At the Fylde

One of the highlights of our travelling exhibition is our annual visit to the Fylde Gallery, Lancashire

Comments in the visitor book this year included, “Poignant contrasts – particularly Bangladesh adjacent to UK photos” said one visitor from New Zealand and “One of the best exhibitions I have ever seen here” said another visitor from St Annes.

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So we decided to talk to Amanda Draper, Arts Development Officer (Collections) at the Fylde Gallery to find out more.

Please tell us a little about the Fylde Gallery background and its aims.

The gallery opened in 2008 and, unusually, is part of a large supermarket . The store, located in the attractive sea-side town of Lytham on the Lancashire coast, is one of a chain owned by the quality grocers Booths, a family-run organisation who are huge supporters of the arts in the North West region where they are based. When Booths decided to build a new branch in Lytham they generously incorporated a gorgeous purpose-built mezzanine gallery to promote the creativity of local artists and heritage groups. The gallery is also used to showcase historic artworks from the Lytham St Annes Art Collection, part of Fylde Borough Council. The gallery programme is organised by Fylde Council  working in partnership with representatives from local community groups and, of course, Booths themselves.

The Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year exhibition is somewhat different to some of your other exhibitions, why do you think it works so well in your calendar?

We run about 10 exhibitions a year and almost all of the others have a local focus featuring the history of the Fylde area or the work of artists and creative groups from our region. The Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year exhibition is the only exhibition with an international scope, and I know that visitors find the excellent quality of photography inspirational. And, of course, the subject-matter is the perfect fit for Booths supermarket and their visitors.

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What exciting exhibitions have you got taking place throughout 2017?

Our current exhibition is called Drawn from Youth,  an annual display of artworks from highly talented A level students from our region who are competing to exhibit with the Royal Society of British Artists in London. Our summer show, running from mid-June into August, is drawn from the Lytham St Annes Art Collection and this year features J.M.W. Turner’s prints from his Picturesque Views in England and Wales series along with other artists from the collection who depicted the Lake District.  Other exhibitions showcase local art and photography societies.  Local heritage exhibitions also feature with one telling the story of the region’s largest school, which is over 100 years old, and another about those fascinating machines, flying boats. We are very excited to present in November the first ever exhibition by an artist from St Annes called Jeffrey Hammond whose oil paintings are vibrant, large scale and crowded with people.  Not many people have seen Jeffrey’s work to date but they will be amazed!

Which of the 2016 images did you most enjoy?

I loved the dynamism and sheer zest of the Philip Harben Award for Food in Action shots, but also enjoyed the Food for the Family category which had so much to say about the way we all come together to share food and, through that action, express love and a sense of togetherness.

Which of the 2017 categories are you most looking forward to seeing in 2017?

Can’t wait to see the BBC Good Food Fresh Talent winners. What new photography stars are you going to unveil to us?!

If you’d like to find out more about the Fylde Gallery visit:

Website:  http://www.visitlythamstannes.co.uk/attractions/fylde-gallery-p101390

Facebook: discoverfylde

Twitter: @discoverfylde

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