Watt on earth is this? (well actually it’s rather illuminating say art experts)

The Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool has a new installation by Ian Whittlesea entitled The Breathing Bulb, part of the Breath is Life exhibition.'The bulb hanging from the gallery rotunda, slowly glowing brighter and then fading again.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'21-1-2015
The Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool has a new installation by Ian Whittlesea entitled The Breathing Bulb, part of the Breath is Life exhibition.'The bulb hanging from the gallery rotunda, slowly glowing brighter and then fading again. PIC BY ROB LOCK'21-1-2015
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Modern art...or just a snazzy lightbulb?

A new exhibition at Blackpool’s Grundy Art Gallery is making waves.

A single lightbulb which increases in brightness before fading to black is at the centre of Ian Whittlesea’s Breath is Life showpiece which runs to March 14.

The lightbulb illuminates 14 drawings, 24 hours a day seven days a week, which are dotted around the hall.

A spokesman for the Grundy said: “In the late 19th century the self-styled Dr Otoman Zar-Adusht Ha’nish founded Mazdaznan, a religious cult, which flourished across the USA and Europe until the 1940s.

“The breathing exercises that Mazdaznan advocated are believed to have inspired a variety of figures including philosopher Frederick Nietzsche, War of the Worlds writer H.G. Wells and cornflake creator J. H. Kellogg.

“Thomas Edison is also said to have been deeply influenced by its teachings and to have named the first light bulb Mazda in its honour.

“With this as inspiration, Ian Whittlesea presents a single iconic Mazda bulb hanging in the centre of the rotunda gallery that repeatedly fades up to an intense brightness and back down to black.

“‘A Breathing Bulb’ continues to slowly pulse for 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the end of the exhibition, illuminating the Grundy and making it seem like a living being. Alongside the bulb are a series of 14 of Whittlesea’s drawings of art students undertaking Mazdaznan breathing exercises, together with three light box photographs presented in the foyer.

“These drawings and photographs relate to the famous Bauhaus art school of 1930s Germany, where foundation art students were taught the very same Mazdaznan movements by renowned artist Johann Itten.”

It continues to Saturday March 14.

Admission is free.