Arts Council England


16 projects in 16 weeks




Allison Katz

1 – 5 May 2018

at Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool
open daily 10am – 5pm
with exhibition event on
Saturday 5 May,  3 – 5pm

Allison Katz, Green Closet, 2018

Representing the artist’s diverse practice and her refusal to see painting as an independent or privileged mode of production, Allison Katz presents a trilogy of works comprising painting, sculpture and print.

Acting in the spirit of continuity that is at the heart of the fig-futures project, Katz’s exhibition picks up where her presentation for fig-2 left off. The painting Tailpiece, originally shown as part of fig-2 at the ICA Studio, London in 2015, is re-presented here; acting as a link between years and locations. While literally depicting a car, the painting also metaphorically suggests a journey, one that is both physical (the distance between the two locations) and contextual (the painting inevitably reads differently in this new setting).

As a further example of the idea of continuity, Dad Sand 1 Plate 1, links to another of Katz’s paintings which was also shown in fig-2. Seen initially in this earlier work, the central image of the seated figure is now referenced and recreated as a ceramic plate, emphasising the mobility of a motif not only to travel across time and locations, but also across mediums.

Completing the trilogy is a new poster work. The starting point for this print, the image of a woman bathing in a mountain hot spring, was picked up by the artist on her recent travels in Japan. Re-used and re-contextualised in this new work, the ‘black pool’ in which the woman bathes acts a visual and linguistic pun drawing our attention to the name of the town in which the Grundy is located.

Favoured in the 17th century as a sympathetic colour against which to view paintings, Katz has chosen to paint the wall a shade of green that closely matches the damask found in ‘The Green Closet’ at Ham House, Richmond-upon-Thames,a room that was modelled after Charles I’s private exhibition space at Whitehall Palace. Taking place in the smallest of Grundy’s exhibition spaces, this use of colour seeks to transmit and make reference to the intimacy of this historical space. Signalling an outdated trend in exhibition design, the choice to use a coloured backdrop also directly challenges current notions of taste where white gallery walls are frequently favoured.

Allison Katz fig-futures 1/16 installation shots

Allison Katz (b.1980, Montreal, Canada), has exhibited widely across the UK and internationally. Her solo exhibition Diary w/o Dates, opened at Oakville Galleries, Oakville, Canada this past winter, and will travel to The List Centre at MIT in Boston, US, later this May. Recent solo exhibitions also include POSTERS, Billedrommet, Tønsberg, Norway and We boil at different degrees, The Approach, London. Her recent group exhibitions include That Continuous Thing, Tate St. Ives and Sputterances, Metro Pictures, New York. She is represented by The Approach, London, Gio Marconi, Milan and Antenna Space, Shanghai.

View Allison Katz's fig-2 exhibition here


Amy Stephens

8 – 12 May 2018

at Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool
open daily 10am – 5pm
with exhibition event on
Saturday 12 May,  3 – 5pm


Amy Stephens, Mini landscape for..., 2018

Exploring a minimalist approach to sculpture, Amy Stephens reclaims objects and imagery from the native landscape. Predominantly intuitive, her assemblages range from wood, plaster, metal and Perspex that are suggestive of urban living. Materials are carefully sourced, chosen and collected to create a precise balance and specific narrative. Each work then evolves through a series of stages, with successive layers gaining density until the final form emerges.

The artist’s process relies on the appropriation of existing materials from previous artworks forcing the work to often resist the finite. This spirit of continuity is at the heart of the fig-futures project, which sees artists re-imagining existing works or formulating new ones for the contexts that the Grundy and Blackpool provide.

For her fig-futures presentation, a rock entitled ‘something. anything. everything’ draws from the last artwork made for the artist’s fig-2 exhibition. This physical object bound with fluorescent tape, makes reference to the Blackpool Illuminations. Within the space, site specific structures become activated by architectural steel frames, photographs and objects from around the town. Mini abstract landscapes of local historical sites are depicted using Perspex and Polaroids. Throughout her work, there is a continuous movement from sculpture to architecture and back to sculpture.


Amy Stephens (b.1981, London) has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. Her upcoming solo exhibitions include, UPFOR Gallery, Portland, Oregon and William Benington Gallery, London. Recent exhibitions include, Synergia, The Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico and Retain Reframe, Art Seen, Nicosia. Her work is held in a number of Public and Private Collections including; David Ross Foundation, The Rothschild Collection, Soho House Collection, Villa Lena Foundation and the Zabludowicz Collection. She is represented by Maria Stathi Art Seen, Nicosia, Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin and William Benington Gallery, London.

View Amy Stephen's fig-2 exhibition here


Ruth Beale

15 – 19 May 2018

at Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool
open daily 10am – 5pm
with exhibition events on
Saturday 19 May,  1 – 3pm and 3 – 5pm



Found fabric by Golden Realm Tex, 2018
Ruth Beale week 3/16

Ruth Beale’s work considers the evocative relationships between culture, governance, social discourse and representation. Her practice includes performance, drawing, installations, film and socially-engaged processes. For the Grundy’s Rotunda Gallery, Beale has created a site-specific installation comprising a frieze of large-scale works on paper and a collection of hand-stitched fabric banners.

Visually quoting a range of print and online media from the 1900s to the present day, Beale’s new works on paper celebrate the British satirical tradition to critique current news events. An homage to the skill and wit of cartoonists, her multi-layered and dynamic visual effect echoes the overwhelming and disorientating experience generated by our 24hour news-feed culture. Cartoons reflecting on fake news, data harvesting, pollution, global warming, war in Syria, the refugee crisis, Brexit negotiations, issues of privilege, the privatisation of public services, are layered with anatomical and bodily drawings - hearts, guts, shoulders and tiny birthing women - advancing across the paper.

Alongside these works, Beale has also created a collection of new ‘blank’ banners which take their inspiration from individual signs photographed at protests and rallies; from Justice for Grenfell to Trade Union marches. Devoid of any text, the works resist easy identification; instead they allow the viewer to imagine or project onto them the cause that they think the banners represent.

On the last day of the exhibition, a drop-in badge making workshop will take place at Blackpool Central Library. Here participants will have the opportunity to generate their own statements and slogans by responding to a series of questions set by the artist such as, 'What do you want to say?’ and ‘What do you support?’. For more information visit the Grundy website.

Ruth Beale CV

Ruth Beale (b. Cambridge), has exhibited widely across the UK and internationally. Her recent solo projects include School for Commoners at the Museum of London, Who Owns It? Can I hold it?, and Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich. Her collaborative projects include The Alternative School of Economics with Amy Feneck and Performance as Publishing with Nicole Bachmann. The Alternative School of Economics is currently exhibiting as part of The Britishness Project at Firstsite, Colchester, and will be presenting a Phytology Billboard with Nomad Projects, London, in September.

View Ruth Beale's fig-2 exhibition here


Rebecca Birch

22 – 26 May 2018

at Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool
open daily 10am – 5pm
with exhibition event on
Saturday 26 May,  3 – 5pm

Rebecca Birch Glass blowing, Fylde , 2017, video still, photography Emma Dalesman

The last of four fig-futures exhibitions at the Grundy Art Gallery, Rebecca Birch presents The 'Yellowing, part 1', a site-specific installation that invites the viewer to the telling of a story about material, environmental and social surfaces – paper, textile, and rock; Norwegian forest floors, the fields of the Fylde; a kitchen table, a shared song and a knitting circle. The work investigates the politics of the surface: how we order, protect and privilege some surfaces over others, so as to obscure the instability that frequently lies beneath.

For this project, Birch’s own video work is brought into dialogue with a range of natural and archival objects including a selection of original drawings by Patti Mayor from the Grundy’s Collection, and a Harris Tweed sail made specifically for the Rotunda Gallery ceiling. A large table-top conceals the central void between the Grundy’s foyer and first floor gallery. On this table, guided by the audio narration, and supported by the host present in the space, the audience are invited to take part in the unfolding of the installation.

'The Yellowing, part 1' illustrates Birch’s on-going practice of gathering histories and narratives in every new location she engages with. For fig-futures the artist has produced a multi-layered, interactive installation that gives a platform, both physically and metaphorically, to a range of voices whose stories cross time and place.


Rebecca Birch (b.1978) has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. Her solo exhibitions include; Lichen hunting on the west coast, Fig-2 at ICA London, and the days run away, commissioned by Camden Arts Centre and Whitescreen at The Agency Gallery. Her group exhibitions include Matt’s Gallery at Black Rock, TestRun at Modern Art Oxford, Multiplexing at LUX & PeckhamPlex, London. She is the recipient of a number of residencies and awards including, CCA Creative Lab Residency, Glasgow and LUX Associate Artists Programme.

View Rebecca Birch's fig-2 exhibition here

More Back to top

May 2018

Grundy Art Gallery


Allison KatzAmy Stephens; Ruth Beale;

Rebecca Birch

September 2018

Kettle’s Yard

University of Cambridge, partnering with

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

Oreet Ashery; Broomberg & Chanarin;

Patrick Coyle & Francesco Pedraglio;

Eva Rothschild & Joe Moran

November 2018

The Gallery

De Montfort University, Leicester

Anna Barham; Kathryn Elkin;

Ben Judd; Annika Ström


March 2019

The Box, Plymouth

Laura Eldret; Eva Grubinger; Charlotte Moth; Suzanne Treister