Overlooked, curious, inspired and here

New curator at the Grundy Art Gallery, Richard Parry.
New curator at the Grundy Art Gallery, Richard Parry.
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Richard Parry, creator at the Grundy Art Gallery, writes a fortnightly column in the Gazette.

Last Friday’s Gazette featured a news article on a series of Andy Capp paintings that have been lent to the Grundy by Blackpool resident David Middlehurst for our forthcoming ‘Collections Show’ (the article is available to read online if you missed it).

The genial Mr Middlehurst came by this hoard when he acquired the nightclub Brogans around 20 years ago.

To me, what is appealing about these works is not so much that they tell a chapter from Blackpool’s past (which they do), nor that they are interesting artworks (which they are) but that they are unlikely, overlooked, curious but above all dedicated and inspired.

‘Collection Show’ is less an exhibition about Blackpool – the place and its history – but more about the people of Blackpool and exploring the idea of what a collection is and how one comes about: the things we gather that give fuel to our imaginations, that give a sense of who we are as individuals.

It might be that you have a collection of painstakingly catalogued dried flowers, or Hawaii-themed keyrings, or studded bikers’ jackets, or treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamen...

Please do get in touch with us at the gallery. I can’t promise we’ll be able to show everything and we also ask that people send in their photos of their collections first (we don’t have space to store items).

But we are looking forward to showing what is out there: Blackpool’s own cabinet of curiosities.