I love breakfast: crumpets, eggs and bacon, toasted teacakes. All some of my favourite foods. This forthcoming exhibition is not about food though and you cannot eat it. It’s all about a visual feast! Funded by Leftcoast and based at a pop-up Coronation Street Gallery (just at the side of the Winter Gardens, next to Charabanc), the name, I believe, comes from the initial idea of photographer Jack Boniface to photograph the charming hoteliers of Blackpool. The idea evolved however and now features a series of portraits of local Blackpool business owners, including some really interesting portraits of  arcade owners and other references to portraits set in traditional tourist attractions.

I met Jack a couple of weeks ago and his love of a sometimes unappreciated Blackpool and Fylde Coast was apparent. His exhibition in the basement of the Old Rock Factory, The Artificial Sun, a few months ago was hugely engaging as he took large scale Blackpool illuminations and placed them into displaced landscapes.  Interesting and surreal, it reminded me of a dream or a memory, communicating a visual story reminiscent of childhood.

The Breakfast Included exhibition has called for open submissions and features an array of local talent. Marianne Van Loo, Robin Ross, Sam Jayne Simpson, Joseph Pegler (co-curator of The Lucky Jotter), Marianne McGurk and Oi Doris. It’s a peek into the super creative and cultural Blackpool that is sometimes hidden away.   Also included are zines and books created by the likes of Dotty Delightful. Supported by the Lucky Jotter, the exhibition runs until July and aims to showcase the Fylde Coast’s talent.

Blackpool’s creativity cup positively overfloweth in recent months with an array of things to do and see. Although the arts are sometimes considered to be exclusive or something for for the privileged to experience, personally, I think art is super misunderstood. My own fine art background and photography practice has exposed me to a variety of ways that art and creativity enables a positive experience for individuals from any background. After all, visual communication is so accessible and the story-telling that is enabled through viewing something in an instant is open to all – this ain’t no private party. The opening is on Friday.

I urge folks to get down and support creativity as it happens in Blackpool. It’s so important to move away from the television and the global village in general to experience real time happenings. Leftcoast’s involvement in helping support artists to create and engage is unique to Blackpool and enriching for the local community in general. The importance of pushing creativity is at the forefront as our schools marginalize art, drama, dance and music. Creativity can help create community.


Featured images courtesy of Jack Boniface.

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