Artists pool talent for pop-up exhibition

The cream of young British artists pooled their creative skills to create a pop up exhibition in Blackpool.

Monday, 6th March 2017, 9:56 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:01 am
The cream of young British artists are visiting Abingdon Studios in Blackpool to put on an exibition of work created in one hour. The artists with event organiser Garth Gratrix (seated front left). PIC BY ROB LOCK 24-2-2017

Twelve emerging young artists spent a residency weekend in the resort to explore popular culture and design an exhibition in Abingdon Studios above Abingdon Street Market.

The weekend was organised as part of a pilot to explore new ways for artists aged 18-30 to come together to learn and share ideas.

Born out of an ongoing collaboration between UK Young Artists (UKYA) and Abingdon Studios, the long term hope is to create a national scheme allowing young artists to develop new work.

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Abingdon Studios director Garth Gratrix said: “The weekend has been a resounding success with incredible guest speakers sharing their expertise with a group of talented and emerging artists.

“Their response to Blackpool was new and inspiring and continues to show how Blackpool can always change and evolve based on its creative visitors.”

The visiting artists were chosen through a rigorous selection process from applications which were sent in from across the UK.

While they were in town the artists heard from industry professionals including Michael Trainor, artistic director of LeftCoast which has supported the project, and well established artists and curators including Richard Smith, Tom Ireland, Andrew Gannon, Thomas Small and Claudio Zecchi.

Michelle Bowen, UKYA strategic director, said: “Coming to Blackpool for the first pilot residency weekend exceeded our expectations.

“We thoroughly enjoyed working with independent artists from across the UK and Abingdon Studios as a Blackpool independent space was the perfect partner and host for the occasion.”

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Blackpool, we are very excited about bringing a national collection of artists to connect and collaborate in new ways on the coast.

“The culture is rich and unique here and we want artists to engage with the place and continue to progress their development here.

“Working with Abingdon Studios makes perfect sense as it gives artists a chance to explore new possibilities in a new studio space.”

The artists will also be spending time exploring Blackpool’s spaces and culture, with visits to the Grundy Art Gallery and The Blackpool Tower, and collaborating to create new site specific work in the town.

On arrival, the artists will work together in a matter of hours to create a pop-up exhibition in Abingdon Studios project space which will be open to the public from 6pm.