Archives and Conversations, Shadows Pass
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.
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 http://incertainplaces.org/
‘Lost Luggage Revival’ – a novel for sale in the Grundy Art Gallery
All works can be viewed and purchased from: