The Grundy recently launched its new trio of exhibitions. Given their distinctly seaside theme it was appropriate to make my way there on a sunny half term Thursday with the town feeling vibrant.
Following the friendly welcome and a copy of the spring brochure at gallery reception first up was The Way Things Are by Roy Voss. This poplar wood construction stretches through the Grundy’s two ground-floor gallery spaces. It’s a little disconcerting to pass notices advising caution to avoid the work falling over, but hopefully that’s a remote risk! Personally I’m a sucker for anything the gallery does that references Blackpool and the sea, and this was no exception.
In one of the side galleries is another piece by Roy Voss – All the World’s A Sunny Day. It 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. I have to say I found this less impressive than the other Voss work on show, it might have worked better for me if it had been Blackpool coastguards but have a look for yourself and see what you think.
Finally 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 are exhibited.
These images will be shown alongside a selection of work from photographers based in, or with links to Blackpool and the Fylde Coast, for whom Blackpool’s piers are a frequent subject. The photographers, including several altBlackpool regulars are Linzi Cason, Karl Child, Claire Griffiths, Dawn Mander, Jill Reidy, Richard Jon and Kate Yates.
The exhibition also includes video montage of North Pier Starling murmurations by Yannick Dixon. As an avid birder I was particularly drawn to this, but it is recommended to all as a taster for the spectacle you can see daily at dusk in winter if you brave the cold.
As I left I bumped into curator Paulette Terry Brien. She confirmed which artist was responsible for some of the works in the charming Neither Land Nor Sea exhibition for me. She and the Grundy Team are to be congratulated on another thought provoking and locally referenced exhibition.
As well as the exhibition a number of events are planned to run alongside the exhibition. Roy Voss gave a talk at the launch on 24 March, the remainder of the programme is:-
14 April – a talk by artists in the Neither Land nor Sea feature
9 June – a tour of Blackpool North Pier and talk (at North Pier obviously)
16 June – a talk on the social history of Blackpool’s Piers by Tony Sharkey
Further details on these and museum opening hours are available from the website at www.grundyartgallery.com.
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