Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Blott Christmas Shop: An Alternative Shopping Experience

Never one to pass up a shopping expedition, particularly one that involves work produced by local artists and craftspeople, I was excited to hear about an evening of retail therapy entitled ‘Make It Christmas’ at several local outlets, planned for 1 December 2016. As a member of the Blott Artist Collective, one of the participating organisations, I was even more thrilled to realise that I would be involved not only in the buying but also in the selling.
I spoke to Corrine Streetly, artist director and curator of Blott, about how Blott was first established. She told me the studio was set up with the help of two colleagues, in 1999. The motivation was to bring challenging and innovative art to Blackpool; to share studio rent; and to be amongst like minded artists, in particular ‘feminist identified’ artists who also explored issues such as the representation of women in galleries, the art world and wider society.
Over 17 years, there were numerous splits in the original group, and the concept of Blott evolved and changed, particularly with the move to King Street. Shared studios eventually became financially unviable and in 2004, it became solely Corrine’s business. Apart from the Grundy, Blackpool’s main municipal gallery, Blott Studio’s gallery and collective has been the town’s longest-running artist led project space, and has supported many other local and regional emerging artists and their practice. A substructure of the visual arts scene in Blackpool has recently begun to evolve and develop, and in 2015 Blackpool Council invested money into developing Abington Street Studios, affordable studio space for artists.
In conjunction with the other participating businesses, Blott Studio will be opening for the evening of December 1 2016 between 5pm and 8pm. There is an extensive variety of work for sale, including original paintings, prints, vintage image mugs, tote bags and photographic prints, produced by artists, Corrine Streetly, Tina Warren, Zoe Cox, David Butterworth, Lauren Green and Jill Reidy, all at special pre-Christmas reduced prices, up to 70% off.
Blott Studio will also be open every Monday and Thursday from 10.30am – 3.30pm until Christmas, with work at sale prices.


Thursday, 4 August 2016

Sugar & Spite - Punk Exhibition

Blott Studio will be hosting Sugar and Spite, featuring new works by regional and national artists - a Punk themed exhibition - alongside the celebration of this year’s REBELLION Festival and the 40 year anniversary (Punk 76’).

Beginning Thursday 4th August - 7th August, the studio will be open daily, morning to evening, from 9.30am until 9.30pm. Local Blackpool band, ‘Litterbug’ will kick off Friday 5th’s evening Preview event with a bang, playing live on the terrace, 7pm until 9pm, in a one off event to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Punk Rock. Please feel welcome to join us in celebrating this event.


The anarchic effects Punk had on the rigid cultural structures of the time - for instance when the Sex Pistols got to No1 in 1977 even though banned from TV and radio - helped spread the under-front subculture. Today Punk is celebrated all over the country, including Blott Studios' hometown, Blackpool.

REBELLION Festival in Blackpool - 20th Anniversary

The REBELLION Festival was re-launched back in 2007, taking the established Punk festival with all the most loved bands and combining it with the best of the new breed, including many sub genres and, the ‘alternative’ scene in general. After years of touring the world in places such as the USA, Japan, Australia, Germany and Holland, ‘REBELLION’ was seen as the revival of the Punk festival, from the very first held in Blackpool, 1996 as ‘Holidays in the Sun’. REBELLION is known for having a great, festival atmosphere, so head on down and be part of it!

More info here - http://www.rebellionfestivals.com/info


Guest Artists exhibiting at Sugar & Spite
It has taken two long years to uncover Stewy's identity. The East London based street artist's distinctive, life-size stencil portraits of English eccentric punk poets, artists, and other British icons, are commonplace in London, across the UK and Europe.

Dale Grimshaw
A leading artist in the London Urban Art scene, Grimshaw has exhibited at the Academy of Arts in New York, with solo shows in Paris, Berlin and the USA.

Knox (Ian M. Carnochan)
Image result for knox the vibrators
Founding member and front man of Punk band The Vibrators and a visual artist in his own right, Knox has painted numerous portraits of punk icons, including Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone.

Other contributing artists:

Claire Griffiths
Local photographer, and BA (Hons) Fine Artist, having a keen interest in popular culture and human nature, Griffiths will be exhibiting her small-scale lit bottles, capturing youth culture and the Punk genre - featuring lost vintage Punk concert images and record labels - all in an eye-catching installation.

Tina Warren
Although Tina doesn't identify herself as a Punk artist, she does identify with certain elements of the Punk ethos as her work is usually a critical consideration of the human condition. The work she will be featuring at 'Sugar & Spite', focuses on symbolism and expressive gestures often associated with the Punk subculture.

Zoe Cox
Illustration and animation BA (Hons), Cox believes that the ethos and attitude behind Punk have been about in many forms before it's identification as a musical genre in the 1970's. Her work for this exhibition will be portraying the rebellious nature of punk in a painting inspired by the the well-known 'Liberty Leading the People'.

Lauren Green
Sugar & Spite's residency artist, Green currently working on her Fine Art degree, will be featuring a range of Pop Art inspired pieces with a Punk twist. Green, has always found herself drawn to the Pop Art movement - in particular, the Roy Lichtenstein approach of using parody and melodrama, and of course the retro comic book aesthetic - which is shown throughout these pieces along with Green's admittedly snarky sense of humour.

Corrine Streetly (MA)
At the Sugar & Spite exhibition, Corrine will be featuring original works from her Rebellion line, and new Punk ceramics - including an incense burner and light display.

Boz Phillips 
Jill Reidy
Laura Green 
Caroline J Radley 
David Worth

Local band LiTTERBUG

LiTTERBUG will be playing live during the preview event on the 5th August, between 7 and 9pm. Merchandise will be available, including t-shirts.

Litterbug artwork

Litterbug is a project that started in 2002. It morphed from spacey TV commercial breaks, to indie alternative and, returned to its owner’s punk rock origins by 2008. The struggle has continued to date, with approximately 30 songs recorded and available at: www.reverbnation.com/litterbugblackpool .

Litterbug artwork

Sugar & Spite banner displayed at the front of Blott - designed by Josie Howker.

Sunday, 1 May 2016


Blott Gallery is delighted to announce the opening, on Monday, 2 May 2016, of its latest exhibition, which presents the work of Blackpool-born artist and Neo’s Great Art 2015 prize winner, Tina Warren.

Entitled A STILL SMALL VOICE, it is Tina Warren’s first solo exhibition and follows on the heels of her inclusion in Blott Gallery’s feminist art intervention, Be the Banana Skin on the Patriarchy’s Complacent Stroll, which took place in March 2016. For BE THE BANANA SKIN, Tina Warren contributed allegorical paintings engaging with patriarchal indifference, lasciviousness and heinous abuse of power, including ‘The Gaze’ (2016) and ‘Disarm’ (2016) (both of which are also featured in the current exhibition), as well as ‘fml’ (2014).

A multidisciplinary exhibition grounded in the ‘realist’ figurative, A STILL SMALL VOICE further explores this difficult and challenging subject matter to startling, thought-provoking and, at times, deeply unsettling effect. It brings together and builds on work and research that was carried out during the artist’s undergraduate and postgraduate studies, with the exhibition itself forming the basis of further research. Some of the works in the exhibition are for sale and prints are also available.

Tina Warren graduated from Blackpool and the Fylde College University Centre in 2013 with a BA in Fine Art and Professional Practice. She went on to gain her MA in Art by Research at Lancaster University. Her passion for her work and her unflinching willingness to lift the veil on some distressing subject matter in both literal and metaphorical interpretation is powerfully in evidence in A STILL SMALL VOICE. As Blott Gallery’s curator Corrine Streetly said: “These are sad, thought-provoking, beautifully executed works—to miss out on the chance to see them gathered together in this exhibition would be to miss out on one of this year’s highlights from an artist whose reputation goes from strength to strength.”

The official opening of A STILL SMALL VOICE is on Monday, 2 May and Tina Warren’s works can be seen until 26 May 2016, during the Gallery’s opening hours of Monday to Saturday.
Find us at Blott Artist Studio, 53 King Street, Blackpool.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Be the Banana Skin

In March 2016, the Blott gallery will present a major exhibition showcasing work by self-identified feminist artists working within the region and beyond.  The opening of the exhibition—entitled BE THE BANANA SKIN (ON THE PATRIARCHY’S COMPLACENT STROLL) is a ‘Feminist Art’ Intervention in the North West, and will, fittingly, coincide with International Women’s Day on 8th March. The exhibition will feature new works by regional and national artists, and international guest artist Sarah Maple.

The works on display in the exhibition are highly varied, not only in use of medium but also in influences and responses to the exhibition’s themes.  A considered choice, according to the exhibition’s curator, artist Corrine Streetly, whose work also features in the exhibition.
“Selected artists were chosen for their positive feminist identity, which informs their work with integrity and purpose. We hope the exhibition will inspire local residents and visitors to think about and engage with feminist issues and ideas. The theme for the exhibition is continued gender inequality our collective aim is to encourage discussion and to explore issues around the representation of women, the art world, and wider society - and to bring together some of the regions best emerging and established ‘female identified’ contemporary artists, to further challenge the male dominated artistic canon”.

The official opening of BE THE BANANA SKIN is on Tuesday, 8th March and the works can be seen during gallery opening hours (9.30am am - 5 pm) until the 31st March 2016.