Remote Work

REMOTE WORK brings together new work by Nicola Dale, Kieran Leach, David Penny, Shy Bairns and Ciarán Wood; five artists/artist groups whose proposals were selected from an Open Call commissioning opportunity. Advertised by the Grundy Art Gallery in April 2020 the opportunity was open to artists living and working in the North West.

Recognising the impact that COVID-19 was beginning to have on the livelihoods and the artistic and career development of artists, this commissioning opportunity was designed to give access to financial, administrative and professional development resources at a time when much of the infrastructure that artists rely on had ground to a halt. Alongside this, Grundy Art Gallery also made a commitment to show the work that the artists developed at a point in the future.

That future has now arrived.

One year, almost to the day that the UK’s first lockdown started, Grundy Art Gallery will bring together the results of this one year remote commissioning process. New work by Nicola Dale, Kieran Leach, David Penny, Shy Bairns and Ciarán Wood will be installed at the gallery from 27 March and while we wait for our visitors to be able to see it in person in May, we will provide access to the exhibition online via Grundy Art Gallery’s website and social media platforms. Devised in collaboration with the commissioned artists, Grundy Art Gallery will also deliver a public programme of artists’ talks, workshops, recorded performances and lots more that our audiences will be able to access remotely.

Whilst created in isolation from each other and diverse in terms of the materials and techniques used, the REMOTE WORK commissions coalesce around shared themes. In the works of Kieran Leach and Ciarán Wood, commonplace objects and everyday places have undergone lockdown scrutiny. Through the artists’ gaze we are alerted to the unconventional beauty of things we would ordinarily pass by and reminded of the social function of public spaces; a function that ordinarily we take for granted.

The works of Shy Bairns and Nicola Dale sculpturally, sonically and fictionally explores the rich territory of the “echo chamber”, which is variously described as a physical space that allows sound to reverberate and an environment (real or virtual) where existing views and opinions are reinforced and left unchallenged. In the work of Nicola Dale a circular motif informs both the content and form of the artist’s sound and sculptural works as well as directing decisions about how the work is displayed. Taking an equally multi-layered and multi-disciplinary approach, the project undertaken by Shy Bairns has seen the artists making work in the real and virtual world. Structured around a complex web of fictions told by fake and real voices, this work directly speaks to now where increased online immersion is just one of the by-products of lockdown living.

David Penny’s work continues this exploration of the meeting point between the physical and digital realms. Here, an increased engagement with digital practices during lockdown, has seen the artist bringing into real life, objects and images of significance, which had previously only existed virtually.

Further information:
  • Restricted opening from Tuesday 18 May 2021 with new hours: 11.00 am – 4.00 pm, Tuesday – Saturday
  • Location Grundy Art Gallery, Queen Street, Blackpool FY1 1PX
  • Further information 01253 478170
  • Email: grundyartgallery@blackpool.gov.uk
  • This is a free exhibition