the artist’s work via thirty notable contributors.

Gavin Turk has been commissioned to create several large public sculptures including: Nail (2011), a 12-meter eponymous sculpture at One New Change, next to St Paul’s cathedral, London, England. Axis Mundi (2017), an oversized painted bronze sculpture of a plug located in Paddington Basin, London. As well as L’Âge d’Or (2019), a large bronze open door permanently sited outside the Museum of Migration in Rotterdam.

About Jennifer Saint

Thanks to a lifelong fascination with Ancient Greek mythology, Jennifer Saint read Classical Studies at King’s College, London. Since September 2022, she has been a Visiting Research Fellow in the Classics Department there. In between, she spent thirteen years as an English teacher, sharing a love of literature and creative writing with her students. Ariadne is her first novel, Elektra is her second, and Atalanta is her latest mesmerising mythological retelling.

Ariadne gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths, and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this is an exceptional debut novel.

About Mark Wallinger

Mark Wallinger (b.1959) has created some of the most subtly intelligent and influential artworks of the last thirty years. Wallinger is known for his career-long engagement with ideas of power, authority, artifice and illusion. Using epic narratives, lyrical metaphors and ardent punning, the artist interleaves the mythological, the political and the everyday.

Wallinger was first nominated for the Turner Prize in 1995, and won it in 2007 for his installation State Britain, an exact replica of peace campaigner Brian Haw’s protest camp in London’s Parliament Square. Ecce Homo 1999, a life-sized sculpture of Jesus Christ, was the first work to occupy the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square. Wallinger represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2001.

Public commissions are central to Wallinger’s practice, the most recent being Writ in Water, a monumental installation to commemorate the sealing of the Magna Carta commissioned by the National Trust for Runnymede, England, and The World Turned Upside Down, a major sculpture for the London School of Economics. In 2013, Wallinger created Labyrinth, a permanent commission to celebrate their 150th anniversary of the London Underground that spans all 270 stations on the network. (bio excerpted from Hauser and Wirth)

Access Information

The Howard Theatre is equipped with a step-free access, automatic doors, and a lift to the main theatre area. The seats in the theatre are cushioned. There are accessible toilet facilities. Please contact gallery@dow.cam.ac.uk to discuss any further access needs.

This talk is part of the The Heong Gallery series.

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