Fantasy fun at Bolton Museum 


Families will have the chance to escape to a new world this summer with Cecil Collins: Surreal Stories, a new art exhibition opening at Bolton Museum, Aquarium and Archive on Saturday, August 1. 

The exhibition shows magical, often surreal, images focusing on the innocent characters of Fools and Angels that are synonymous with Collins. The works on display will include several prints and paintings given to Bolton Museum and Archive Service by the artist’s widow, Elizabeth Collins.

To tie in with the summer holidays, the artist’s work will be displayed in a family friendly way and will include speech bubbles depicting the imaginary voices of the characters in the images.

One of the most striking works on display is Thy Thoughts O’ Life, a colourful dream-like image. The image shows a shooting star in an emerald sky over a lively blue sea. In the centre of the image lies a heart and a key on a small island. This work has a mystical quality, typical of Collins’ work.

Cecil Collins was born in Plymouth in 1908. He studied at Plymouth College of Art and later at the Royal Academy in London. He was a painter, poet, writer, designer and teacher. Collins never aligned himself with any one art movement but drew influence from, among others, the surrealists and the neo-romanticists.

The exhibition is free and runs until Saturday, September 5.

Also running (until Saturday, November 7) is the museum’s major summer exhibition Simple Beginnings: the Story of Evolution, which celebrates 200 years since the birth of Charles Darwin. Visitors can take part in a wide range of family friendly events throughout the summer holidays. Click on the Bolton Museum link (right) for more details.


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Karen Spibey
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