4/07/2015 — 4/07/2015
The Unspeakable Freedom Device

Join us for a day of discussion and performance on the opening weekend of the show. Jennet Thomas will be accompanied by writer, satirist and Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson, writer and theorist, Esther Leslie, writer and critic Sally O’Reilly, historian Alwyn Turner and art historian Jennifer Thatcher to explore the artwork and themes of the exhibition.

Leo Chadburn, who wrote the original musical score for the film will give a special musical performance responding to the exhibition.

A parallel book project called The Unspeakable Freedom Device, commissioned by Book Works will also be launched at the event.

Participants can explore the exhibition and film from 10am and will be welcomed by tea and coffee from 11am.

A sandwich lunch will be provided and the event will finish at 5pm with a wine reception.

Book your places here

Undertaken in association with Modern Culture and with funding from Arts Council England.

4/07/2015 — 22/08/2015
Jennet Thomas
The Unspeakable Freedom Device

For summer 2015, the Grundy Art Gallery presents a new commission: THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE, an experimental narrative film and multimedia sculptural installation by artist Jennet Thomas.

The film presents a kind of absurd fairy-tale, in which a strange mythical tribe surrounding the ‘Blue Lady’, based on a memory of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, holds sway. The tribe takes a fictional pilgrimage through a future-primitive world, where the difference between magic and technology is now forgotten.

THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE establishes a fictional world with bizarre costumes and characters, creating a “Victorian Sci-Fi” aesthetic from Blackpool’s Winter Gardens - the final destination of the pilgrimage and the site of many of Thatcher’s most famous speeches at Party Conferences.

Jennet Thomas is an artist who makes films, performance and installations which explore questions of fantasy in everyday life, language and belief systems, and how cultural memories are re-made, re-told and mythologised. Her work emerged from the experimental culture of London’s underground film and live art club scene in the 1990s, where she was a co-founder of the ‘Exploding Cinema Collective’. Her films have been screened extensively at international film festivals, particularly in the US and Europe and more recently in galleries in the UK. Recent solo exhibitions include at Matt’s Gallery, London 2012 and 2010, OUTPOST, Norwich, 2010 and PEER, London in 2007. Jennet Thomas is currently Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts, London.


Preview: Friday 3 July, 6-8pm

There is also a symposium exploring the themes and questions posed in the exhibition on Saturday 4 July. Click here for details.


The film will be screened at the following times daily, within opening hours:













Admission FREE 


7/07/2015 — 7/07/2015
Talk: John Robb
Part of LeftCoast's 'Golden
Section' Programme



Golden Section is LeftCoast’s monthly creative conversation with inspiring guest speakers. We invite pioneering artists, performers, social innovators, entrepreneurs and generally amazing people to share their experiences and knowledge with you. This month we welcome musician, writer, spoken word performer and Sandgrown'un John Robb.

John Robb grew up in Blackpool till punk rock came along and saved his life. Naively believing that you really could do what you wanted he went on to form the loudest group ever, the Membranes- the highly influential post punk band and were a big influence on the soon to come Sonic Youth and Big Black.

He then went on to write for the rock press with Sounds and was the first person to interview Nirvana and coined the expression Britpop. His music and culture website is currently one of the biggest music key sites and he does loads of TV and radio stuff and tours with his punk band Goldblade as well as the reformed Membranes who release their first new critically acclaimed album for 25 years in May- an album that is already being heralded as their best yet.

He also currently writes books and articles, runs a music and books festival called Louderthanwar and is a political campaigner who chairs committees in Parliament and is an in demand speaker with his spoken word show spawned by the success of his talks of TEDx on punk, zen and the universe and also for his talks of veganism and punk rock.


FREE but book your place here