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Grundy Art Gallery

Autumn 2022 Exhibitions at Grundy Art Gallery

New Autumn Exhibitions 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. The new Autumn 2022 Exhibition is now open.

Opening Times

Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm.
Please note: last entry to the gallery is 3.40pm.
Admission is Free
More about facilities here


Exhibition and events programme 14 October – 17 December

The Grundy Art Gallery is once again joining up with the Blackpool Illuminations and the town’s Lightpool Festival to celebrate Blackpool’s season of light.

From Mark Leckey, a Turner Prize winning artist, to the prizes namesake, JMW Turner, an 18th Century master of painting. The programme explores how artists use illuminated and natural light in their work, and how this is used for symbolic, thematic and atmospheric effect.

The programme is supported by a series of talks and workshops, including an opportunity for people to make their own pinhole camera, their own light-activated collage, as well as learning about the nature of starlight.

Elsewhere, works from the Grundy’s light art collection, including work by Tracey Emin, will be exhibited in The Lights. See it at Bury Art Museum & Sculpture centre from 15 October.

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council and Chair of Grundy’s steering group said,“Grundy’s exciting autumn programme demonstrates an ongoing commitment to providing Blackpool with the best in contemporary art. By presenting work both on and off-site, it shows a commitment to providing this offer to ever-more people.”  

Grundy’s autumn season is open until Saturday 17 December, Tues – Sat from 10am – 4.45pm (last Entry 4.20pm. Closed Sun, Mon and Bank Holidays).


14 October – 17 December

Drawing on Grundy Art Gallery’s collection of paintings as well as the loan of works by JMW Turner (1775-1851), from Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre, Regard the Light is an exhibition that looks at how light is variously used by artists to create drama, atmosphere and symbolic meaning.

David Roberts (1796–1864), Rouen Cathedral (1831), Oil on Canvas. Gift from J. L. Walton, 1949. © Grundy Art Gallery Collection, Blackpool Council
David Roberts (1796–1864), Rouen Cathedral (1831), Oil on Canvas. Gift from J. L. Walton, 1949. © Grundy Art Gallery Collection, Blackpool Council

Within these works, natural and artificial light is captured streaming in through windows, bouncing off mirrors and reflecting off expanses of water. Light may be the subject of the artwork’s story, or it may be an aside – there to draw the viewers eye to what else is happening in the composition. In addition to key works from Grundy’s own collection, Regard the Light also includes two watercolours and forty prints by JMW Turner from his Liber Studiorum (Latin: Book of Studies) – a portfolio of seventy one prints of landscape and seascape compositions. Often described as, ‘the painter of light’, the works on display show how Turner’s skilled use of contrast and shadow have led to his reputation as a master of high drama.

With thanks to Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre and to artist Louise Giovanelli for exhibition research support. 

MARK LECKEY: Sodium Lights

14 October – 17 December

Sodium Lights is an installation that uses repurposed low-pressure sodium streetlights of the kind phased out across the UK in the 1990s.  The colour of the light overwhelms the space and has the effect of rendering the space otherworldly. Sited in Grundy’s Gallery 1, visitors must journey through the space to access Grundy’s other galleries. In doing so Leckey’s work takes on the atmosphere of a subway or underpass, sites of transition that carry a myriad of associations within the popular imagination.

Mark Leckey, Sodium Light. Installation views of Mark Leckey: As If, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2015 Image courtesy: the Artist and Cabinet, London
Mark Leckey, Sodium Light. Installation views of Mark Leckey: As If, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2015 Image courtesy: the Artist and Cabinet, London

Mark Leckey (born 1964, Birkenhead) is a contemporary artist working with a variety of media including film, sound, sculpture and performance. His work explores the relationship between popular culture and technology and explores the subjects of anxiety, class and nostalgia. In 2008 he won the Turner Prize for his exhibition Industrial Light and Magic and has had recent solo exhibitions at CABINET Gallery, London and Tate Britain. Mark Leckey last exhibited at Grundy Art Gallery in 2016 with his exhibition, This Kolossal Cat, That Massive MOG. With thanks to CABINET Gallery, London.

COLLECTION SPOT: Louise Giovanelli

1 October – 17 December

In 2016, Grundy Art Gallery presented Louise Giovanelli’s first solo exhibition in a public gallery and museum. For that exhibition, Louise generated a series of new paintings that responded to works in the Grundy’s collection, two of which were then acquired into Grundy’s permanent collection. For the next in Grundy’s ongoing series of Collection Spotlight exhibitions, these two works are shown alongside some of the works from the collection that informed them. Included are works that feature the Grundy’s founders, John and Cuthbert Grundy. It’s a gesture which recognises that October is also Grundy’s birthday month having first opened its doors to the public 111 years ago on 26  October.

Louise Giovanelli, Beard III and Beard IV, Image courtesy Grundy Art Gallery Collection, Blackpool Council. Photo: Simon Pantling.
Louise Giovanelli, Beard III and Beard IV, Image courtesy Grundy Art Gallery Collection, Blackpool Council. Photo: Simon Pantling.

Louise Giovanelli (b.1993, London), is now a contemporary painter with an established national and a growing International reputation. She’s become recognised for her ability to create deeply evocative and luminous artworks that demonstrate her ongoing interest in the exploration of paint, painting and light. Her recent solo exhibitions include White Cube gallery, London, GRIMM gallery New York and Manchester Art Gallery. Her work is included in private and public collections worldwide including, Government Art Collection, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester and Institute of Contemporary Art Miami. 

With her ongoing interest in the exploration of light in her work, it is also fitting that Louise has also provided research support for our accompanying exhibition, Regard the Light, alongside which additional works by Giovanelli are being displayed. 


From 28 October – 7 January

This autumn, artist Fiona Grady has been invited to develop new work for Grundy’s ongoing series of Forecourt Commissions. 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. Activated by changes in the direction and intensity of daylight. Grady’s work quietly marks the passing of time whilst also providing a dynamic contribution to Grundy’s 2022 season of light.

Fiona Grady, Art Deco Paradise, 2020 (detail), © the artist, Photo: Dean Brannagan
Fiona Grady, Art Deco Paradise, 2020 (detail), © the artist, Photo: Dean Brannagan

Fiona Grady: (b. 1984, Leeds) studied MA Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London. Recent solo exhibitions include the University of Brighton; Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff and Art House Wakefield. She has been commissioned worldwide by organisations and institutions including: Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, Canary Wharf Group, ITV, Heals London, Watts Gallery Artists’ Village and NHS Nightingale Project. She was awarded the Mark Rothko Memorial Trust Bursary. Her works are held in public and private collections across Europe, North America, and New Zealand. 


Until 17 December

Blackpool Stands Between Us and Revolution is an illuminated text-based artwork temporarily sited on the roof of Grundy Art Gallery. The work takes the form of a large-scale rendering of a quote attributed to an anonymous local businessperson in 1926.

Reportedly spoken to the British garden designer, landscape architect and town planner Thomas Hayton Mawson (1861- 1933) – who oversaw the design of Blackpool’s Stanley Park – the phrase underlines the vital role of Blackpool within the lives of working people as a place for recreation and release.

Blackpool Stands between Us and Revolution is the result of a 2019 open commission opportunity led by Blackpool Council’s Arts Service to provide Blackpool with a number of new permanent and temporary public realm art works. The work will become part of Grundy Art Gallery’s permanent collection, adding to its growing selection of light art works that currently includes work by Tracey Emin, Tony Heaton OBE, Chila Kumari Singh Burman, and Joseph Kosuth among others.  

Blackpool stands between us and revolution. Tom Ireland at Grundy Art Gallery

Tom Ireland (b.1984, Blackpool) has a practice that spans a variety of media and centres on broad notions of space, distance and co-existence. His works utilise subtle intervention and place great emphasis on slight gestures, designed to unlock new meanings and possibilities. He’s exhibited works at/with a wide range of institutions and organisations such as Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead), Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester), Whitechapel Gallery (London), Deptford X (London), FRAC Champagne-Ardennes (Reims, FR) and Eastside Projects (Birmingham). In 2019, four of Ireland’s works were acquired into the collection of FRAC Champagne-Ardenne (Reims, FR). 

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 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.

fig-futures, a collecting scheme supported by Arts Council England, Art Fund, and Outset Contemporary Art Fund, has acquired 26 new art works for collections across the UK.  Pictured below: Rebecca Birch, The Yellowing Part 1, 2018, Photograph by Jonathan Lynch, Grundy Art Gallery.

Rebecca Birch, The Yellowing Part 1, 2018, Photograph by Jonathan Lynch, Grundy Art Gallery
Rebecca Birch, The Yellowing Part 1, 2018, Photograph by Jonathan Lynch, Grundy Art Gallery

fig-futures spent a year touring the UK, done 16 week long shows, in four galleries, and several community spaces with 18 artists. The major set of acquisitions will benefit several areas across the UK, from Blackpool to Cornwall, via East Anglia and the Midlands.

Artworks acquired range from performance works to films, large scale sculptures to photography. Plus paintings to durational dance pieces, diversifying the collections the artworks will go to. The total sum of the acquisitions is in the region of £80,000.00.

Contemporary artworks into public collections

fig-futures was initiated by Art Fund and Outset Contemporary Art Fund to develop a new collecting scheme for the acquisition of contemporary artworks into public collections. Plus providing artist and curatorial development opportunities for galleries and practitioners outside the capital.

Reflecting Blackpool as a place

The works being collected variously address Blackpool as place. They speak to our policy of collecting high quality contemporary art. These acquisitions provide an important legacy of our fig-futures partnership, but more importantly provide an exciting and relevant curatorial resource for our future exhibition and event programming.

Artist Ruth Beale, said: “I’m really pleased that Grundy has chosen to acquire Library of Future Societies (Blackpool). It’s a living, changing work. Made for, and by, Blackpool.

“Each time it’s displayed, it will be remade with books held in Blackpool Libraries. I think that libraries – and galleries – can be litmus papers to what is valued in society. It’s a reflection of the library service, the readers, and the books that are in circulation.”

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’s 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.

Prestigious Award for Light Programme at the Grundy

In 2016, Grundy Art Gallery secured £80,000 from the Art Fund, to buy new artworks around the theme of light.

Grundy Art Gallery Blackpool

The Award is part of the Art Fund’s £400,000 ‘New Collecting Awards’ programme. Six awards were made in 2016 to museums around the British Isles, and five out of six supported contemporary art collecting

The £80,000 award to then Grundy Curator Richard Parry was the joint highest sum. The same amount went to curators at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and the National Galleries of Scotland.

The award invests in the development of promising curators at early points in their careers. Museum professionals were given a budget to pursue a completely new avenue of collecting in their institutions. It benefits the museums’ collections and helps the curators to learn first-hand about making great acquisitions.

Exhibition at Grundy Art Gallery

Significant boost

The award is a significant boost for the gallery. It follows a further award from the John Ellerman Foundation, supporting new work with the collection. That enabled important behind-the-scenes improvements, including the employment of a new Collections Manager.

Then curator Richard Parry said: “This award couldn’t come at a better time. For the first time since before the War the gallery has a substantial amount to buy new artworks. It allows 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. This is a huge endorsement of the cultural significance of light in the town. Nowhere in the country currently focuses on light in this way. We’ve seen a fantastic response to the exhibition Sensory Systems. It shows there’s an appetite for international artwork of this kind here.

“Although light is only one part of the gallery’s work, there’s an ambition to make the Grundy nationally recognised for it. That’s starting to happen already through this award.”

Key Emin artwork joins Grundy’s permanent collection

Grundy Art Gallery acquired a key exhibit from one of the most successful art exhibitions to join the permanent collection. ‘I Know I Know I Know’ by Tracey Emin was first displayed as part of NEON: The Charged Line exhibition in 2002.

I Know I Know by Tracey Emin

The acquisition is the first made by the gallery using funding from the Art Fund’s New Collecting Award. The scheme enables curators to pursue new avenues of collecting for their museums. 

The work displayed at the gallery in NEON: The Charged Line 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. It also coincided with Blackpool’s famous Illuminations LightPool project.

Emin is well known for working with fabric, embroidery and installations. Including ‘My Bed’ – part of the Turner Prize in 1999. She also has a reputation for her evocative and emotionally charged work in neon. ‘I Know I Know I Know’, is one of the earliest works in neon from the so-called “young British artist” generation.

Centre for contemporary visual art

The acquisition marks the first purchase made possible through a New Collecting Award from Art Fund. Additional support came 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. Various ambitious exhibitions explore the relationship between art and popular culture.

The light programme and collection will help the Grundy become a national centre for artists working in the medium.

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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