A very wet weekend camping in Margate last summer gave me ample opportunity to explore the myriad of charity and second hand shops located there, in between braving dilapidated amusement arcades and visiting the donkeys on the beach. My stay yielded nothing more exciting than a plastic picnic set for four and a few china swans. However, when Paul Hazleton – founder of Margate’s Limbo Arts collective – went second hand shopping in the town, he happened to buy something rather more intriguing: an old Philco Predicta television that once belonged to Andy Warhol.
Hazelton came across the TV for sale in a now-defunct second hand store called Style Counsel, but its journey to Margate began when it was sold in the famous Sotheby’s auction of items from Warhol’s private collection. It then took a detour through Scotland before reaching its Kentish destination. Its discovery in Margate forms the basis of a forthcoming Limbo Arts exhibition entitled, not unreasonably, Andy Warhol’s TV.
A collaboration between Limbo Arts and Kate Jackson from Style Counsel, the exhibition won’t actually feature any artwork. Instead the Style Counsel shop will be resurrected within the gallery as a space where second hand items can be displayed – either for sale or contemplation. Matthew de Pulford, who is coordinating the show, says its intention is “to consider what Margate, specifically its second hand shops, might be able to contribute to artistic ideas about the representation and interpretation of culture” – the TV acting as kind of cipher for Warhol and his work and notions of “yesterday’s culture”. All of which seems particularly resonant in this once thriving, now fading, holiday resort.