Grimsby town centre to see another new exhibition as artist says contemporary art can be a sign of ‘a place on the up’
Marc Renshaw’s new installation at …blip, in Victoria Street, takes inspiration from Europarc and has themes of regeneration and hope
A local artist says “contemporary art in a town is often a symptom of a place on the up” as he launches his latest public exhibition in Grimsby.
The display, by Marc Renshaw, titled Europarc (a life spent trying to find something) will take inspiration from the business park, its surroundings, and places further afield.
It also has timely themes about regeneration, potential and hope, and asks whether people looking back at days gone by have nostalgia for a time that never existed in the first place.
The former Rachel clothes store, in Victoria Street, has been home to …blip over the past few weeks with two installations having already been catching the attention of passers by. It is a collaborative effort between Marc, and fellow artists Tracy Payne and Ellie Collins.
The new Europarc display, which starts next week, will include a selection of photographs – both original and digitally altered – drawings, text and a film from 2014 of a drive made around the business park.
Explaining the inspiration behind the project, Marc said: “I’ve a long-established interest in non–places and transitional zones which include motorway services, airports and business parks. My local research point is Europarc.
“It’s interesting to me how many local people haven’t actually visited the Europarc site. What is the purpose for going anyway if you don’t work there?
“It’s interesting that the Beechwood Farm pub has altered this since it opened in 2014 – it has changed the culture, people from town and further afield now make the journey on a regular basis.”
Marc acknowledges the niche appeal of contemporary art in Grimsby, but hopes to see some of the “energy” culture has brought to places like Hull replicated in North East Lincolnshire.
He said: “Regeneration is close to my heart, I am interested in notions of potential and hope. I look to the larger cities and wonder ‘what if?’
“I know contemporary art isn’t going to be everyone’s bag around here – fair enough, but there is the broader issue of what kind of inward investment do we need to make a difference to people’s lives? Contemporary art in town is often a symptom of a place on the up. Again, places like London, Birmingham, Glasgow and why not Grimsby?
“It is tough for people; there has been a crippling effect on local services and infrastructure long before the years of austerity. So I look to the business park and wonder what could be different? How can things improve for people?
“There is always the underlying feeling of a false sense of optimism but I still wonder if only we could bring some of the energy that I’ve witnessed across the river in Hull for the City of Culture.
“I was thinking about the idea of accessibility, trying to find ways into places in the hope that I can find the answer to something that I know in reality doesn’t exist. I guess I’m looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
“I have hope for the local area, can utopia exist on the doorstep or will it always remain further afield? For me, culture seems to happen elsewhere – rarely in Grimsby.”
The Europarc project, in the window space in Victoria Street, will be open between 9am and 4pm on the following dates: