Back in the Summer on an a day trip to Blackpool I visited The Grundy Art Gallery. I had been wanting to visit for a while but never found myself in the area. There were three exhibitions on show when I visited and I will start with Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldocks, LOVE LIFE:ACT II.
I was firstly met by a nice piece of Martin Creed neon as you walk in. I would like this in my ‘things’ room.
I have since read up on the artists and the exhibition and it was described as this;
‘Working together, artists Jonathan Baldock and Emma Hart have radically re-imagined the traditional seaside show, Punch and Judy.’
https://www.dlwp.com/exhibition/love-life-2/– Accessed 16th November 2017.
First thoughts were a bit mixed. I could hear lots of goings on in the other room which was coming from a film to watch and then this giant head with a TV eye wrapped in felt was before me. I liked it and it reminded me of these characters-
https://www.youtube.com/user/thisisitcollective – accessed 16th November 2017.
I have since found out that this giant thumb, which was made by Blackpool Councils illuminations department have a depot called Lightworks where on special open days you can go and visit them all. It is on my calendar for next year.
Under The Thumb (2017)
Walking around the exhibition I liked the use of felt and just a set amount of the same three or four colours to make the installations and the backgrounds.
Now I have read more about the exhibition I get that it is a bigger version of the inside of a Punch and Judy house but I honestly didn’t get it at first. I seemed to focus on the bits and pieces on the floor, the various rooms such as the kitchen with its washing machine contents. The eyes that were appearing on blankets and walls and the feet. I think at this point I felt that I just liked it but I was perplexed.
Lots of things in it reminded me of something else, for example the ironing board reminded me of the opening to a kids programme years ago where the heads moved to a beat, I think it was The Ozone or maybe even Equinox. I cannot think and it is annoying me. Maybe I have watched too much 80’s TV? Maybe they have?
I liked these plates very much and I would like some for myself.
The film that was playing mainly showed hum drum things happening that we all do everyday, washing, hoovering and then sleeping.
I liked the YOUR BACK made out of sausages. My camera lens wasn’t big enough to do the whole thing but I then wondered if they were real sausages and would they go off? Are they pretend? I was overthinking as I had seen a lot. Then half way up the stairs I said ‘Ah, Punch and Judy, crocodile, SAUSAGES!’
Leaving the exhibition to go upstairs I wasn’t quite sure what I had just seen. I liked it but I didn’t understand but then I did once I had read up about it. As it is a travelling exhibition with the first being at PEER in London, this one at The Grundy and the third at De La Warr Pavilion, I just don’t know if I saw it again I would understand and see more things I may I have missed. Regardless, I did enjoy it and there are some more links about the artists, galleries and exhibition at the end. The third part of the LOVE LIFE is on at The De La Warr Pavilion until January 7th 2018.
Onto the other exhibitions- Colin Frederick- Punch and Judy paintings.
I have never seen a real Punch and Judy show and this saddens me. Where I grew up there wasn’t that much of a call for one, it was only if you went to the seaside for the day that you managed to see or hear one on a distant pier.
A collection of puppets from the Grundy collection was on show in the back room. I liked the crocodile but maybe because I could say ‘Sausages’ twice in one day in a public space.
Upstairs was the photographer Shirley Bakers –On the Beach exhibition. I only briefly skim read about Shirley Baker when I was at college and it has only been in these past few years I have looked more at her work and realised how important it is.
I love old 70’s/80’s seaside pictures. Everybody is having fun, it is simple and busy but everyone has had fish and chips and a good day out and goes home to bed happy.
Here are some postcards I bought in the shop. I do hope that ladies mouth was OK and that she managed to find some lip balm.
Here are some links to the exhibitions that you can read if you like-
All websites/links accessed 16th November 2017.
Thankyou to The Grundy for allowing me to take pictures of the exhibitions.