|Arts Council England|
Blackpool Council’s Grundy Art Gallery was awarded £80,000 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.”
The Grundy Art Gallery has had one of its most successful exhibitions to date with NEON: The Charged Line.
The exhibition, which featured artwork from worldwide acclaimed artists such as Tracey Emin, Joseph Kosuth and Francois Morellet, formed an integral part of last year’s LightPool festival and is estimated to have attracted around 12,000 visitors in to the gallery over the course of its 18 week run.
NEON: The Charged Line ran from 1 September 2016 up until 7 January this year, enticing visitors from across the UK with its celebration of 38 neon artworks from around the world hosted inside the Edwardian gallery.
Artists included Joseph Kosuth, Tracey Emin and Francois Morellet, who was a significant early practitioner from Paris, experimenting with neon since the 1960s but who passed away earlier in 2016. Morellet’s work has not been widely exhibited in the UK and the exhibition in Blackpool afforded a rare opportunity to experience some of his most celebrated works.
The Grundy also commissioned several outdoor works from artists including Tim Etchells and Paulina Olowska which brought the exhibition out onto the streets of Blackpool. Alongside the main exhibition, the gallery also staged an exhibition in its Rotunda of drawings from the Blackpool Illuminations Archive. These beautiful Art Deco designs dated back to the early 1930s and to a time when Blackpool was just starting to establish its pioneering name within the history of light and neon. NEON was a key part of ‘LightPool’, which also included projections on the tower and the ‘LightPool Festival’ in October.
The exhibition was funded by money from a Coastal Communities Fund grant awarded to Blackpool towards the Illuminations.
As well as tourists and residents visiting, the gallery also saw visits by upwards of 800 young people from school and youth groups. The exhibition was the second exhibition of light-based art, forming part of the Grundy’s ongoing Light Programme exhibiting international light works and build on Blackpool’s tradition and relationship with light and its world-famous Illuminations.
The Grundy launched its Light programme with 2015’s exhibition Sensory Systems which featured artists such as Angela Bulloch, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Anthony McCall. Sensory Systems attracted 7,000 visitors, with the neon exhibition almost doubling this figure.
The exhibition attracted international press and was featured in the Telegraph, the Guardian and on the BBC website. Curator Richard Parry spoke about the exhibition on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and the exhibition was also featured in popular magazines and online formats including Wallpaper, World of Interiors and After Nyne. Press coverage for the exhibition across local, national and international channels is estimated received more than 10million hits. One Blackpool resident described to gallery staff how her cousin in Italy had found out about the exhibition, and audience research shows how people travelled from across the UK to see the exhibition, including as far away as Cornwall, Devon, London and Nottingham.
For over 100 years, the Grundy has played a vital and unique role in Blackpool’s arts, heritage and tourism offer and is the only municipal art gallery until Preston.
Research shows that many visits to the gallery are made by individuals who come specifically to Blackpool to visit or participate in the gallery’s exhibition programme and events. The gallery also encourages visitors to the town outside of the traditional tourist season and, during the season, invites people to venture beyond the usual beach and seaside amusements and explore further into the town.
After a four month run, NEON: The Charged Line is now closed.
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.
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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Until 23 December 2017
Image Credit: Ingredients, Stanley Reed (1908-1978).
Paper, Canvas, Neon presents a broad selection of work from the Grundy’s permanent collection which dates back to 1911 when the gallery was established by local artists and polymaths John and Cuthbert Grundy.
The exhibition starts in Gallery 1 with a range of print and works on paper. The display includes Pablo Picasso’s Dove (circa. 1952) which was used to illustrate the 1949 Paris Peace Congress and became an international symbol of peaceful and political action. This is displayed alongside works by Eric Ravilious and Julian Trevelyan - all gifted to the Grundy by the Contemporary Art Society.
The paper gallery also showcases some of the Grundy’s new acquisitions including works by Yinka Shonibare MBE, Noel Clueit, Marcia Farquhar, Pil and Galia Kollectiv and Maeve Rendle.
Gallery 2 focusses on painting on canvas. Split loosely into two sections: Portraits and People, and Landscape and Interiors – the work shows the range of artists and work we have, and continue to, collect. The landscapes take you from Adelsteen Normann’s Norwegian Fjords to Nina Blaker’s Ibizian villages, the dappled light of Epping Forest by F.H. Glasbury and then back home to the Blackpool seafront with Keith McGinn’s sun lounge where the viewer can almost look through the walls of the gallery out onto the rainy view of the Illuminations beyond.
‘Portraits and People’ includes the enigmatic women with budgie and pear Josefina by Lisa de Montfort which was acquired in the 1950s alongside newer works such as a portrait of the Grundy’s previous curator Richard Parry (and friends) by Liverpool-based artist Joe Fletcher-Orr.
Prem Sahib’s throbbing green neon invites you into the Neon display in Gallery 3. This room showcases some of the Grundy’s most recent acquisitions from Tracey Emin, made possible by the Art Fund, as well as a new acquisition and gift from Joseph Kosuth and long-term loans from David Batchelor. The Grundy is invested in the research and collection of light-based works which result in an annual exhibition of artists working in the field during the autumn period coinciding with the Blackpool Illuminations.
Until 23 December 2017
Image: © Tahi Moore
‘Kim Wilde’s Heart of Darkness’ is the first UK exhibition of New Zealand-based artist Tahi Moore. Moore’s work involves video, sculpture and text, constructing narratives that create associations which first appear unconnected but taken as a whole invite a deep and fertile new imaginative realm.
The exhibition includes over fifteen new video works which have been created through a partnership with the Royal Over-Seas League, an organisation which champions international collaboration, and Hospitalfield in Arbroath, Scotland. These partnerships invite artists from a Commonwealth country to undertake a residency which then results in an exhibition in the UK. The title ‘Kim Wilde’s Heart of Darkness’ refers to Kim Wilde’s 1981 song ‘Cambodia’ – both a heart breaking story of an Air Force wife who loses her husband in the Vietnam War and typical synthy 80s Top of the Pops tune.
Moore’s video works retain a formal and seductive beauty. Images of mountains, domestic interiors of holiday homes, lights of synthesizers or the lapping of the sea carry a resonance and act like visual triggers. The viewer is invited to piece clues together and work out the puzzle to find some kind of meaning with images full of suggested connections, necessary false starts and potential resolutions.
Moore often uses literary references and characters to construct new scenarios and scripts. These often have a Beckett-esque flow where strange thoughts start to loop in endless circles. Sometimes the text comes away from the video and literally becomes ‘stuck’ on the screen, unable to move or progress.
Almost 450 artists and schoolchildren from the Blackpool and Fylde Coast showed why the Grundy is Blackpool’s art gallery and a key civic host to the local creative community.
2017 began with the gallery lifting the lid on artistic production in Blackpool and the Fylde Coast with a call for residents to enter the open submission exhibition.
Following hot on the heels of one the gallery’s most successful exhibitions to date: ‘NEON: The Charged Line’, which was visited 12,000 times and had people travelling from across the UK, the gallery showed a tour de force of art from the along the Fylde Coast, allowing visitors to see the broad range of artistic talent bubbling away in the region.
Great to read 2 new articles on @Corridor8 by Robbie di Vito. Robbie volunteered with Grundy installing some big exhibitions in 2014/15!! Check the articles out here; https://t.co/4rMdwVbI4k and https://t.co/q32Ng0SlEO 👏👏✍️✍️
Robbie di Vito reviews Peter Scott Gallery's latest exhibition.
Pop into the gallery, Tues-Sat, to pick up an application form for OPEN 2018. Last day to enter will be on Sat 23rd December, 4pm. If you can't get to us- email firstname.lastname@example.org https://t.co/nt8XQJyzQ7
“Pop into the gallery, Tues-Sat, to pick up an application form for OPEN 2018. Last day to enter will be on Sat 23rd December, 4pm. If you can't get to us- email email@example.com”
The gallery will be closing at 4pm today for an event. We'll be back open as normal tomorrow from 10am, so come along to see our current exhibitions: Paper, Canvas, Neon; Tahi Moore and Lightlab.
Calling all Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre based creatives - applications for Grundy's OPEN 2018 are available now! Pick up your application form from the gallery now. Deadline for applications is 23rd December, 4pm. 🎨 https://t.co/whLBEJksmA
“Calling all Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre based creatives - applications for Grundy's OPEN 2018 are available now! Pick up your application form from the gallery now. Deadline for applications is 23rd December, 4pm. 🎨”
MASSIVE Congratulations to Lightpool Festival team and all involved , winners of the Large Tourism Event award Lancashire Tourism Awards #LTA17 @LeftCoastUK @alexrinsler @visitBlackpool
“Or in Blackpool! Tonight at Blackpool Cricket Club @BlackpoolCC - Bonfire & Fireworks (7pm) w/ fairground/food/drink https://t.co/x1T09mNRoq”
“Or if you're in Lytham tonight - Lytham Round Table Charity Fireworks Spectacular. Fireworks 7.30pm. https://t.co/fMomXComTf”
“Tonight! - Poulton Rotary Club Charity Bonfire & Fireworks at Cottam Hall Fields. Bonfire 7pm/Fireworks 7.30pm. https://t.co/xQ8V3mYDLl”
“Tonight - Bonfire & Fireworks for all the family at Kirkham & Wesham Cricket Club. Bonfire at 6.30pm/Fireworks 8pm. https://t.co/I1yPAjbqmU”
Fancy some UV gloop and pumpkin 🎃 soup? https://t.co/EJQSAVO3TU
“Join me tomorrow at the studio for a 1960s futuristic steampunk event with UV gloop, garlic bread and pumpkin soup https://t.co/Wgmd9NvUVI”
Pop into the gallery, Tues-Sat, to pick up an application form for OPEN 2018. Last day to enter will be on Sat 23rd… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…
Do you want to come and join our Gallery and Programming teams? @JerwoodCFare funding an exciting year long positio… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…
The gallery will be closing at 4pm today for an event. We'll be back open as normal tomorrow from 10am, so come alo… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…
Calling all Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre based creatives - applications for Grundy's OPEN 2018 are available now! Pick… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…
MASSIVE Congratulations to Lightpool Festival team and all involved , winners of the Large Tourism Event award Lanc… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…
Or if you're in Lytham tonight - Lytham Round Table Charity Fireworks Spectacular. Fireworks 7.30pm.… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…
Tonight! - Poulton Rotary Club Charity Bonfire & Fireworks at Cottam Hall Fields. Bonfire 7pm/Fireworks 7.30pm.… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…