Enjoy the Other World of VHS and music tapes

An exhibit from the opening show at Abingdon Studios, by artist Michael Ridge
An exhibit from the opening show at Abingdon Studios, by artist Michael Ridge
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Artists can get in the loop as a new exhibition and studio space opens.

Abingdon Studios is the latest project from LeftCoast with Blackpool Council, which opens its doors for the first time tomorrow night with the Knit, Loop & Grate exhibition from artist Michael Ridge.

The launch will give people a chance to look round the dedicated arts studio and project space in the town centre, as well as meet the specially-selected artists residing there.

Michael’s works were created from now-obsolete technology such as audio cassettes, VHS and vinyl records reimagining them to use in ways that were never intended – with previous viewers describing them as 
‘insightful, interactive and perhaps a little absurd’.

The exhibition is part of this weekend’s Other Worlds Festival of experimental music and sound art, a first for 
Blackpool.

The festival is the brain child of Rick Thompson and Carlito Juanito, founders of independent label Must Die Records, who set it up with funding from LeftCoast’s Future Popular scheme which helps Blackpool and Wyre-based artists run projects to engage new audiences.

Garth Gratrix, places project manager at LeftCoast and originator of the Abingdon Studios project, said: “It is a really exciting time for the studios now the space has a full complement of artists in place.

“We’re all thrilled to be in a position to welcome the public into the space.

“Having Michael bringing his exhibition to town to link in with the Other Worlds Festival felt like the perfect opportunity and we hope that lots of people will come along to see what we’re all about.”

Michael Trainor, LeftCoast artistic director, added: “Abingdon Studios is a fantastic springboard for artists wanting to really develop their work in Blackpool or take the next step in their careers.

“The spaces have been priced at a low rate to enable as many people as possible to take advantage of this new opportunity as part of the thriving visual arts ecology which is taking shape in Blackpool town centre.”

* Knit, Loop & Grate opens tomorrow night at 7.30pm at Abingdon Studios, above Abingdon Street Market. It will also open 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.