LEFT BEHIND 2018
In November 2017 the Financial Times published the article ‘Left Behind: Can anyone save the towns the economy forgot?’ Centred on Blackpool as the cheapest place in the UK to rent, the article provoked a strong local response, touching on subjects that people felt were under researched and misunderstood.
As an arts organisation in the town already working in partnership with residents, artists and agencies, we were in a unique position to facilitate a response to the article. Our aim for the programme was not necessarily to de-bunk the statements made in the Financial Times article, but to provide a nuanced and thoughtful counter position that perhaps spoke to both the difficult subjects and the positive work going on here and some of the joyful and creative elements of this place.
After a national call out for proposals, a local commissioning panel of ten residents, artists, academics and business owners commissioned five proposals in May 2018. Each commission served as an open invitation to residents, artists, public officers, policy makers and the private sector to engage with us in a conversation about how we might come together to re frame some of Blackpool’s most enduring social issues in a different and considered way.
The Left Behind commissions created both some instant visual responses to the content of the article and some more long term research that is still continuing. It has formed the basis of some of our process and programme going forward, influencing both how we work and what we are creatively exploring.
You can see an overview of the five original commissions below.
Pearls of Wisdom
A new graphic art work that tells the wisdom of the people of Blackpool.
Grennan & Sperandio
The Golden Repair
A new installation that recognises the resilience of Blackpool using the Japanese technique of Kintsugi.
After living on the streets for 10 years Patricia has recovered from drug addiction through finding unexpected support from a stranger.
The film explores a sense of togetherness and care from being absorbed into a community and re-frames Blackpool?s coastline as a landscape for change.
Bella Riza and Emily Briselden-Waters
The Poverty Trap
Tracing a family over 25 years to explore whether it is possible to escape the poverty trap.
Paint The Town
A new paint palette inspired by Blackpool, a vibrant and diverse town with an array of unique attractions and spaces.
Laura Shevaun Green