Robin gets tuned into the artistic beat of Portugal

Blackpool artist Robin Ross
Blackpool artist Robin Ross

A radio DJ-turned-artist, who has shown his art all over the world, is bringing his work back to Blackpool.

After a sell-out show in New York earlier this year, screen printer Robin Ross will be showing his Lisbon-inspired art in new exhibition 21 Days.

In his first themed exhibition, Robin, who works from the Rock Factory Print Studio off Abingdon Street, will show prints influenced by spending time as an artist in residence in Lisbon.

“A labour of love it was indeed, being constantly inspired by the narrow streets and imagery of Portugal’s capital,” he said.

“I have always wanted to do it. It took a long time filling in forms [to apply for the post].

“I spent 21 days walking around Lisbon meeting artists, print makers and so many more creatives during my days, in temperatures between 20 to 40 degrees.

“The people are so warm and helpful, you walk and meet people. It’s a very creative city.

“The images are taken from the people, culture, substance and fabric of this most vibrant of cities.

“I’m not nervous, I have been making screen prints for 10 years and I’m really pleased with this show.”

The solo exhibition will open on Friday, at Shaw’s Art House Cafe, Blackpool, as Robin hopes to establish a new initiative to develop more partnerships between businesses and artists in the resort.

He said: “There is a phrase, local businesses working together to create a better Blackpool.”

Robin, who has curated the urban and street art Sand, Sea And Spray festival, also aims to help other independent artists and businesses in Blackpool.

“It’s a great place to be based,” he said. “The thing about the situation with the independent artists in Blackpool is you need to get out there and tell people what they are doing.”

He’s also planning a pop-up shop for local independent artists later this year.

The new exhibition is just the start of Robin’s passion for Lisbon.

“The cultural relationship has been developed over the last two years is developing even further as I have been invited to return to Lisbon to develop contacts and work with artists and print makers,” he added.

Robin has also been invited to work in Moscow and Switzerland.

And in 2014 he travelled to Cuba.

After a career in radio, Robin turned to screen printing - an art form he says he would like to be known for more than his previous ventures.

The exhibition launch takes place on Friday from 5.30pm until 7.30pm at Shaw’s Art House Cafe in Clifton Street.