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Outdoor art can increase the enjoyment and use of public spaces.
It can be used to celebrate the unique and diverse culture of a location, and Blackpool is no different!
Public art can also be a catalyst for economic growth by attracting visitors and promoting investment. This art form can also create places of interaction, energise public spaces, transform areas, and promote a sense of civic pride.
But what outdoor art can you find in Blackpool?
The Great Promenade Show
1st January 2017 – 31st December 2019
This series of outdoor art installations in Blackpool can be found alongside 2km of the seafront. Both emerging and established artists were commissioned to bring to life this art and culture outdoor gallery. The different artworks represent the various aspects of the town’s diverse character.
You’ll find sculptures, lighting features, and a range of innovative constructions like the largest mirror ball in the world. Or even an organ played by the sea! The Great Promenade Show is free and open 24/7, with highlights such as:
‘Glam Rocks’, installed in June 2001. The Glam Rocks are composed of three large rocks, each with constellations made of hundreds of fibre optic lights. The ‘stars’ sparkle and change colour to reference both the seaside and the glamour of the town.
‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They’, installed in October 2002. Weighing six tonnes and spanning six metres in diameter, this artwork is covered in 47,000 mirrors – which makes it the largest mirror ball in the world! It gently rotates, catching the light.
‘High Tide Organ’, installed in May 2003. Called a musical manifestation of the sea, the High Tide Organ plays through the swell of the high tide water. The sounds are made when the water forces air up the large pipes attached to the sea wall.
‘The Swivelling Wind Shelters’, installed in 2004. Built by Ian McChesney with Atelier One, the sculpture moves with the wind to always provide shelter. It’s made from wood and stainless steel and it stands at eight metres tall.
1st January 2018 – 31st December 2019
Spanning 2,200 square metres, the Comedy Carpet is one of the UK’s biggest pieces of public art ever commissioned. It has more than 160,000 granite letters engraved in the concrete, celebrating and immortalising the great British humour.
You’ll find comedy catchphrases, songs, and jokes from the best-loved writers and comedians in Britain. You may have heard about it as the ‘horizontal Angel of the North’!
Alongside these artworks, you can find beautiful street art all around Blackpool. Previous years have seen the town hosting the Sand Sea and Spray Festival urban art festival, which gathered a variety of international artists. The aim? To transform Blackpool’s ugly walls into works of art.
Some works of art you may spot while in Blackpool:
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