New art work catching people's attention in Fleetwood Market

An unusual art display has been catching the attention of visitors to Fleetwood Market.

By Richard Hunt
Friday, 5th August 2022, 6:20 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th August 2022, 10:09 am

The installation, called ‘Freedom Is..?’, is an arresting collection of 64 black-and-white photos suspended by chains from the ceiling of the market’s art display space.

It is the work of Carolyn Sillis, one of 10 resident artists based at the Market House Studios, a creative art hub based above the market which allows them to rent a studio base from Wyre Council.

Carolyn, who is 51 and from Fleetwood, works in different media, including photography, but predominantly paints on canvas and has developed a following for her work over the past two decades.

Carolyn Sillis with her art work, 'Freedom Is' at Fleetwood Market

Her display in the market was inspired by a recent three-month trip to South America where she spent time travelling across Peru.

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She said: “It basically explores the concept of freedom and what that means to different people.

"When I was travelling in Peru I met all sorts of different people, from different countries and backgrounds, and we’d end up having conversations about what we were doing there.

Carolyn Sillis with some of her other art work in her Fleetwood studio

"One of the themes that kept coming up was ‘freedom’ and I thought it was interesting what that meant to different people and how they though they could achieve it.

“Most of the people in the display were complete strangers who I met for the first time while I was travelling, but some of the photos of people I know from Fleetwood.

"I wanted to contrast the difference experiences and faces.”

On the back of each photo is a brief statement from the subject about what freedom means to them.

The exhibition will be on show until August 30.

Carolyn, who has worked as a taxi driver to support her work as artist, is currently creating a new work on large canvas, using different paint media.

For 25 years the Market House had remained empty but now it has a new lease of life and is ready to make a creative contribution to Fleetwood Market.

One studio is reserved for community projects, classes and exhibitions, as well as the gallery space within the market itself.

Established by Wyre Council and funded by the Coastal Communities fund, the Market House studios are managed by a full time studio coordinator and artist, Adrian Pritchard.