Blackpool has long been a town full of rich wonderment that inspires others. I have often wondered what it would be like to be a visitor to the town for the first time; what would I make of the vibrant, often bizarre sights that I see before me? I’ve also wondered what it would be like to take an alternative look at our dear town. How far could our imagination run in the opposite direction, and what would the end result look like?
Well, this summer I was fortunate to see two art shows that answered both of the thoughts that I have often held. July saw Supercollider, c
ontemporary art space, host European collective The Violators. For most of the collective it was their first time in the resort, and they used the town to inspire their exhibition.
I spoke to the artist first hand about their art and their first thoughts on the town. I’m pleased to say the response was positive, but the bits I found most fascinating were some of their photos on social media sites. What would seem mundane and the norm for us were something truly wacky and fascinating for an outsider. From the architecture to the novelties and souvenirs, the latter something the Culture Show picked up on earlier this year.
For an alternative eye the recent project from Supercollider is a perfect example. Tourist Information Center takes a skewed look at the town, noticing those little gems that only a place like Blackpool could play host to. Bizarre, crude, unique but utterly heart-warming, it can’t help but raise a smile. Which is something it made me do, as for one of the first times I felt what it’s truly like to be a tourist.
Some may slate our town as cheap and tacky, with our tartan kilts with plastic buttocks or the fry-up shaped pieces of rock. But it’s theses little things that make Blackpool so special, that capture the imagination and bring out our inner child.
Tourist Information Center is on at Supercollider
until 20 September.
Images courtesy of Brendan Bunting.