‘Living’ bulb to illuminate new Grundy exhibition

Grundy art gallery
Grundy art gallery
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Blackpool’s Grundy Art Gallery will see 14 drawings illuminated by a single ‘breathing’ light bulb for 24 hours a day, seven days a week as it hosts its latest exhibition.

Ian Whittlesea’s Breath is Life opened on Saturday and will run until Saturday, March 14.

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 HG 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. Alongside the bulb will be 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.

There will also be a talk by the artist on Saturday, March 14 at 2.30pm. The talk is free but places must be booked in advance by calling Grundy Art Gallery on (01253) 478170 or emailing: grundyartgallery@blackpool.gov.uk.

Admission to the exhibition is free for all but donations are welcome.