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Grundy Art Gallery

Grundy Art Gallery

Coming up at Grundy Art Gallery

The Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool shows a year round programme of contemporary and visual art exhibitions and events. Including solo and group displays together with talks, events and educational activities. Take a look at what’s coming up in Spring 2024.

Opening Times

  • Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4.45pm.
  • Please note: last entry to the gallery is 4.20pm.
  • Closed Sunday, Monday and Bank Holidays
  • Admission is Free
  • More about facilities here

This spring, the Grundy is celebrating the changing of the seasons with two parallel exhibitions that each mark and measure the passing of time.

Aligning with the spirit of the season, the spring programme at the Queen Street gallery is an opportunity to celebrate the ‘new’. Presenting newly commissioned art works, and by profiling artists whose work is exploring new ideas.

Paulette Brien is Curator of Grundy Art Gallery. She said: “Once again, we’ll be presenting visitors with an exciting, diverse and thoughtful exhibition programme. With brand new work by international artists and new displays of rarely seen works from the Grundy Art Gallery collection. Spring at the Grundy promises to be a season of surprise.”

RA WALDEN: OBJECT TRANSFORMATIONS THROUGH THE COORDINATE OF TIME

20 APRIL – 15 JUNE

‘Object transformations through the coordinate of time’, is a solo exhibition of newly commissioned and existing works by the UK born, Berlin-based artist, RA Walden. Spanning sculpture, installation, text and moving image, the works in this exhibition mark and measure the passing of time. 

RA WALDEN
OBJECT TRANSFORMATIONS THROUGH THE COORDINATE OF TIME
RA WALDEN: A slow and burning hope, 2021 (still from moving image work). Courtesy and copyright the artist

The works in this exhibition call on us all to consider how we use and value time from a personal, societal and ecological perspective. Drawing on varied reference points. Including quantum physics, the ecological crisis, ancient timekeeping and the life cycle of worms. Walden is asking us to consider time at both a macro and micro level.

More specifically, as an artist with lived experience of a disability, RA Walden also uses their work to explore and express non-normative experiences of time. From sculptures made from hacked office clocks, to texts that ask who and what defines, ‘work’. Walden’s exhibition also provides a poetic meditation on lives and bodies whose timekeeping does not always conform to the supposed ‘norm’.

About this exhibition

This exhibition is presented as part of Hybrid Futures (hybrid-futures.ac.uk). It runs in parallel with a group exhibition at Salford Museum and Art Gallery from 23 March – 22 September 2024.

RA Walden is a transdisciplinary artist whose work centres a queer, disabled perspective on the fragility of the body. Their practice spans sculpture, installation, video and printed matter, all of which is undertaken with a socially engaged and research-led methodology. RA Walden has exhibited at Storm King Art Centre, New York, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool as part of GRUNDY x LIGHTPOOL x HYBRID FUTURES, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, HAU, Berlin, The National Gallery of Australia, SOHO20, New York, and Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam. This exhibition is presented as part of Hybrid Futures, hybrid-futures.salford.ac.uk, and runs in parallel with a group exhibition at Salford Museum and Art Gallery from 23 March – 22 September 2024, which includes additional work, by RA Walden

COLLECTION SPOTLIGHT: About Time

20 April – 15 June

The next is an ongoing series of exhibitions that profile works from the Grundy collection in thematic displays. For this exhibition, works from the collection have been selected in response to the key themes of timekeeping, rest and fragility being explored in the work of RA Walden.

JOHN COLLIER: The Amber Necklace, 1930 Courtesy the Grundy Art Gallery Collection, Blackpool Council
JOHN COLLIER: The Amber Necklace, 1930 Courtesy the Grundy Art Gallery Collection, Blackpool Council

Works on display include The Amber Necklace by John Collier (1854-1934) and The Hourglass by Patti Mayor (1872-1962). Central to both is an object with strong symbolic meaning. In the first of these works, the natural gemstone amber takes centre stage. Formed from the fossilisation of ancient tree resin and sometimes referred to as ‘frozen time’.

In the second is a timekeeping device in the form of an hourglass. It reminds us of the passage of time, the inevitability of change and the cycle of life. Elsewhere, other works have been chosen to reflect other concepts of time such as work time, leisure time and seasonal time. Including The Laughing Parson by Charles Spencelayh (1865 – 1958), and Message of May by Anna Airy (1882-1964).

LEARNING AND ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMME

The spring programme will be supported by a full learning and engagement programme including workshops, talks, and tours. Examples include a guided mindful coastal walk and workshop, led by locally based artists Tina Dempsey and Joseph Doubtfire. The Rest Reading Group led by artist Niki Colclough will be regular collective reading sessions at the Grundy. Call The Grundy on 01253 478170, see thegrundy.org or follow Grundy’s social medial for further details

> SAVE THE DATE <

GARTH GRATRIX
FLAMBOYANT FLAMINGOS
6 JULY – 7 SEPTEMBER

GARTH GRATRIX FLAMBOYANT FLAMINGOS
GARTH GRATRIX FLAMBOYANT FLAMINGOS

‘Flamboyant Flamingos’ will be the largest solo exhibition of Gratrix’s work to date. Expanding the artist’s investigation of the queering of materials, language and space, the exhibition will include major new commissions from the artist alongside the loan of significant works from public collections.

Take part in the largest ever exhibition of the nation’s hobbies

Members of the public are invited to take part in The Hobby Cave, the largest ever exhibition of the UK’s hobbies. From makers and modifiers to crafters and collectors, Grundy Art Gallery, alongside award-winning artist and Spider-Man enthusiast Hetain Patel and Artangel, is inviting audiences to share details of their hobbies. It’s to inform a nationwide project that will take place in 12 locations across the UK from Summer 2024, including at the Grundy.

Thousands of unique hand-crafted objects loaned by hundreds of people will go on display. Contributions are invited from hobbyists such as costume and cosplay makers, crocheters and knitters, wood carvers and model makers. Ceramicists, robotics engineers, origami specialists, augmented car enthusiasts and many more.

Celebrating our hobbies

The Hobby Cave has been commissioned by arts organisation Artangel. It will celebrate the millions of people across the UK who dedicate their spare time to activities they are passionate about. It will explore how individuals express their identity, character and creativity through their favourite pastimes. The inaugural exhibition will open in London in July 2024, followed by curated presentations at partner venues across the UK throughout 2025.

At the heart of the project is a new film by Patel, which explores the outstanding creativity and passion that people put into their hobbies. The film adopts the artist’s trademark style of combining high-end cinematic production with scenes from the everyday. It will showcase ephemeral pastimes and handcrafted objects in a visual language usually reserved for Hollywood films and luxury advertising.

National partners include, Factory International, Manchester; Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea; Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; Museum of Making, Derby Museums Trust; National Festival of Making with Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery; Wolverhampton Art Gallery; Barnsley Civic; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland; CCA Derry~Londonderry; Hospitalfield, Arbroath and Tate St Ives.

You can submit details about their hobbies via www.thehobbycave.org.uk

FORECOURT COMMISSION: FIONA GRADY: ILLUMINATED FROM WITHIN

Extended until further notice

Born into a family of mathematicians Grady always employs a systematic approach to intervene within a space. Through her use of light, colour, shape, surface and scale, her colourful geometric artworks transform their setting and provide a unique response to the specifics of the place in which they are located.

With the lighter, brighter and longer days of spring upon us, Grundy has extended the display of Fiona Grady’s Illuminated from Within until further notice. Through her use of light, colour, surface and scale, the artist’s colourful geometric artwork transforms the setting of Grundy’s forecourt. Activated by changes in the direction and intensity of daylight Illuminated from Within quietly marks the passing of time whilst also providing a dynamic contribution to Grundy’s 2023 spring programme.

Grundy Art Gallery’s work recognised by increased funding

In November 2022, Grundy Art Gallery announced that it’s to remain part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio programme 2023-2026 – to the value of £249,000 over the three years.

This funding will support the development and delivery of an exciting year-round programme of relevant, meaningful and high quality contemporary art exhibitions and events, taking place on and off-site.

Image credits, left to right:

  • Chila Kumari Singh Burman, Blackpool Light of My Life (2021), Grundy Art Gallery Co-commission with Blackpool Illuminations and Lightpool Festival Photo: Jonathan Lynch, © the artist, Courtesy Grundy Art Gallery
  • The pARTnership exhibition banner at Grundy Art Gallery, 2022. Photo Matt Wilkinson. Courtesy Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool Council
  • Chloe MacFarlane, copyright the artist, Private Collection, Photo Matt Wilkson. Courtesy Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool Council

Grundy will continue its founding mission to show the best art of the day to the people of Blackpool and beyond. The programme will enable the gallery to enact its vision to be a beacon for contemporary art in the North West.

Grundy Art Gallery is also delighted to receive an uplift on previous years’ NPO funding, specifically to support the development and delivery of the pARTnership.

It’s delivered via a collaboration between Grundy Art Gallery, The New Langdale (Blackpool Council’s daytime service for people with a Learning Disability), Venture Arts in Manchester and Fylde-Coast based artist Tina Dempsey. This project provides bespoke professional development to artists with a Learning Disability to enable them to develop their own individual creativity. The project also presents this work in professional contemporary art settings. Recent exhibitions of this work have taken place at Grundy Art Gallery and Abingdon Studios in Blackpool. And at The Horsfall and The Manchester Contemporary in Manchester.

Grundy newsletter

To keep up to date and find out more about the Grundy’s exhibitions and events sign up to the Grundy newsletter via the Grundy website www.thegrundy.org. Also keep an eye on the website and watch out for posts via Grundy’s social media channels.

Grundy Art Gallery unveiled an exciting calendar of events to commemorate its 110th anniversary in 2021. 

The gallery and its collection established in 1911. It came via a financial gift and donation of over 30 paintings by local brothers John and Cuthbert Grundy. 2021 therefore marks the 110th Anniversary of the gallery opening its doors to the people of Blackpool and beyond.

The Blackpool coat of arms – emblazoned with ‘Progress’ – is embedded in brickwork above the front door. Guided by this motto, the gallery continues to honour its founding ethos. It shows a year-round programme of high quality contemporary art exhibitions and events. Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, 2021 was no exception.  

110th Anniversary Logo 

Grundy Art Gallery’s 110th anniversary logo was inspired by an ink stamp, historically used to identify items brought into Grundy’s permanent collection. It also echoes the design of Blackpool’s world famous sticks of rock.

Paulette Terry Brien became the gallery’s curator in November 2017.

Paulette Terry Brien, Grundy Art Gallery Curator

Paulette has more than 25 years of experience working within contemporary visual art. She’s well known for raising the profile of the North West region, on a national and international level.

Paulette is co-founder and co-director of The International 3, a contemporary art gallery based in Salford. There, she delivered a year round programme of exhibitions and events. Plus being 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, her wealth of experience has supported 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 is thrilled to be the new curator of the Grundy. She’s keen to continue to champion regional artists from the North West.

Grundy Art Gallery is Blackpool’s art gallery. It offers a year round programme of contemporary and visual art exhibitions and events. There are solo and group exhibitions together with talks, workshops and educational activities.

Brothers John and Cuthbert Grundy founded The Grundy Art Gallery in 1908. Now displayed in a Grade II listed Carnegie building. It’s 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. This sentiment remains at the heart of today, as a leading contemporary art gallery in the North West.

Today it includes works by established artists such as Martin Creed, Tracey Emin and Laura Ford. Gilbert and George, Brian Griffiths, Augustus John, Haroon Mirza and Eric Ravilious. It also has works by regionally based emerging talent such as Joe Fletcher Orr and Louise Giovanelli.

The Grundy aims to inspire audiences through an ambitious and varied year-round exhibitions programme. It draws on the unique and invigorating context and heritage of Blackpool. For instance exploring the space between contemporary art, entertainment and popular culture.

The Grundy Collection

Exhibitions and displays frequently incorporate pieces from our collection. It began 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 and Martin Creed. Laura Ford, Augustus John, Eric Ravilious and Gilbert and George amongst others.

Grundy is part of Blackpool Council’s Arts Service. It develops and delivers arts projects which engage Blackpool’s residents, communities and visitors in the arts. The service 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. It also receives funding from Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation and from the John Ellerman Foundation.

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