It’s time to get voting, as Fleetwood’s Inside Out art exhibition has been nominated for a Creative Lives Award.
The gallery, which first opened in June 2021, was curated by Gillian Wood – artist in residence at LeftCoast – after she brought together a group of local sewers to make scrubs for NHS workers during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Following her pandemic project, Scrub Hub, Gillian and her fellow creatives got together to discuss the other work they’d been producing behind closed doors- and it turns out Fleetwood’s creative juices had been flowing.
From woodwork to knitting, painting to sculpting, the team had created an eclectic mix of artwork from the comfort of their homes. With the help of LeftCoast and the Fleetwood Hospital Trust, Gillian managed to secure the top floor of the Old Fleetwood Hospital as a venue to exhibit their work.
The summer exhibition was a success, drawing the attention of local residents who were all eager to see what their neighbours had been creating during the uncertain time. Some of the pieces included an array of knitted seagulls, paper flowers, colourful headdresses, needle felted creatures, knitted worry dolls, walls of pouring art, and a collection of naked lady paintings with cat heads!
The unusual collection returned this winter, generating Inside Out 2, which featured even more pieces from local artists. The project has caught the eye of the Creative Lives Board and has now been nominated for their People’s Choice Award. The accolade celebrates groups that “showed resilience and imagination during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, and carried on being creative.”
Gillian Wood, said: “It’s fantastic for the artists because it’s recognition for their work.
“A lot of people haven’t ever exhibited before, so it’s quite a big thing to take those pieces of work from your home and put them up on the wall and be brave enough to show them to the wider public.
“But the artists really took that in their hands and have done amazing installations themselves. So for them, the Creative Lives Award would be fantastic because it highlights all of the fantastic work they have been doing.”
The gallery is open every Thursday and Saturday, 10am to 3pm, until the 11 December at the Old Fleetwood Hospital.
Residents and visitors are being urged to get behind their local artists and town by voting for Inside Out on the Creative Lives website.