Russell Tovey organises arts ‘treasure hunt’ featuring 2.6m baked beans

TV star Russell Tovey has organised an arts “treasure hunt” in the seaside town of Margate, featuring 2.6 million baked beans and a giant inflatable Tina Turner head.

The trail of unusual art celebrates this year’s Turner Prize, which is on display in the Kent town.

Tovey, who starred in Doctor Who and The History Boys, said he was honoured to be asked to guest curate Margate NOW, a festival of art and events in the town.

“I’ve always had a close relationship with art and began collecting art in my mid 20s whilst acting in The History Boys.

“Margate NOW is such an exciting programme. Art can be powerful and engaging and I am looking forward to seing the town brought to life in unusual, surprising and entertaining ways.

“I’ve really enjoyed helping curate and select artists for the festival.

“It’s great to be able to support and encourage the creation of new art and new ideas.”

The art trail includes “23p Beans”, an installation comprised of 5,794 cans of baked beans (more than 2.6 million beans) covering the floor.

Artist Ty Locke said the work represents “the mundanity of working and working” but that the beans – which will be donated to a foodbank – will be eaten by people who have no idea they were used for art.

Mr Tovey said: “It’s brilliant. It’s unique and it’s fresh and it’s about giving space to people to try out these ideas.

“I mean, who would get a gallery space like that and make it impossible for you to get into it.”

Amusement park Dreamland Margate commissioned artists Cool Shit to create a giant inflatable sculpture of Tina Turner’s head.

The 7m tall homage features a karaoke booth inside, which Mr Tovey tried out before his talk.

Margate NOW runs from September 28 2019 to January 12 2020 and features 60 events produced by 500 artists and performers.

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