A First World War drawing, which has gone unseen for the past 40 years, is the centrepiece of a new exhibition at the Grundy Art Gallery.
The chalk drawing, by modern war artist Paul Nash, is part of a series of artworks created while he was recovering from injuries sustained in the war, with other works displayed at the Tate Gallery and Imperial War Museum.
The drawing was donated to the gallery back in 1924 by the Contemporary Art Society, however hasn’t been shown in the gallery since the 1970s.
Its re-appearance has led to the drawing being properly framed for the first time.
The drawing was rediscovered during the gallery staff’s work to catalogue its current collection, and will be shown as part of an exhibition titled ‘Beyond the Frame’ which runs to April 22. The exhibition will display a selection of key works from periods in the gallery’s history, and will offer visitors a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of how the collection is used and cared for.
While remedial work is taking place to the building, the gallery’s two large side galleries will temporarily be used to store works and visitors will be able to look through special port-holes and see the gallery team documenting and cataloguing the works.
This is a significant rediscovery
Coun Vikki Singleton, lead member for arts at Blackpool Council, said: “This drawing is a real find.
“It’s a glimpse of history that we thought was lost forever however I’m delighted that we’ve been able to rediscover it so that it can be shared with visitors to the gallery.
“This forms a part of a wider exhibition where we’ve been able to engage school children in the gallery and our pieces of art. By getting them to design their own pieces as well, we are getting them involved with art at an early age and who knows, in a few years’ time, maybe it will be their drawings that everybody is talking out.”
Curator of the Grundy Art Gallery, Richard Parry, said: “This is a significant rediscovery – it’s an important work in the story of twentieth century British art and it’s wonderful to be able to bring it out finally for people to enjoy after all these years.”
Alongside the collection display will be an entire room devoted to schoolchildren’s responses to a selection of the Grundy’s artworks.
Paintings and drawings made by pupils at six schools from the Fylde Coast, each developed from seeing Grundy collection works, will line the walls of its largest gallery in a special display.
The schools involved are Boundary Primary, Blackpool Sixth Form College, Devonshire Road Primary, Park and St John Vianney Primary and the children’s images have been scanned, printed and carefully arranged around the room to form an installation amongst the original artworks.
More than 130 students have taken part throughout the process, contributing artwork, stories and poems which they have developed in response to the paintings exhibited alongside them.
The gallery is open from 10am and 5pm between Tuesdays and Saturdays. While it is free to enter, donations to the gallery are welcome.