Dinosaurs at the Grundy? Time was when that meant a pot shot at heavy portraiture .
Not any more. Under former curator Stuart Tulloch’s tenure the art gallery on Queen Street established itself on the contemporary art scene – while honouring tried and tested offerings for traditionalists too.
Now new curator Richard Parry aims to build on the gallery’s reputation as one of the rising stars of the resort’s arts renaissance.
As ever there’s some quirky stuff to come. Avant garde artist Serena Korda brings her 15ft dinosaur to Blackpool for a promenade performance with a difference this summer. Based on a Lancashire folk tale, the giant latex beast has already been a hit with children at Camden Arts Centre, London, but the beast returns to resort roots for Aping the Beast from Monday May 27 through to early August. There will be performances – and a procession in Blackpool in summer.
So what brings the former curator of the prestigious Haywood Gallery at London’s Southbank centre to Blackpool? Richard admits he’s visited before. “My girlfriend who is based in Liverpool is a big fan of Blackpool but I’m relatively new to the resort.
“The context of Blackpool is absolutely amazing. Some of the things I have been shown here are mind blowing. The Winter Gardens is unlike anything I have seen before. I was utterly unprepared for the Tower Ballroom. Or for coming face to face with Thomas the Tank Engine in the Lights warehouse. Coming from London I knew of the Tower, Pleasure Beach, Illuminations and Golden Mile but not for all this magnificence hidden in plain sight.
“As for the art gallery – it’s an Edwardian gallery, purpose built, one of the most beautiful places I have ever encountered. And there’s a great team here too. There’s a real sense of wonder and heritage but a really interesting popular culture here too along with treasures people don’t know about. I want to meet artists and bring it to the attention of a wider public – including more residents.”