Conversation Series II – Other Transmissions at The Grundy in Blackpool

7 March 2020 — 21 March 2020

We are pleased to share news of another installation of the ‘Conversation Series II – Other Transmissions’ project which was originally initated by a long-running partnership between Castlefield Gallery and Venture Arts.

This exhibition brings together artists, with and without disability, from Blackpool and Manchester who have worked together to investigate how artists are labelled, who is given the opportunity to create art and engage with the art world and arts market, and who the intended audience is and how their perspectives and interpretation might influence the way they receive the work.

The exhibition also includes works on loan from the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection, the UK’s largest collection of Outsider art which is housed at the Whitworth. From October 2019 to February 2020, the artists have been meeting regularly at The Blackpool Centre for Independent Living as part of The New Langdale’s ‘Communication through art’ programme. The New Langdale is a community-based service for adults with a learning disability which provides a wide range of stimulating and outcome based activities. Here, working with Blackpool based artist Tina Dempsey, and supported by the group’s regular coordinators, participants have been making new work together, testing out new approaches, techniques and materials. This process has been accompanied by research visits to Grundy Art Gallery, the Whitworth; where participants experienced a talk and tour of The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection, and a visit to Venture Arts studios in Hulme, to see the facilities, meet other artists, and to hear more about their work. ‘Conversations Series’ is a programme of artistic projects and residencies delivered by Venture Arts, Manchester aimed at creating new work in a shared exchange of art and ideas. This programme brings together a range of artists, with and without learning disabilities, to develop collaborative, reciprocal learning and creative exchanges. Through this, it is hoped that open conversations and new dialogues about the role of art in contemporary society will be generated. ‘Conversations Series II – OTHER TRANSMISSIONS’ is the title given to a new stage of the ‘Conversations Series’ project involving new partners such as the Whitworth, the University of Manchester, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester and Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool.

Conversations Series II – OTHER TRANSMISSIONS is presented by Grundy Art Gallery as part of its participation in Access Fylde Coast, a Coastal Communities funded project that is being led by Disability First, Blackpool. Another iteration of the Conversations Series project is currently on display at the Whitworth, Manchester until 14 June 2020, titled ‘Other Transmissions: Conversations with Outsider Art’, a project resulting from a two-year artist residency project led by Venture Arts in collaboration with the Whitworth, and Castlefield Gallery. It will be on display at the Whitworth until 14 June 2020.

Grundy Art Gallery is Blackpool’s art gallery and offers a year round programme of contemporary visual art exhibitions and events including solo and group exhibitions together with talks, workshops and educational activities. The gallery is housed in a Grade II listed Carnegie building and has a collection that was commissioned by Blackpool Council in 1908, following a bequest by brothers John and Cuthbert Grundy. First opening its doors in 1911, today the Grundy Art Gallery collection includes works by established artists such as Martin Creed, Tracey Emin, Laura Ford, Gilbert and George, Brian Griffiths, Augustus John, Haroon Mirza and Eric Ravilious alongside works by regionally based emerging talent such as Joe Fletcher Orr and Louise Giovanelli. Grundy Art Gallery is supported by Blackpool Council and also receives regular funding as one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations.

Grundy Art Gallery, Queen Street, Blackpool, FY1 1PU

Free admission: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm (last admission 4.40pm. Closed Sunday and Monday).

Image: Grundy Art Gallery, Daniel Letzer – work in progress image (2020), photo by Tina Dempsey.