Comedy Carpet book launched at The Blackpool Tower
A new book has been launched which tells the vivid story of how Blackpool’s biggest piece of public artwork was created.
The Comedy Carpet Book was unveiled at a special event at The Blackpool Tower by its creator, artist Gordon Young, and Blackpool Council leader, Cllr Simon Blackburn, along with hundreds of Blackpool primary school children.
The children, who have been using the Comedy Carpet as a learning tool to discover more about word play and the English language, performed a special Charleston dance for invited guests and took part in a number of other themed activities.
And they even presented Mr Young with a special surprise cake to mark his birthday which coincided with Friday’s launch as the Tower Ballroom and sung “Happy Birthday” accompanied by the ballroom’s famous Wurlitzer organ.
Delighted by the gesture, Mr Young said: “This is a wonderful surprise.
“We created the Comedy Carpet to celebrate culture and tradition of jokes and wonderful word play in this country.
“We’re a nation of jokers and it’s fantastic the book is showcasing the Comedy Carpet’s message.”
The book is on sale for £25 and can be picked up at the Tourist Information Centre and the Grundy Art Gallery.
The book documents the entire process of creating the 2,200m2 granite artwork, from idea to launch, and contains jokes and catchphrases from over 1,000 comedians.
Beginning at the design and compilation stage, the book documents the creation of the stone slabs and individual letters as well as images from the opening of the carpet by comedian, Ken Dodd.
Speaking at the unveiling, Cllr Simon Blackburn, said: “It’s a fantastic book which has been created by some fantastic people.
“When I first heard about the idea of the Comedy Carpet I wasn’t sure I quite got it.
“It wasn’t until the launch day, when I stood with Ken Dodd up Blackpool Tower, looking down on the carpet and all the people reading the jokes that I really caught on to what it was all about.
“I drive up and down the Promenade nearly every day and no matter what the weather is like there are people looking and laughing at the jokes and having a good time.
“It’s an incredible public space and the book tells its fantastic story.”
As well as the launch of the book, a version of the Comedy Carpet was recently unveiled at Shanghai’s biggest ever design show, Aesthetics City, at The Power Station of Art (China’s equivalent to the Tate Modern).
A large vinyl print of the carpet, along with two videos and some samples of the granite letters, are on display until 30 March 2014 as part of the ‘City of Interface’ section curated by Li Degeng.
It also scooped the Tokyo Type Directors award in 2012 seeing off competition from more than 350 other international entries.
The carpet, which was opened in 2011, lies opposite the Blackpool Tower on Blackpool’s Promenade and was commissioned by Blackpool Council using part of a £4m grant from Commission for Art and the Built Environment’s Seachange programme.