Caroline Fisher gives us a sneak preview of the new Urban Illuminations for 2012.

This Friday sees this years official launch of Blackpool illuminations and as a special treat for 2012, Richard Ryan (the director of Blackpool Illuminations) asked for a commision to bring a 21st century element to the historic Illuminations. With Robin Ross as curator, 4 artists from Robin’s ‘Sand, Sea and Spray’ urban art event were asked to create an illumination tablo each. My Dog Sighs from Portsmouth, Rocket01.co.uk from Sheffield, Bristols Inkie & Lonac from Zagreb, Croatia were given the task. The tablos were painted in Europe’s’ biggest spray booth situated at the Blackpool Illumination Depot over a two day period last March, where I hung around trying to look useful whilst providing tea and cake.

My Dog Sighs piece is a colourful compilation of his well known stick figures, water droplets and music lyrics, it could be worth taking a tram and sitting on the upper deck to see if you can read them all whilst guessing the songs from where all the lyrics have been taken.

Rocket01 from Sheffield delivered his unique mash of science fiction and environmentalism themes with a character created with both plantlike and insectlike attributes. To say any more would give too much away and that would be a great injustice. Rocket01 has contributed work in various locations throughout Blackpool both indoors and outdoors and will be adding some more very soon (watch this space!)

Bristols legendary Inkie is perhaps the most experienced of the group with him being one of the inovators of Bristols Street art scene and the creator of the ‘See no evil’, urban art and music festival. His piece gives an exotic blend of colours and metalics and the feminine theme carries on perfectly from the two pieces already available to view around Blackpool with this years Sand, Sea and Spray contribution on the side of The Music Hall Tavern (above the old Ethel Austin shop) and with last years ‘sugar skull’ colaboration piece (with Kashink) inside Talbot Road bus station.

Hard at work
Hard at work

Lonac came all the way from Croatia with his brother Silvio (who has kindly given us permission to use his behind the scenes photos and movie – but sadly hasn’t edited out my messy hair!) for their very first visit to the UK. Lonac had never completed a piece on this scale in such a short timeframe before, as his pieces usually take several weeks to conclude – and as the youngest and least experienced (but no less talented) of the group he was slightly perturbed by the speed with which Inkie completed his piece (almost within one day!) but Lonacs worries were unfounded as his owl/girl tablo was completed in good time. The brothers enjoyed their first UK/Blackpool experience by visiting Blackpools entertainment landmarks such as Funny Girls and The Pleasure Beach.

The artists Illuminations tablos are located on North Shore Cliffs and have been illuminated using special techniques developed purposely by the Blackpool Illuminations team so that the panels actually change colour and effect. Personally, I can’t wait to see the finished result.

You can see the new Illuminations being completed in the video below:

Reclaim Blackpool - Mapping Sexual Harrasment
  • Show Comments (5)

  • Jenn

    I’d be happy to proof-read future articles.

  • Terry Uncle


  • Mydogsighs

    Thanks for the write up. It was a great few days with everyone so welcoming and supportive of our work.
    Well done Blackpool illuminations for taking the step to go for something out of the norm and embracing urban art.

  • Duncan Hodgson

    Hi Jenn

    As you probably know altblackpool is run entirely by volunteers so proof reading and editing has to be fit in around our day jobs. We’d be really happy to hear from anyone who wants to get involved with the site doing writing or editing. If you’d be interested then send us an email to [email protected]

    Hope to hear from you 🙂

  • Morgan Feeney

    Interesting to see how the illuminations is keeping up with the times. Times change and so do people’s attitudes and tastes. I have to ask though just out of personal curiosity: is The Festival of Light discontinued?

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