Walking around Blackpool, it’s easy to stumble across an abundance of street art; from spray can murals of past Sand, Sea & Spray festivals, to the world famous mirrorball: They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
For this feature I would like to explore the lesser known public artworks in the town.
In 2008 a regeneration project, using art as a catalyst, started in the Foxhall and Revoe area. Once two giants in the heart of Blackpool’s tourism industry, this area had spent decades on the decline with little investment and was in dire need of creative flair.
Local artist Cathy Kelly was commissioned by Blackpool Council’s Art Service to work with the neighbourhood team, along with the Revoe community, to create a series of wall murals that would be placed on walls most affected by deprivation in the area.
The works are on display on Coop Street and behind Ibbison Court on Central Drive. Both works feature Kelly’s expressive and colourful loose style of figurative painting which is both bold and nostalgic in equal measure. The work mounted on Coop Street is in keeping with the area’s Victorian tourist area, depicting dancers and our proud Tower whilst the work off Central Drive manages to capture the real sense of community the area holds.
The second hidden treasure of artwork on display comes in the form of illuminated lampoons that adorn many of the buildings in Foxhall, just below the upper windows. Walking by, it would be easy to miss the ambitious sculptures created by artists Kate Madison and Van Nong from the Yorkshire artist collective, Chrysalis. The work features metal sculpted outlines of seagulls that surround a circled centre which displays an enamel painting of a typical seaside image.
These works are beautiful to view both during the daytime and at dusk when they are illuminated, giving tourists staying in the area a visual idea of our rich heritage perfectly blended with our modern culture.
The next time you find yourself off the beaten track of the prom in Central Blackpool, it is worth taking a wander through Foxhall to take in these hidden treats.
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