Last chance to see Craig Easton’s award winning photography in Blackpool

It’s the last chance to see Craig Easton’s award winning photography in Blackpool at his latest exhibition Is Anybody Listening?

In 2021, Easton won ‘Photographer of the Year’ at the Sony World Photography Awards with his series Bank Top. This work is currently on display at Blackpool School of Arts alongside Easton’s other series, Thatcher’s Children. Both pieces of work take an in-depth look at the representation, and misrepresentation, of working class, Northern communities.

In collaboration with LeftCoast, the college have been running an engagement programme Our Time, Our Place, alongside the exhibition, which has attracted over 700 local residents. This has taken place over a series of free events, including a Supper Club, Private View, Artist Talk, and photography workshops.

Tina Redford, LeftCoast’s Artistic Director, said: “Given the intention of this exhibition is to provoke debate about the complex issues that interweave between poverty, social policy, and working class identity, we are delighted with the level of interest in Craig’s work from students, artists, lecturers and residents alike. There have been many ways to engage with this challenging exhibition and all the events have been well received and attended.”

As part of the programme, Blackpool School of Arts’ Curriculum Manager of Further Education, Andrew Walker, has delivered photography skills workshops on portraiture and composition.

Over 90 people have attended the workshops, including students from Highfield Leadership Academy, South Shore Academy, Young Carers, creatives from Langdale Library and Laundry Room, and the college’s Adult Community Photography night classes.

Walker said: “The young people have been inspiring and full of enthusiasm. Their portraits tell stories of identity and belonging, of pride and self-confidence, of courage and resilience. The results have been powerful. They are images that capture the diversity and complexity of the lives of the young people who live in Blackpool, and the beauty of their resilience.

“Is Anybody Listening? has been an incredible source of inspiration for our staff and students, and we appreciate LeftCoast’s contribution in making this event such a success.”

The exhibition is part of a wider tour of the North West presented by The University of Salford Art Collection, with support from Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project has supported an internship for a college student to help install the gallery; work experience for students to film and photograph the events; and a Continuing Professional Development opportunity for an Early Career Lecturer.

LeftCoast also hosted an Artist Talk for tutors at Blackpool School of Arts. The creative panel lead by Open Eye’s Culture Shifts producer, Liz Wewiora, featured Easton and LeftCoast’s Creative Producer, Laura Jamieson.

Visitors have called Is Anybody Listening? “amazing” and “emotional” with one adding: “This exhibition was very moving and I’m now more motivated than ever to help out those in need in my local area.”


Craig Easton: Is Anybody Listening? launched 12 January 2023 at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery and is available to see at Blackpool School of Arts until 31st May. The tour will continue through to March 2024 at the following North West locations:

  • Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool: 12 January – 26 February 2023
  • LeftCoast and Blackpool School of Arts: 11 April – 31 May 2023
  • Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery: June 2023 – July 2023 (engagement programme only)
  • New Adelphi Exhibition Gallery, University of Salford: Thatcher’s Children 11 September – 27th October followed by Bank Top 6th November – 22 December 2023
  • Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, Birkenhead: 25 January – 30 March 2024

Photo: Claire Griffiths

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