I went to Blackpool yesterday for the first meeting to kick start the project. I met the three other artists; Jessica Lloyd Jones, Mark Parry and Ruth Tyson-Jones, each doing fascinating and very different projects. I feel more excited than nervous now (the right proportion I think!). I learnt about the community groups that I may be working with and we talked through the practicalities and time scales. Incredibly Blackpool Council claim that there is no beach litter, due to the practice of sending out big tractors to sweep the sea bed! A beach clean may be off the cards and so the next step is to source a large amount of plastic waste. It may be that donated broken toys, chip forks, bottle tops and so on, when stitched into the sculptures become like a memory bank. Participants can see their objects transformed and illuminated.
We also discussed the possibility of using empty shop units as exhibition space at the end of the project- unfortunately wandering around the town I could see far too many possible units. My ward is Talbot- the town centre and main shopping drag. I loved the riot of colour from the arcades, souvenir and pound shops and plastic illuminations. I think Blackpool is the perfect muse for my glowing plastic sculptures and the chance to work with the Illuminations people, the experts in 'artificial sunshine' is a wonderful opportunity. Once the project is in full flow from October onwards I will be posting updates on this site.