Above the hustle and bustle of the town centre a collective of artists share a space that is well known for drawing in some of the best contemporary practitioners in the area. The entrance to this studio is a large brown door nestled between two shop fronts on a busy shopping street in Blackpool town centre. Up a flight of stairs and you are suddenly faced with a row of unassuming doors, each one leading to a studio space behind. A hub of creative activity that often goes unnoticed by the people going about their business below.
Through the first door is Tina’s studio. She is one of ten artists occupying the studio at the moment. She has set up her work area at the far end of the room, making use of the light flooding in on this early evening in late summer. A piece of art she inherited along with the room hangs above a desk and, on the left, a window frames the collection of buildings and rooftops that make up the surrounding urban landscape. Simple cream blinds sway in the breeze and although the evening is hot the room remains airy. A dog’s bed and bowl sit by the leg of one of the two tables, for the days that her four-legged friend joins her. A larger circular table sits almost central, on it a collection of neon cards, pots of paint, an assortment of images from magazines and piles of mixed media originals all cut-out ready to be turned into collages.
She shares the studio with another artist but as they keep different schedules they rarely see each other. The evidence of their practice is dotted around the walls by tack or blue tape. A combination of playful artworks created from both artists brings the room to life. These flashes of intense colour interrupt the expanse of white walls in a studio which is clean and sparsely furnished. Each item is carefully picked and purposeful. The floorboards are bare and lightly splattered with paint. Tina revealed that the workspace from time to time does get quite messy when she is working but that she always tidies it up before she leaves ready to start afresh for her next visit.
She works mostly in silence, in a room without music or technology. However, the street below is an easy distraction in this busy part of town, the voices and antics of passers-by seeping into her work from now and again. For this reason, her easel is played facing towards the corner opposite the window. This is her space in which to escape and get down to some serious creative practice. She is spending more time here of late and is enjoying the freedom to create the work she is best known for, vibrant and bold collages. She is working on her website too, but not here in her creative haven perched above the market place on a busy street in our town centre.
By Laura Green
Images by Jill reidy
For more information about Tina and Abingdon Studios check out the links below:
Facebook: Abingdon Studios
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