Arts project ARRIVAL! is set to mark Volunteers Week as it examines how Blackpool is perceived by international volunteers arriving in the town.
Created by artist Buzz Bury and funded by LeftCoast, ARRIVAL! explores first impressions of Blackpool by capturing the emotions and feelings of international visitors – and examining if this brief moment in time is a true reflection of the town.
Working with four volunteers from Germany, New Zealand and Ecuador, all here on placement with Blackpool based homeless charity Streetlife, Buzz will sculpt giant words and images on the beach next to the town’s historic North Pier.
Speaking about the project, Buzz said: “I have been fascinated for many years with the Buddhist concept of art being temporary, and this is highlighted in the sand paintings and mandalas which they been creating and then destroying for centuries.
“On the arrival to a new place, first impressions can often highlight or accentuate the positive and or the negative and these are then further shaped, edited and adjusted by experiences, knowledge and spending time in a place.
“I think it is an Arabic proverb that says something along the lines of ‘write the bad things in the sand and the good things in stone’.”
The international volunteers have a wide range of cultural references and experiences to draw from and the project and artwork aims to examine how their initial impressions of Blackpool have been influenced and reshaped by working with some of the most vulnerable people in the town.
Streetlife rely on the support they get from international volunteers who come to work with them in the town, and this project will provide a valuable focal point, culminating during Volunteers’ Week (June 1 – 7).
ARRIVAL! will come to its conclusion on Thursday, June 7 as Buzz and the volunteers create the words and impressions on Blackpool’s iconic golden sands, before the tide washes them away and a new set of impressions are created.
The project and installation will also be documented by Preston-based writer and photographer Garry Cook.
Jane Hugo, Chief Executive at Streetlife, added: “Our overseas volunteers do an incredible job. They dedicate 10 to 12 months to volunteer full time to gain valuable experience which provides an excellent foundation for their future careers. We provide lots of training and support but never the less we appreciate it’s a huge undertaking for them and I admire their commitment and motivation.”
Tina Redford added: “Buzz’s project has provided an opportunity for international volunteers travelling to Blackpool to creatively explore their experience of arriving in this unique town. I am looking forward to seeing if the words written on the beach inspire others to do the same.”
Garry Cook added: “I’ve worked in Blackpool regularly over the past 20 years and have very strong opinions on the town as a resort and a place to live. But it’s not until I’ve listened to the opinions of several young volunteers from around the world that I’ve really began to understand the complexity of Blackpool.
“During the filming of this project I’ve heard descriptions of Blackpool that are both poetic and horrific and I think the final – and hugely visible – piece of art will provide a hugely insightful message for the people who live and work in the town.”
Buzz Bury: +447736429935