Grundy Art Gallery Launches Autumn 2019 Programme
Grundy Art Gallery is pleased to announce the launch of its 2019 Autumn programme which includes the large-scale group exhibition, A Trick of the Light.
Coinciding with Blackpool Illuminations and the town’s Lightpool Festival, Grundy Art Gallery’s Autumn programme continues the gallery’s commitment to exhibiting and collecting artworks that explore the use of ‘light’.
Cllr. Kim Critchley, Cabinet Assistant for Arts, said: “Taking its place alongside other key attractions such as Lightpool and the Blackpool Illuminations, Grundy Art Gallery’s Autumn programme will provide an exciting and intriguing contribution to Blackpool’s season of light.”
A Trick of the Light brings together a group of internationally recognised contemporary artists whose works cast shadows, conjure illusions and bring the inanimate to life. Referencing pre-cinematic techniques and Victorian optical entertainments, such as Zoetropes and Shadow Play, these artworks use the transformative power of light to alter perceptions and trick the eye.
For their contribution to the exhibition, Brass Art have created a large-scale immersive and site-specific installation that takes the form of a grand rotating shadow play. Using 3D printed replicas of objects of significance alongside everyday materials, Brass Art have developed a location-specific version of their highly successful, ‘Still-Life’ series; previous iterations of which have taken place at the Whitworth, Manchester and Bury Art Museum.
Projected light and its resultant shadows are also at the heart of Helen Maurer’s works where intriguing images and remarkable landscapes emerge from displays of everyday objects and seemingly unremarkable materials.
Tim Noble and Sue Webster’s award-winning work, The Masterpiece, also operates in this space between substance and illusion. Here, a delicately detailed silhouette of each artist in profile, emerges from a solid-silver sculpture cast from an unexpected source.
Like other artists in the exhibition, Mat Collishaw’s work also blends 19th century ideas with 21st century methods. In Albion (Model), Collishaw draws on the Victorian stage illusion, Pepper’s Ghost, to bring his subject to life. Using a projected 3D scanned image, and an angled, reflective surface, the slowly rotating ‘ghost-like’ image of the Major Oak; (a centuries-old tree in Sherwood Forest) is brought in to view. Albion (Model), is shown alongside Mat Collishaw’s, The Centrifugal Soul. A sculpture in the form of a zoetrope, The Centrifugal Soul uses stroboscopic lighting *, to animate scenes of 3D printed bowerbirds and birds of paradise as they perform elaborate mating rituals.
Rachel Goodyear’s Dancing Devils concludes the exhibition. Combining hand-drawn, stop-frame animation and 2D drawing processes, like the other works in this exhibition, Dancing Devils combines traditional practices alongside new media technologies and contemporary methods of production. Reminiscent of flipbook images, magic lantern slides and early cinema, these impish and sprite-like figures are doomed to dance forever in a never-ending loop until, as with the rest of the exhibition, the lights go out and the apparitions disappear.
Providing historical context to some of the techniques and technologies represented in the exhibition, A Trick of the Light, will be accompanied by items on loan from the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, at the University of Exeter. Here 19th Century Zoetrope, ombrascopes and hand-cut silhouettes, sit alongside books on Shadow Play and Victorian stage illusions.
Mat Collishaw’s The Centrifugal Soul, contains a sequence/s of flashing lights which may affect visitors who are susceptible to Photosensitive Epilepsy or other photo-sensitivities.
A programme of talks, workshops and events will be taking place alongside this exhibition – please check Grundy Art Gallery’s website or contact Grundy Art Gallery 01253 478 170 for further details.
For the preview on Saturday, 28 September from 15:00 - 17:00 artist Mark Conlin, who creates his works from silhouette cut outs, will be at the Grundy cutting silhouttes of visitors which they can take away.
Image credit: Helen Maurer, Cave Painting. Photographer: Angela Moore. Courtesy the artist and Danielle Arnaud.