Me & FYC pop up shop,

Me&FYC was a partnership event opportunity for businesses to platform their skills and work alongside a Creative Industries Hub in the heart of Blackpool.
FYCreatives offered a collaboration for designers and maker businesses to platform their wares in a Pop-Up retail space supported by a programme of events and seasonal promotions.

The Pop Up Shop Boutique opened in empty premises at 99 Church Street, Blackpool on Thursday 5th Dec. A partnership between FYCreatives & Grundy Art Gallery, gave a town centre empty space, life again by filling it with the work of 17 local designer makers.

Verb New Voices

The Arts Council has partnered with BBC MediaCity to offer three writers – one based in the North East, one in the North West, one in Yorkshire – the opportunity to generate vibrant new work which reflects something unique about Northern culture.

 Poets, spoken word practitioners, fiction writers and artists who use words and sound will be given a generous bursary to write a new piece for radio broadcast and live showcase, appearing on Ian McMillan’s programme The Verb.

 Radio 3 voice coaches and producers will work alongside five National Portfolio Organisations to support the performance skills of the chosen artists, who will appear on platforms across the North and digitally in 2014.

 Deadline for submissions: 5pm on Friday 13 December 2013

 How to apply:

Tickets on Sale now

Sat 2nd November, Grundy Art Gallery.

On Saturday 2nd November, to mark the close of our current exhibition, Zoe Beloff’s DREAMLAND: The Coney Island Amateur Pyschoanalytic Society and the Blackpool Chapter, the gallery will host Freud In Blackpool; a day-long symposium. Organised in consultation with the Freud Museum in London, the event will be the first of its kind to be staged by the gallery and will explore in greater depth both the exhibition and the history of Freud’s visits to Blackpool, together with an examination of broader themes and questions arising from the interconnection between the fairground and Freud’s theories of psychoanalysis. A range of writers, artists and historians will discuss this unlikely conjunction in relation to literature, film and visual culture.

Speakers:Zoe Beloff
Michael Eaton
Vanessa Toulmin
Scott Wilson

With a performance

from MOUTH (Edia Connole and Scott Wilson) and a reading from ‘Memories, Dreams and Reflections’, a new play by Blackpool-based playwright David Riley.

Tickets for the symposium are £15/£10 students (includes lunch) and are available here via
The Grand Theatre, Blackpool
About contributors:

Zoe Beloff

Zoe Beloff is an artist working in a range of media including film, projection, performance, installation and drawing. Her work has been featured in international exhibitions and screening at venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the MHKA Museum, Antwerp and the Pompidou Center, Paris. She is a professor at Queens College CUNY, New York.

Michael EatonProfessor Michael Eaton MBE, is a screenwriter who specialises in docudrama. His work includes ‘Shipman’, ‘Shoot To Kill’ and ‘Who Bombed Lockerbie?’ His fictional work includes ‘Flowers and the Forest’ and the TV series ‘Signs and Wonders’. He has adapted works by George Eliot and Charles Dickens for BBC Radio 4. His most recent play, based on the life of legendaryVictorian criminal Charlie Peace and set in Nottingham’s Goose Fair opened at the Nottingham Playhouse earlier this month.

Vanessa Toulmin

Professor Vanessa Toulmin is Research Director of the National Fairground Archive, Sheffield, a national research facility for the study of folklore, customs and language. She comes from a Lancashire showland family, and completed her PhD researching the social history of travelling showpeople. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal in 1997 for outstanding achievement.

Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson is Professor in Media and Cultural Studies at Kingston University, London. His research interests include cultural and critical theory, particularly psychoanalysis and the legacy of Georges Bataille. Recent books include: ‘The Order of Joy: Beyond adn the Cultural Politics of Enjoyment’ and ‘Great Satan’s Rage: American negativity and rap/metal in the age of supercapitalism’. He is co-editor of the Journel for Cultural Research and co-editor of The Bataille Reader.


MOUTH is an actionist art project in culinary divinomics formed in March 2012 by Edia Connole and Scott Wilson. Recent events include: Land: A Scarcity Banquet, Prosperity Project, Dublin (2013), The Other North Symposium with Jesse Jones, CCA Derry (2013), ‘Break Bread Open’, FACT, Liverpool Biennial (2012).

David Riley

David Riley is a writer, poet and historian based in Blackpool. His play ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections imagines the recollections of Freud thinking back to his visits to Blackpool, amongst other moments in the psychoanalyst’s life.

Image: Zoe Beloff, DREAMLAND model. Photo: Chris Park © Talbot Rice Gallery.


culture shop central drive 2013 125

Archives and Conversations, Shadows Pass
Lisa Wigham
A New Commission for Central Drive Culture Shops
Lisa  Wigham has installed a new work of public art in the windows of an empty shop on Central Drive. This is next door to the Big Local Revoe-lution and was once known as Charmantra Coiffures.
This new work has been made in response to the current social concerns of residents and memories about the place.
‘What I discovered about Central Drive and its community during the research phase of this project is its contrasts that have co-existed throughout the ages. The Drive is an English high street of shops and businesses facing the challenges of retail when half the shops are empty.  It is however surrounded by a busy neighbourhood of terraced houses, guest houses and hostels and is a stones-throw from the promenade with its arcades of carnival-esque wonderment and sandy beach.  Its floating population of seasonal workers and opportunity seekers has existed alongside an established working class community throughout the growth of Blackpool’s tourist industry since the early 1900’s.
I wanted my shop window display to recall the history of buildings and life of the neighbourhood since the early 1900’s as a way for people to reflect on their own relationship with the place.’
In order to make the work, Lisa Wigham delved into history archives for clues about the past, walked around the neighbourhood and retraced her footsteps from childhood. Lisa took photos of shop signage and chatted to business owners, visited old and new acquaintances and called  family to share their stories about feuds and friendships at the ‘Mecca Club’, renting flats, local myths and legendary characters they met along the way.
Spending time with Angie, Summer and Tina in the Revoe-lution hub also provided valued insights into life in the neighbourhood. Lisa was always curious about the question -what are the things in life to have changed and what has stayed the same through the eras, despite the changes in society?
Blackpool has many cultural curiosities in the collective consciousness of the nation and by bringing new life to forgotten spaces, and making them look cared for -Lisa likes to spark the interest of audiences near and far.
This amalgamation of ideas and information was arranged into an essence and is displayed as fragments of playful and poetic text designed to trigger thoughts while viewed in passing, whether on foot or in a moving vehicle as the shop itself remains closed.
culture shop central drive 2013 239
Other works by Lisa Wigham can currently be seen at:
‘Sub-Plots to a City’ a public art commission in the waiting room at Preston Train Station
‘Lost Luggage Revival’ – a novel for sale in the Grundy Art Gallery
All works can be viewed and purchased from:


big local and Culture Shops

Culture Shops has been hard at work in partnership with Blackpool Neighbourhoods Service, CVS and The Big Local Revoe, with support from Ward Councillors Graham Cain and John Jones, to get the new Information Hub at 77-81 Central Drive ready and ship-shape for its official launch on Saturday 15 June.

Volunteers have been working tirelessly to create a friendly hub where people from the local community can come and find out more about the Revoe Big Local  and how they can get involved and make a difference.

The Revoe Big Local is being opened by The Worshipful the Mayor of Blackpool, Councillor Eddie Collett at 1pm, and there will be entertainment, activities and refreshments for all the family.

This is also the last weekend that the Round 2 Culture Shops artists will have their work on display before the new round of artists install their work next week, so please do come and have a look at the fantastic installations by Boz & Mr Dee, Aunty Social and Brendan Bunting.

The Big Local Revolution Information Hub launch is Saturday 15 June, 1-4pm, and thereafter it will be staffed by volunteers every Thursday, Friday & Saturday afternoon.



Aunty Social’s Knittaz With Attitude group has been furiously knitting and crocheting to create a knitted local street scene in the shop window on Central Drive.  Members of the knitting group have contributed pieces of knitting which have been combined to create 3D models.  
Who has helped?
A variety of people.  Absolute beginners to knitting ninjas.  Ages range from 9 years to 88.  We’ve also had contributions posted in from other towns across the UK. 
The next stage is to work with local people on a number of yarnbombs (knitted graffiti) located in the streets around the area which will tie in (no pun intended) with the window installation.  We will also include objects made by workshop participants in the display.  
Get involved
If you want to come and yarnbomb with us, take a look at or  for information on dates and times.  New knitters/crocheters will also get a free ‘starter kit’ with needles/hooks and wool so that you can continue your new hobby at home.
Aunty Social’s installation will be on display until 16 June 2013.



Using recycled materials, Boz Phillips and Mr Dee have created animals and pet shop supplies to install into one of the empty shops on Central Drive (previously Mikeys carpets and for many years before, the Charmanta hairdressers).

 The story of the shop…

Proprietor Dr Evoe left his job as a nuclear scientist in 1973 and decided to open a pet shop in Blackpool.
The animals in the ‘Fantasy Pet Shop’ (Dr Evoe’s Pet Shop) have been there for some time. They have been eating the pet food left in the shop. The pet food ‘suitable for all pets big or small’ was patented by its proprietor, who left to go on holiday in 1974, but never returned. The animals left there have now changed and are taking over the shop…

The story was the inspiration for the children to draw ‘Fantasy Pets’ during a workshop at Ibbison Court Centre and for the children of year four at Revoe Primary  School during their art class. A group of home-schooled children from the area also participated.

This was the children’s brief

All we require from your young people is drawings of ‘Fantasy Animals’. Their drawings will be the inspiration for the work we make in the shop window. We will use their ‘fantasy animals’ to make animals in 2d and 3d. The children may have ideas about –

What colour the animals are
Will the animals have fur, scales or feathers or a mixture of these?
Will the animals be big or small?
Will they be a mixture of 2 or 3 animals e.g. – a mouse with an elephants head? An alligator with a mouse’s tail?

And we included the story above minus Dr Evoe’s name

Using the drawings,  Boz Phillips and Mr Dee created animals and other items for the shop: ‘We already had our own ideas about what items to include in the shop. We also wanted to work with the children from the area and find a way of incorporating their art works in to the Fantasy Pet Shop. Inspiring their imaginations through a story using fantasy animals as a theme we felt that the children could participate in this community project.’

All the animals have been made using the designs/ ideas and images drawn by the local children. The name of the shop was kept a secret until the date of the installation, as we wanted this to be a surprise for the community and the children.

Community participation of local children, recycling and paying homage to the history of the area has been key to our aims for the work. We also wanted to make the work fun and engaging for all ages. The shop is being recycled as well as the area being rejuvenated and we have used recycled materials to create all the work

The shop sign ‘Dr Evoe’s Pets Shop’ on the window is sign written in a style that harks back to shops of the past. The items in the shop are based on vintage packaging and the animals and the other packaging aim to raise a smile.

We hope you enjoy the work. Check out our facebook page:

For their help and support we would like to thank

The children of Revoe and Central Drive area

Revoe School and their year 4 pupils

Julie Moore

Leslie O’Toole

Our friends

Revoe Library

Ibbison Court Community Centre

The Central Drive community

Friends of Muir Housing

Dr Evoe’s Pet Shop will be exhibited as part of the Central Drive Culture Shops project until 16th June.


interior shop photo

Artist Brendan Bunting recently spent time interacting with the community around Central Drive and talking to and photographing local shoppers to make up this installation for the Central Drive Culture Shops project,  a partnership between Blackpool Council’s Arts Service and Neighbourhoods Services, The Big Local Revoe-lution and CVS to bring three new rounds of artists displaying work over the spring / summer 2013.

Brendan’s photographs inspired this series of figurative drawings that incorporate some of the quotes taken from conversations with members of the Central Drive community.

“My artwork is inspired by not only the local community, but the resurgence of the high street. Thanks in part to the recent distrust in big chain supermarket brands, and people wanting fresh produce sourced locally, we have seen an increase in people buying their goods locally.

My work celebrates the vibrant and friendly feeling you get from taking a walk down local high streets like Central Drive. And it not only uses the images of the local community to translate the message, but their thoughts about the shopping hub that is Central Drive.”

Little Shoppers will be exhibited at 77-81 Central Drive until Tuesday 14 May.

You can find out more about Brendan Bunting and his artwork at: