See the Spring Programme at Grundy Art Gallery until 23 June. The Grundy is Blackpool’s art gallery with a year round programme of contemporary and visual art exhibitions and events. Including solo and group exhibitions together with talks, workshops and educational activities.
THE WAY THINGS ARE
Stretching through two of Grundy’s ground-floor gallery spaces, The Way Things Are is a sculpture, precisely and elegantly constructed in poplar wood that approximates to the form of a pier. Inspired by Victorian lithographs, contemporary architects’ drawings and the artist’s own recollections, The Way Things Are extends the artist’s interest in romantic longing; between desire and lived experience, between memory and fact.
Voss finds something simultaneously prosaic and profound about the British seaside pier. If the coastline is a boundary, a marker for the edge of ordinary experience, then the pier forms a space beyond this.
Temporarily taking up the mantle of Blackpool’s fourth pier, The Way Things Are draws our attention to this town’s built heritage and in particular to Blackpool’s three world-renowned piers. Adding extra significance to the presentation of this work in Blackpool this year is the fact that 2018 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Eugenius Birch, North Pier’s engineer.
Roy Voss The Way Things Are (2017) is commissioned by De La Warr Pavilion (Bexhill), Grundy Art Gallery (Blackpool) and Berwick Visual Arts (Berwick).
IMAGE: Roy Voss, The Way Things Are. Installation Image. De La Warr Pavilion, 2017. Photo: Rob Harris
ALL THE WORLD’S A SUNNY DAY
Forming a 360-degree horizon around the walls of the gallery, All the World’s a Sunny Day comprises a series of collages made from found postcards, where a single word has been cut from the back and reinserted into the image on the front. The meanings of these words conflate with the postcard’s image describing something of it and characterising an emotional state.
Posted between the early 1960s and mid-1980s, the mass-produced postcards are now out of date and out of time. Sent both through a sense of duty, but also with love and a need to communicate and share, there is an intimacy in their brief, blue biro messages.
IMAGE: Roy Voss, Over, framed collage, courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London
NEITHER LAND NOR SEA
Bringing together historical and contemporary representations of Blackpool’s piers, Neither Land nor Sea documents the enduring appeal of the architecture, atmosphere and activity of these Seaside structures.
Alongside paintings and photographic works from the Grundy’s Collection, a series of images by 19th Century, Blackpool-based photographer, Albert Eden, will also be exhibited. Printed from glass slides; part of Blackpool Council’s Heritage Collections, these images will be shown alongside a selection of work from photographers based in, or with links to Blackpool and the Fylde Coast and for whom Blackpool’s piers are a frequent subject. These photographers are: Linzi Cason, Karl Child, Yannick Dixon, Claire Griffiths, Dawn Mander, Jill Reidy, Richard Jon and Kate Yates.
IMAGE: Karl Child, ‘Hotdog Character’ Central Pier. Photo: Karl Child
Until 14 April
Due to popular demand, Adrian Pritchard’s solo exhibition in the Grundy’s Rotunda Gallery will be extended until Saturday 14th April.
Brought together for the first time as a single body of work, Terra Forma is a solo exhibition by Blackpool-based artist Adrian Pritchard that explores the artist’s ongoing interests in physics, space exploration and the fluidity and flexibility of paint as a medium. The exhibition is presented in the Grundy’s Rotunda gallery, where the domed ceiling adds a thematically relevant, ‘observatory-like’ atmosphere to the space.
Please note: Adrian Prtichard’s Terra Forma is on display in the Grundy’s Rotunda Gallery space, located on the first floor and only accessible by stairs. Grundy apologises for any inconvenience this may cause.
IMAGE: Adrian Pritchard, Terra Forma. Installation view at Grundy Art Gallery. Photo: Jonathan Lynch.
Opening Times at Grundy Art Gallery
Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, closed Sundays and Mondays (and Bank Holidays)
Last admission is at 4.40pm
Grundy Art Gallery appoints new Curator
In November 2017 the Grundy Art Gallery named Paulette Terry Brien as the gallery’s new curator.
Paulette has more than 25 years of experience working within contemporary visual art and is well known for raising the profile of the North West region on a national and international level.
As co-founder and co-director of The International 3, a contemporary art gallery based in Salford, Paulette delivered a year round programme of exhibitions and events and has been instrumental in developing projects such as Manchester’s annual contemporary art fair, The Manchester Contemporary.
Paulette comes to the Grundy with a strong track record of identifying and nurturing emerging talent, commissioning and curating high quality contemporary art exhibitions for both gallery and non-gallery settings. Over the years, she’s utilised her wealth of experience to support hundreds of emerging artists, many of whom have gone on to achieve regional, national and international recognition.
As well as providing peer support, Paulette has also been successful on many occasions in brokering the acquisition of work by regional artists into major public and private collections, such as the Arts Council Collection and Whitworth Art Gallery’s collection.
Paulette said she was thrilled to have been selected as the new curator of the Grundy and is keen to continue to champion regional artists from the North West.
New Light Programme at the Grundy thanks to a Prestigious Award
Blackpool Council’s Grundy Art Gallery was awarded £80,000 in 2016 by the Art Fund to buy new artworks around the theme of light.
The Award is part of the Art Fund’s £400,000 ‘New Collecting Awards’ programme which this year saw six awards given to museums around the British Isles.
The £80,000 award to Grundy Curator Richard Parry was the joint highest sum, with the same amount going to curators at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh.
The idea of the awards is to invest in the development of promising curators at early points in their careers across the UK. Through the scheme, museum professionals are each given a budget to pursue a completely new avenue of collecting in their institutions.
Five out of six of the awards were presented to support contemporary art collecting. The scheme not only benefits the museums’ collections, but helps the curators to learn at first-hand about the process of making great acquisitions, and contribute significantly to their professional development.
The award follows in the wake of the success of ‘Sensory Systems’, the widely praised exhibition which saw international artists display spectacular works exploring the connection between light and sensory perception this autumn, to coincide with the Illuminations.
The award is a significant boost for the gallery, which has seen a doubling of audiences through the light strand of its programming and follows a further award from the John Ellerman Foundation, supporting new work with the collection, which has enabled important behind-the-scenes improvements including the employment of a new Collections Manager.
Curator Richard Parry said: “For 2016 we are having a year-round focus on our collections, starting with our current Ben Cain exhibition which is inspired by paintings from the collection, and going right through into at least 2017. This award couldn’t come at a better time and means that for the first time since before the War the gallery has a substantial amount to buy new artworks, allowing us to develop our new strand of work around light.”
“Blackpool is in many ways the ‘home’ of light in the UK because of the Illuminations, and this is a huge endorsement of the cultural significance of light in the town. Nowhere in the country currently focusses on light in this way and we’ve seen a fantastic response to the exhibition Sensory Systems which has shown there is an appetite for international artwork of this kind here.
“Although light is only one part of the gallery’s work, there is an ambition to make the Grundy nationally recognised for it, and that’s starting to happen already through this award.”
Key Emin artwork forms part of Grundy’s permanent collection
A key exhibit in one of Blackpool’s most successful art exhibitions in recent years has been acquired as part of the Grundy Art Gallery’s permanent collection.
‘I Know I Know I Know’ by Tracey Emin was displayed as part of the recent NEON: The Charged Line exhibition which ran from September last year until January.
The acquisition is the first made by the gallery using funding from the Art Fund’s New Collecting Award, their scheme that enables curators to pursue new avenues of collecting for their museums. They granted curator Richard Parry £80,000 to purchase key artworks relating to light.
The work was recently displayed at the gallery in NEON: The Charged Line, a major success with both audiences and critics which traced how artists have worked with neon since the 1960s. The exhibition saw Emin alongside other stars including Joseph Kosuth, Fiona Banner, François Morellet and Keith Sonnier and coincided with Blackpool’s famous Illuminations’ LightPool project.
Emin, who is well known for her work with fabric, embroidery and installations including the notorious ‘My Bed’ which was displayed as part of the Turner Prize in 1999, has also established a reputation for her evocative and emotionally charged work in neon. The artwork the Grundy has purchased, titled ‘I Know I Know I Know’, is from 2002 and is one of the earliest works in neon undertaken by the celebrated artist of the so-called “young British artist” generation.
The acquisition marks the first purchase made possible through a New Collecting Award from Art Fund, and also sees additional support from the John Ellerman Foundation.
Over the past decade the Grundy has established a reputation as one of the North’s leading centres for contemporary visual art, undertaking ambitious exhibitions which explore the relationship between art and popular culture.
Through the light programme and the expansion of the light collection, the Grundy is looking to become a national centre for artists working in the medium, alongside its wider programme.
Emin’s work will be shown alongside other recently acquired artworks as part of the Blackpool Art Fayre.
The exhibition also includes works by internationally renowned artist Yinka Shonibare MBE and 2017 Fourth Plinth Nominee Heather Phillipson, as well as emerging and more established artists from across the North West and the wider UK.
All the works have been purchased with the assistance of external grants, awards and support.
More about Grundy Art Gallery
Grundy Art Gallery is Blackpool’s art gallery and offers a year round programme of contemporary and visual art exhibitions and events including solo and group exhibitions together with talks, workshops and educational activities.
The gallery is housed in a Grade II listed Carnegie building and houses a collection that was created in 1908, following a bequest by brothers John and Cuthbert Grundy. Today the collection includes works by Ruth Claxton, Martin Creed, Laura Ford, Gilbert and George, Brian Griffiths, Augustus John, Haroon Mirza and Eric Ravilious.
The Grundy Art Gallery was founded in 1911 by the brothers John and Cuthbert Grundy, and has been at the centre of cultural and artistic life in the town for over 100 years. It began with the ambition to show the best art of the day to the people of Blackpool, and this sentiment remains at the heart of what we do today as a leading contemporary art gallery in the North West.
The Grundy aims to inspire audiences through an ambitious and varied year-round exhibitions programme that draws on the unique and invigorating context and heritage of Blackpool, for instance exploring the space between contemporary art, entertainment and popular culture.
Recent exhibitions have featured works by celebrated and critically acclaimed artists including Martin Creed, Brian Griffiths, David Hockney, Pierre Huyghe, Heather Phillipson, Susan Philipsz and Matt Stokes. The gallery has a growing national and international profile and has recently worked with key partners such as LeftCoast in Blackpool, and other institutions such as BALTIC, the British Council and the Hayward Gallery.
The Grundy provides a key space for residents and visitors in which new ideas and ways of imagining the world can be tested and explored, and where resonant encounters can occur between art and audiences. We undertake special programmes tailored for individuals and groups including schoolchildren, young people, families and senior citizens, enabling people of all ages the chance to engage with and discover for themselves the art on display and the imaginations behind them.
Our exhibitions and displays frequently incorporate pieces from our collection, which was started with a bequest by the founding brothers and contains an eclectic range of art and other items from furniture to ceramics, to netsuke ornaments to Victorian oil paintings. Artists include Craigie Aitchison, Ruth Claxton, Martin Creed, Laura Ford, Augustus John, Eric Ravilious and Gilbert and George amongst others.
Grundy is part of Blackpool Council’s Arts Service, which develops and delivers arts projects which engage Blackpool’s residents, communities and visitors in the arts, supports the town’s arts community, placing the arts the core of Blackpool’s unique and important cultural environment.
The gallery is an Accredited Museum and also receives funding from Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation and from the John Ellerman Foundation.
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