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Exhibition: Grundy Open 2023

My wife and I take the service 3 to our lovely Grundy Art Gallery to view the 2023 Open Exhibition, a wealth of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast talent. I have to declare the vested interest in that I have a piece in there; unfortunately it looks a bit poor against other exhibits – it’s the taking part that counts. We entered to find the place buzzing. There were several familiar faces.


The exhibition features 135 wall-mounted pieces and five sculptures on the floor plinths. There is an incredible range of techniques, genres and materials on display, from traditional scenes to avant garde abstractionism. The standard is very high and the dominant London galleries need to be pricking up their metaphorical ears.

I was pleased to see contributions from several artists who have been reviewed on this site previously and I’m sure that others will follow.

In this frame there are contributions from Peter Jamieson Sinclair (Bacchus after Caravaggio), Richard Oughton (untitled – egg shells), Laura Shevaun Green (Golden) and some idiot David Simper (beach scene).

Here we can see John Marc Allen’s large-scale contribution (burning globe of obscene fire like electric funeral pyre). Also within this frame is Kitty Flower’s Welcome to Blackpool, with a subversive message that the local tourism team might not appreciate. I also liked the simplicity and technique of Suzanne Pinder’s My Red Shoes.

To the bottom right here we see Alex Jacobs’ Atmosphere. My wife liked the two colourful figures of James Loy’s We’re So Happy Hello and I noticed the perfectly pitched monochrome of Amanda Aiton’s Protection to the bottom left.

To the bottom right of this excellent selection, we can see Dr Peter Hughes’ somewhat apocalyptic view of Stanley Park.

This show really does spoil you for choice. In this section, the bottom left features Anna Ravliuc-Bloomfield’s Sea Breeze in the Morning. There are so many pieces here worthy of particular mention. Hopefully this site will shortly be reviewing their solo exhibitions.

This is not to forget the other works on display at the gallery. On entering, Keith McGinn’s The Sun Lounge from the collection series, dominates the foyer. An atmospheric painting that draws the eye to the winter sea beyond.

A side gallery contains the annual schools exhibition, this year on the theme of Inside a Rainbow.

It’s an exciting time at the Grundy and a visit is highly recommended. If anyone’s still thinking that Blackpool’s a cultural desert then think again, and yes I do mean you national mass media. The range of local talent on display here is quite remarkable. All the exhibitions continue until 25th March 2023.

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    I have worked in the housing and transport professions for several local authorities, specialising in policy, strategy preparation and bid writing. Having always had an interest in film, the visual arts in general, theatre, music and lterature, I thought it would be good to combine the writing experience with these interests to contribute to altBlackpool. In addition to writing, my hobbies include watercolour and pastel painting, photography, woodwork, cycling and vegetable gardening.

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