Robin Ross is a screen printer based in Blackpool and has recently taken part in ‘Home is Where The Art Is’ TV programme.
He was the founder of the ‘Sand Sea and Spray’ event which sees ugly walls transformed through street art, and does a lot of work to support the growing independent arts sector in the town while at the same time developing his own creative skills.
Robin began his working life in broadcasting pioneering pirate radio in Ireland from Waterford to Dublin, a year in the North Sea broadcasting to over 12 million listeners across Europe from the legendary Radio Caroline, The U.K.’s first satellite radio station, doubling audiences along the way, the journey was always fun. Robin always had the belief that radio is a great medium one which he has always treated with respect plus enjoying his passion for the music.
Robin hosted hundreds of outside Broadcasts and interviewed over 400 musicians including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Elton John, Phil Collins, Tina Turner, Brian May and Roger Taylor, Mick Hucknall, Bonnie Raitt, Texas, Meat Loaf. 32 Silver, Gold and Platinum discs as thank you’s for hard work and results are a nice plus
Following this Robin has broadcast on many other stations including: Red Rose Radio, Piccadilly Radio, Marcher Sound, JazzFM, Magic 999 and setting up Key 103 in Manchester and 10 years of theme park radio at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Robin is based at The Rock Factory Print Studio in The Old Rock Factory in Blackpool. The building really was a rock factory according to a 1911 census that reveals the Higgins family made rock from there.
“Many cities have art centres in buildings associated with products once synonymous with them. It had to be Rock for Blackpool”
Robin has rescued and restored the building; it’s solidly built with great metallic pillars underpinning the structure alongside wooden floors and bare brick walls The Rock Factory has the perfect artist vibe is a venue for all types of artists and creatives.
It’s a great place to be based,” he said. “The thing about the situation with the independent artists in Blackpool is you need to get out there and tell people what they are doing.”
Robin aims to help other independent artists and businesses in Blackpool – “There is a phrase, local businesses working together to create a better Blackpool.
After a 35 year career in radio Robin’s journey now continues. Following on from a long standing fascination for screen print works and pop art from the San Francisco and Cuban poster artists to Warhol, Rauschenberg, Malevich, Jasper Johns and many more. Robin now produces his own
original signed and hand stamped, unique screen prints and is only artist to be commissioned by Laurence Roderick Llewellyn-Bowen for the Children in Need project.
Robin states screen prints are an art form he would like to be known for more than his previous ventures. Screen Printing delivers the same rewards and creates something from nothing. For him, it’s all about the image, plus he gets to work with the most amazing artists.
During his radio years events organisation became a key skill for Robin and no matter how large or small the event they always had their own rewards for him. This has continued with several arts events in the Blackpool.
Art in the Park was an idea Robin developed from his lifelong interest in images and style. The 2003 Art in the Park exhibition featured rock stars, photographers, colour blind artists and painters on silk: pretty diverse for Blackpool and most people thought Robin was completely mad; however the Show won a Highly Commended award at the Blackpool Tourism awards.
Art in the Park 2004 went further, with paintings on 8 feet square sheets of aluminium; punk musicians, abstracts from a staff member at Tate North and images of New York – this exhibition won the Gold Award for Innovation of the Year 2004.
Robin also curated the ‘Sand, Sea & Spray’ Urban Art event in Blackpool (which he founded in 2011) which brought together Urban Artists from all over the world to paint live in the U.K.’s top tourist resort.
Since opening, The Old Rock Factory has been a venue for all types of artists, creatives and anyone wanting to ‘get into’ the arts scene in the Blackpool area. The Building now houses The Rock factory Screen Print Studio, Celery Works an artist collective, two photographers and a community group.
Robin has had a solo show in New York, Austin Texas, Artist in Residence in Lisbon, Invited and took part as the only International Artist at the 2017 Moscow Print Market ‘Arteology’ in Colne, The New Artist Fair in London,‘The Manchester Buy Art Fair’, ‘Mutate Britain’ and ‘Upfest’ Bristol and now Flying Ducks Art Gallery in Stone, Staffordshire.
Robin exudes energy and enthusiasm, with his happy and friendly nature he is a staunch advocate of the wonderful Blackpool art scene and indeed the Fylde Coast, and is one of the many people who are working hard on that positive image.
I believe that Blackpool can add the Arts to its attractions. The independent art scene in Blackpool is growing organically and my eventual aim is to create weeks and courses where visitors come to Blackpool to take part in the arts. Photography, printing, painting, drawing…”