‘[My work is] 50% about what I make and 50% about what other people make of it’ - Martin Creed
March 19, 2023

Five signature artworks by Turner Prize winner, Martin Creed, one of the most influential and exciting artists working today, will be shown for the first time at Harrogate’s Mercer Art Gallery.

Martin Creed. © Martin Creed. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2023 (Photo: Hugo Glendinning)

This spring, Mercer Art Gallery will bring the work of British artist, Martin Creed to North Yorkshire. ARTIST ROOMS Martin Creed celebrates one of this country's most ingenious, audacious and surprising artists. Running from 1 April to 2 July, the exhibition will feature sculpture, neon works, painting and video, presenting highlights from his thirty-year career.

Born in Yorkshire in 1968, and raised in Glasgow, Creed came to prominence in 2001 when he won the Turner Prize with Work 227: The lights going on and off 2000, exhibiting an empty room in which the lights switch on and off at five-second intervals. Creed has been recognised internationally for his distinctive approach to art – playful, thought-provoking, and deeply ambiguous.

Artist, musician, composer and performer, Creed seeks to interact with the public, inviting them to engage with and interpret his work: "You can’t separate anything from people’s experience of it…so thinking about that got me into making a lot of work that is like a live event." His nationwide participatory performance of bell-ringing to welcome the London Olympics in 2012 embodied this ethos, uniting people across the country.

Don't Worry 2008. © Martin Creed. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2023. (Photo: © Tate)

His multi-disciplinary practice draws on the everyday. He transforms common materials and actions into surprising meditations on existence, choice and perception, and the invisible structures that shape our everyday experience. His art continually overturns our expectations. From installation to film, painting to music and dance, Creed’s work is characterised by his subversive wit. He has said: "I’ve consciously tried to make my work more like music...rhythm, whether musical or visual, is a comfort." ARTIST ROOMS Martin Creed offers an insight into one of the most innovative artists working today.

Karen Southworth, Curator of the Mercer Art Gallery, said "We are thrilled to be showing work by such a well-known and influential artist, thanks to the support of ARTIST ROOMS. Since this is the first time Creed’s work has been shown in North Yorkshire we are hoping to attract a new cohort of visitor to the Gallery, keen to learn more about contemporary and conceptual art.

"Yes, Creed is deliberately provocative and challenging, and yes, he’s playful – by working in this way he also shapes a whole new level of serious thought. Some people may be surprised or even affronted, but if you allow yourself to go with it and give the works a bit of breathing space you will start to discover some of his deeper ideas and deliberate intentions."

370 Balls 2004. © Martin Creed. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2023. Photo © NGS (Photo: Antonia Reeve)

This monographic exhibition of one of Britain’s leading artists is part of ARTIST ROOMS, drawing on work in this national collection, shown together with important loans from National Galleries of Scotland and Tate.

ARTIST ROOMS presents solo exhibitions drawn from a national collection jointly owned by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland that includes major bodies of work by international artists. ARTIST ROOMS national programme and collection is managed in partnership by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland with the support of Art Fund, Henry Moore Foundation and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Creative Scotland.

Mercer Art Gallery admission is free. The galleries are accessible to wheelchair users.

Header Image: Work No. 1102-5 2011. © Martin Creed. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2023. (Photo © Tate)