“Is contemporary art rubbish?” That’s the question being asked by renowned British artist Gavin Turk at his new exhibition ‘Transubstantiation’ for London’s SKIP Gallery. For the exhibition, Turk spoke to Arts Council Funded digital channel, Canvas about the meaning of his latest work.

Gavin Turk - Is Contemporary Art Rubbish?

Created by Catherine Borowski and Lee Baker, SKIP Gallery asks creatives to produce site specific pieces in specially modified 8 yard skips, which are then installed in locations across London. Having been a leading figure in the Young British Artists scene alongside the likes of Damien Hirst, Gavin Turk has produced his skip with the help of a certain prawn cocktail flavoured floaty crisp…

Canvas spoke to the artist about his latest piece, getting the lowdown on the meaning of ‘Transubstantiation’, while asking him his thought on consumerism, where Turk likens Skips crisps to the little fake pieces of bread you get in church that represent Jesus.


Turk usually resides at Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery but here his work is resigned to the lowly lows of a skip. Through his staple themes of authenticity and authorship, Turk has created a one-off work showcasing his usual tongue-in-cheek installation for the Skip Gallery.

According to Turk, “anything can be a bit of art. Even waste, even something that somebody’s just thrown away.” For him, the skip represents something much more than that just waste. As he suggests, rubbish is used to discover the frame of mind of criminals during investigations, with what we throw away telling us much about our psyche.

Check out the Gavin Turk interview with Canvas below and let us know what you think in the comments: Can rubbish be modern art? Or is modern art just rubbish? Head over the Canvas Website or subscribe to the Canvas YouTube Channel to see more of their work.



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