Blackpool in Lockdown 2020 – Nightlife, Pubs and how to Promenade.

Blackpool Lockdown 2020 Pubs and Night Time. Photography

Forever I have lived here, my home town of Blackpool. Except for that one time when I went to university to study Art. Northampton the home of the biggest skatepark in Europe, it was then I was reminded how much I felt about Blackpool.

In Blackpool I could get a taxi within 5 minutes to go anywhere, a choice of an array of bars and some alternative indie or house music nights back in the 90’s. Miles and miles of coast line, an amazing fairground. I thought everywhere as a child had a fair and a beach, I was shocked to find my cousins in Bristol’s closest thing to leisure was The New Forest. Needless to say when I left The Pool — I discovered feeling home sick, especially for the coast line and the friendly northerner.

It was at college I found out I was working class, it had never occurred to me before. I had been into the house music scene and bought into the Orwellian notion that everyone was equal. It was at college that it hit home that some were more equal than others and I searched around for the art that spoke to me…..

I found Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, Sam Taylor Wood, Sophie Calle, Bill Viola, Gillian Wearing and all of the YBA’s they spoke to me mainly through photography, theatre and film work. It must have fed into my Blackpool sentimentality of neon and performance, text and fantasy, crowds of people, self and otherness. Was I otherness? Sometimes being northern and coming from Blackpool it felt like it.

This is the place that gets photographed, people travel here to photograph the stags and hens, the blow up penises touring the many bars and pubs, how did this become typical? The tourists were not the people that lived here, I live here. As a teen, I somehow felt embarrassed, the town did not offer me anything. — Now in lockdown, I can see the Victorian buildings, the quite sound of the ocean, no interference of bad pop music or arcade sounds, no being heckled to play the side shows with me retorting, “I’m local”. The town has taken on an “Out of Season” feel. Out of season, the time when Blackpool feels like it might belong to the residents again.

But as it was at university I realise the pull of the place not just for me, but for the visitors that come here.

The pubs and clubs are closed — longing to be filled with Karaoke and Kebab eaters again. I never visited The Tower Lounge when it was open in Blackpool — did I miss ought? For now I will enjoy Blackpool’s new lockdown personality, knowing that one day folks will return to take what is rightfully theirs and I will share my home again.

Pubs in Lockdown Blackpool — Taken between March and May 2020

 

 

 

 

Ride a Bike

When I was little, all I wanted was a “super duper” bike. I was given a second hand one, but I loved it as it propelled me on adventure around my home town.

Freedom, I think is mankind’s greatest want! The feeling of no commitment? We have it as children, we search for it as adults. I revisited my childhood when I attended the Cycle Festival, Eroica in The Peak District of The UK, felt free, enjoyed the sunshine and laid down in hay fields as bubbles passed over my head.

LightPool Festival – LumiDogs 2016

Lumidogs. Dogs dressed up to the canines happened on Sunday. It arrived in St Johns Square with a visual bite. Here are the highlights.

LumiDogs. Dogs dressed up to the “canines” happened on Sunday.

The entrants strutted their stuff and posed in lit costumes, working their best look in feathers and glitter to be in with the chance of winning the coveted title of LumiDog 2016.

Here are the highlights.

The Entrants.

The Winner

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Lightpool Blackpool – Night II. Polar Compagnie Bilbobasso.

A french Tango and fire  engulfed St Johns Square on the second night of Blackpool’s LightPool Festival, part of the new network of Light Festivals across the UK.

Last night was pretty phenomenal. All I knew when I arrived was that it was moody and noir and there would be fire. It was a visual feast of showstopping performance. We are all so obsessed with staying in and watching XFactor? How would you know that if you just step into your local town centre you can experience some of this.

I have more images to show from this sumptuous show. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do photographing the performances.

Remember that if there is one thing  you should do this half term is get to Blackpool, Lancashire to witness history in the making.

Lightpool 2016 Launch in Blackpool, UK.

Friday the 28th October saw the launch of Blackpool’s very own Light Festival, Lightpool.

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Blackpool and Fylde College Student as part of parade for Captain Kronos: Return to Earth. Blackpool, UK, Lancs. Lightpool Festival.

Over 30 installations including performances make up the Festival running from the 28th October to Wednesday.

I am super lucky to be able to photograph for the event which really is a photographers wonderland if you like photographing fast moving, low light objects, which luckily I do.

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The Stories Under Our Feet. Victoria Street, Blackpool. Artist: Elisa Artesero.

Last night saw Captain Kronos: Return to Plant Earth by Kazimer Productions who worked with Blackpool and Fylde College to create an amazing performance incorporating a space ship landing outside in St Johns Church in Blackpool’s Cedar Square. Followed up closely by On The Edge of  a Rising Tide Sound Intervention with musicians from The Boom Bike Bourree.

I had spent much of my day watching the rehearsals and capturing “behind the scenes” moments.

Take a look at some of my images here:

Rehearsals at Alive Church Hall, Raikes Parade Blackpool. With Students from Blackpool and The Fylde College.

St Johns Square Blackpool. Technical Rehearsal.

Blackpool Comedy Carpet run through:

I popped in to hear Bob and Roberta Smith talk about his views on the art world and how visual language is important now more then ever.

The artist Bob and Roberta Smith – Has installed a specially commissioned lit installation for Blackpool. “Art Is Your Human Right”. Follow the specially formulated map of Blackpool to enjoy all the art installations in Lightpool.

Bob and Roberta Smith, instantly likable as a speaker – his message was that we can communicate sometimes difficult messages through art and even if it is not instantly easy to understand, perhaps art will make you question and sit up to what could be.

At dusk Captain Kronos and his journey into Blackpool began on The Comedy Carpet as we were toured through the winding streets by his gang of glittery minions of Blackpool, to witness his arrival from a bejeweled spaceship descending over St Johns Church in a flurry of glitter and fireworks to a bedazzled audience.

After the departure of Captain Kronos I caught up with Dan Fox and his mobile projection bikes as his band played brass instruments to families and children who followed the performance with great gusto and glee as the projections talked to the audience of fantastical creatures.

The Lightpool Festival runs until Wednesday with lots more in store. For more info check the link attached.

Final word from  me is that I am in my absolute element “photography wise” and feel super blessed to be able to capture such amazing and fleeting happenings. Now is the time to embrace Blackpool’s amazing event and shout from the rooftops how amazing Blackpool really is.

“It would degrade me to marry Heathcliffe” – Photography Shoot

‘This is nothing,’ cried she.

Chapter 9 (“It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff”)

‘This is nothing,’ cried she: ‘I was only going to say that heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy.

 

That will do to explain my secret, as well as the other. I’ve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn’t have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.’

Model: Aisling Serrant

Stylist: Caroline Brown

MUA: Lauren Rippin

 

Where Dreams are Made – Photography Shoot

As time stood still and we fed our model with ideas of heartbreak, lost love, a love regained, an idea of love.

As time stood still and we fed our model with ideas of heartbreak, lost love, a love regained, an idea of love.

I liked the idea of hopeful love coming back to our model, my counterpart felt lost love was more in line with the tone of the shoot.