Quirky Bolton face joins Worktown art
12:50pm Saturday 19th January 2013 in News
AN ARTIST who created a quirky “face” of Bolton has donated his portrait to the town’s museum.
Neil Coombs used Bolton as one of the inspirations for his exhibition, called The Phantoms of Surrealism, at Bodelwyddan Castle in Rhyl and now people get up close to his creation at the Bolton Museum and Art Gallery.
Mr Coombs delivered the painting to the gallery in person for it to be hung with images from Humphrey Spender’s Worktown project.
The artist says it was Bolton’s link with Humphrey Spender and the surrealist art movement in the 1930s that inspired his artwork.
Mr Coombs, aged 46, said: “I am really interested in Humphrey Spender because I’m researching surrealism for my PHD.
As an artistic movement, surrealism is a continental thing but the British version is much more rooted in the every day life of the working classes.
“It’s a privilege for the piece to be alongside their work at the gallery. It seems like a really lively space with a real eclectic mix of exhibitions and collections.
I hope everyone enjoys the piece — I would say it is accessible to people of all ages.”
The face of Bolton proved to be a hit among families during Mr Coombe’s exhibition who nicknamed it “the pirate”.
Mr Coombs used a selection of the photographs taken from around Bolton town centre to create the fragmented face.
Edges from the buildings in Le Mans Crescent, thecharity canopy in Victoria Square, brickwork from the town hall and snaps of the old Odeon site near the market all form the facial features.
The year-long project took Mr Coombs across the UK to trace the historical connection with British surrealism, including Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton and his home town of London.
The images from each location were arranged with what he terms a “rigid repetitive matrix”.
For more information about Mr Coomb’s upcoming project, visit neilcoomb sart.wordpress.com.
The piece will be displayed in the Worktown gallery at Bolton Museum next week .
Comments are closed on this article.