David headed down to the Winter Gardens to take a look at this year’s Blackpool School of Arts Degree Show.
With fine art, photography, graphic design and film making, this was a fine show featuring some very talented young artists who are a credit to Blackpool and the school of arts, and reflect where the town should be going in respect of its art scene and creative industries. It was great to see such a variety of work on display. The venue was buzzing with students, their friends and families. Together with tutors and mentors, there was quite a community feel to the event; which is very welcome at the moment.
There was time to view the work and have a glass of orange juice before a splendid awards ceremony. People might claim that they are not that bothered about awards, but when you get one it does mean a lot.
The work has been very professionally produced with a great deal of creativity combined with skill, by these young talented artists. I would have liked another look round but the exhibition was only on for a short time, in the Winter Gardens vestibule off Victoria Street.
Some of the work is quite dark, but this reflects the quite dark times that we live in. A fairly traditional painting (nothing wrong with that) reflects the ongoing Covid pandemic and is based on an earlier painting based on a real life plague, giving an interesting mix of contemporary and older imagery. The piece naturally reminds me of Camus’ The Plague, a compelling book with many recent parallels.
Other pieces have used found materials. One of the photography pieces celebrate dense shadows, which I used to use fill in flash to reduce; did they borrow my cheese plant to create that shadow (other cheese plants are available). If I dare chip in, shadows are excellent, unless they fill a bride’s eye sockets.
Strong, creative, talented young artists producing great work, is what we need in Blackpool, puncturing wider society’s pre-conceptions about our town and its people. Several of these artists’ progress can be followed in Instagram and that’s going to be worth doing. I hope to be back for next year’s show
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