DART hits the art bullseye

The "Unframed" art exhbition in Morecambe Arndale Centre. DART co-founder Beki Melrose and some of the exhibits.

The "Unframed" art exhbition in Morecambe Arndale Centre. DART co-founder Beki Melrose and some of the exhibits.

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Morecambe has an empty shop problem but a group of artists have come up with a novel way of solving it.

The DART collective opened an art exhibition in the Arndale Centre unit formerly occupied by Superdrug.

So instead of adding to the town’s unwanted statistic, the empty shop became a mini art gallery for a week.

Paintings hung on walls once occupied by hair gel, perfume and medicine.

‘Unframed’, which was on display until last Friday, was described by DART as “a carefully composed exhibition responding to fundamental questions of emptiness and cultural belonging”.

Contributing artists included Simon Nixon, Nik Ingham, Neil Wilson, Iain Sloan and Cathy Wilson.

DART clearly specialises in exhibiting art in unconventional places.

Another project last week saw them promote the work of Morecambe artist Harry Mills at the unlikely setting of the Lord Ashton pub in Lancaster.

This event entitled ‘Pub Culture’ was part of the Lancaster Emerging Arts group’s regular First Fridays, a series of free arts days.

A spokesperson for DART said: “The idea is to redefine a pub space and mix environments and to provoke the mutual exchange of ideas.

“The pub serves as a great intimate forum for discussion, and confrontations.”

Other DART artists include Steve Caldwell, Aaron Burnett, Sandra Grygierzec, Gemma-Lilly Millership, Beki Melrose and Pippa Murphy.

DART will also host a ‘Curate the Campus’ event in Lancaster next month. Part of an annual residency programme designed by the Peter Scott Gallery at Lancaster University, the programme delivers artistic projects in unusual spaces and locations. Wiliam Titley’s photography will be on display on May 2 at two unspecified sites in the city centre.

DART is part of Luneside Studios, which provides affordable studio space, residencies for fine artists in economic need and is recognised as the leading studio development organisation in Lancaster.