Margate: Duchess Kate Visits Kent

The Duchess of Cambridge soaked up a seaside resort's burgeoning art scene during a visit to a gallery inspired by master British landscape artist JMW Turner.



Hundreds of people turned out to greet Kate as she arrived at the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate, Kent, which opened in 2011.

The royal - who is patron of the National Portrait Gallery - visited the "Self: Image and Identity'' exhibition, which includes the last self-portrait by Sir Anthony Van Dyck.

Dressed in a Hobbs coat, pregnant Kate toured the gallery and met artists whose works are in the exhibition.


She was shown a sculpture called "Scarecrow'' by local artist John Davies and a striking life-size cast of a prone man sprawled on the floor called ``Self portrait as a drowned man'' by Jeremy Millar.

Another exhibit, a photograph of a naked Tracey Emin kneeling on a wooden floor, was shown to Kate along with a piece by Gilbert and George, featuring the pair from 1997.

Inspired by JMW Turner's links to Margate, the Turner Contemporary was built at a cost of £17 million to spearhead the regeneration of the resort.

It is said to have generated £32 million into the local economy through tourism and inward investment, helping put the north Kent coastal town on the cultural map.

It has put on exhibitions of historical and contemporary art by artists including local favourite Tracey Emin, Care Andre, Piet Mondrian and Edmund de Waal.

Kate went on to meet schoolchildren from Holy Trinity and St John's Church of England School in the gallery's Clore Learning Studio, where she sat on children's sized chairs to chat to youngsters.

She also spoke to a group of young women who have been working with local artist Felicity Allen.



 

Kate was given a hint of things to come for her and the Duke of Cambridge - as she met six-week-old baby Evan and his parents 36-year-old Tim Ratliff and Tamsin Landells.

Their encounter happened during the royal's second and final engagement in the town, at Resort Studios, a Victorian warehouse now home to 40 creative people.

Kate beamed as she was introduced to Evan, who was born weighing 6lbs 2oz, and revealed to Evan's parents that Prince George was now becoming more mobile.

Ms Landells, 33, said afterwards: `"We were talking about Evan and how he is six weeks old and George and how he is running around and how we have that to look forward to.

"Evan is our first and we were talking about moving to Margate and about doing building works with artists and creating lots of spaces and having a multi-disciplinary place here.

"She said (Evan) was really tiny and really cute. We nearly got a giggle out of him. It was good to meet another working mum. It was an inspiration.''

Kate toured the Resort Studios, which was set up in 2013 and hosts photographers, painters, artists, fashion designers, jewellers and film-makers.

Among those she met was Teresa Limbrick, 53, who showed the Duchess her line of paintings on silk within her workshop.

Ms Limbrick said: "She asked me how long I had been here and I told her how I came here because I needed to start something fresh.''

After touring the studios, including a print studio and workshops, she formally opened a creative hub following a drum roll.

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