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Margaret Walsh
In Memoriam (died 9 May 2005)

Margaret Walsh, the godmother of Damien Hirst, took part in the first Stuckist demonstration outside Tate Britain against the Turner Prize in 2000. She announced the winner of the "Anti-Turner Prize" for the Art Clown of the Year, which was Charles Saatchi. She was shown in the film Artvertising, broadcast on 4 May 2001 on Channel 4.

Margaret painted pictures and wrote. She was quoted in the Evening Standard (24.11.00) about the Turner Prize: "I think all this conceptual stuff lacks spirit - there's no intuition and no feeling in it ... It's a load of rubbish. I'm not sure if Damien knows what I think but I have hinted my views in letters to him and anyway why should he care? He's raking it in with all that idiotic stuff." She said, "Seeing as I'm Damien's godmother I'm thinking of wearing a fairy godmother outfit."

She had died in her flat in Dennington Park Road, West Hampstead, having taken a mixture of drugs and alcohol. The coroner gave an open verdict, seeing her action as a "cry for help", after two previous similar incidents.

Barry Tebb, a mental health campaigner, wrote to the Lord Chancellor (scroll to "14 September 2005") to protest at the conduct of the inquest.


Report on inquest in Camden New Journal (2005)
Report on inquest and protest against Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care Trust in Ham and High (23.9.05)

First Stuckist demo against the Turner Prize, Tate Britain, 28 November 2000.
Margaret Walsh is on the right in the front row.

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