Grundy Art Gallery
Purchased by the Contemporary Art Society for Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool. Grundy Art Gallery’s permanent collection ranges from fine art painting and video to porcelain and fancy dress souvenirs of Blackpool. The collection began in 1908 with Victorian paintings depicting the wholesome values of Victorian life. It grew quickly; however the best of intentions for continued development faded through financial constraints following the Second World War, and the collection began to grow through random gifts and bequests. Many works acquired during this period are similar to those that adorn an elderly relative’s walls or window sills, and most likely did so before being presented to the gallery. It is in playful and humorous juxtaposition to these works that a commissioned work by Ruth Claxton, with its adapted ornamental figurines, finds its place in Grundy Art Gallery’s collection.
Claxton’s work will be hung from the ceiling of the naturally lit stairwell between the gallery’s entrance and rotunda gallery. Encountered when ascending and descending the stairs, the work is situated in a perfect place to meander between the dream-like and the real. The disorientating reflections and encapsulated vision of the porcelain figurines of Claxton’s hooped world point to the impossibility of comprehending the boundaries of our own. Claxton has previously exhibited at Grundy Art Gallery when her exhibition Lands End toured to Blackpool in 2009. As a past student of Blackpool and the Fylde College, it is pertinent that her work enters Grundy’s collection and makes such a significant contribution to its development.