In 1996 essential work started on Blackpool’s South Shore Promenade, part of a major coast protection scheme that would raise the promenade by 2 metres to defend local houses and businesses from flooding. Once the work was completed, Blackpool Council’s Arts Team set to animate the area with a sculpture trail that would express Blackpool’s identity and incorporate various elements such as light, wind, beach and magic.
In May 2000 the Arts team approached over fifty internationally-renowned and promising artists to submit a proposal to create art that would be seen from many different angles - the beach, the air or the Promenade. A public vote narrowed the proposals down to ten, which were then developed further and permanently installed on the New South Promenade between 2001-2005.
One installation has become an icon of Blackpool in its own right - the dance hall mirror ball opposite the Solaris Centre; comprising over 45,000 mirrors, it was the world’s largest mirror ball until 2012 when an even larger one was created and displayed in Moscow to celebrate 150 years of Bacardi. The Blackpool mirror ball was designed by Michael Trainor and is illuminated at night with a kaleidoscopic light show.
Another installation, the High Tide Organ, harnesses wave energy to create a tidal organ with eight pipes incorporated into the design. Designed by Liam Curtin and John Gooding it is Blackpool’s interpretation of the Sea Organ in Croatia and the Wave Organ in San Francisco. Without human interaction the sea creates natural melodies for us to enjoy.
Information regarding the remaining artworks installed can be found on the Visit Blackpool website.