Alternative culture in Burnley: sculpture at Towneley Hall

BUST: A depiction of Burnley
BUST: A depiction of Burnley

artwork representing alternative culture in Burnley is the latest and final exhibition by two international artists at Towneley Hall.

The piece, Esoteric Knowledge, is a 19th century limestone bust of a woman in middle-eastern costume wrapped in red beads and said by the artists Grennan and Sperandio to depict the influence of orientalism on the collections at the hall.

The work, on display until May 4th, is one of seven commissions jointly paid for by the Arts Council England, Renaissance and the hall itself.

It represents the interest in the exotic popular in the 19th century that gave rise to ways of thinking about the world evident today in tourism, fashion and lifestyles. Items from the collections at Towneley have been merged with everyday things found in the town, to create artworks symbolizing contemporary Burnley, as seen in venues such as the Sanctuary bar, and shops such as Weird and Wonderful.

Burnley Council cultural development officer Helen Jones said: “Grennan and Sperandios sculptures have been an exciting and innovative addition to the Towneley exhibitions calendar. We’ve been really privileged to have had these artists working together to showcase Burnley and what the borough is all about.

“I’d urge anyone who has not seen their sculptures up to now, to come along and view the final instalment.”