The Comedy Carpet – for those who don’t know, is one of Europe’s largest pieces of public artwork. Set in front of the iconic Blackpool Tower and stretching along the Golden Mile, the 2200m2 artwork contains over 160,000 30mm granite letters embedded in concrete. Giving a physical form to jokes, songs and catchphrases from the early days of comedy to the present, the piece pays homage to over 1000 comedians and writers.
Forging a relationship between art and architecture, the piece creates a new inclusive and immersive environment in a public space. Through incorporating the beauty of text in a concrete form, the piece is an experimental approach to materials and scale, pushing the boundaries of art and typography.
Created by artist Gordon Young, the piece was designed in collaboration with multi disciplinary design group and typographic trio Why Not Associates; with language at the heart of Young’s endeavour (alongside a fascination with the physicality of text) it couldn’t have been a more perfect partnership.
Consisting of 10 slabs and laid out in a grid formation, the ‘carpet’ can be read from the top of the tower. The different fonts range from a few centimetres to over a meter wide and Young created a specialist factory and recruited a production team especially for the letters manufacture. The variety of fonts and sizes created tons of ‘wonderful waste’ – the leftover typographic off-cuts creating an artwork in itself.
From the 17th May to July Jealous (East & North) is playing host to what’s left of this larger than life celebration of comedy.
In the first exhibition of the Comedy Carpet Off-Cuts, Jealous showcases a collection of typographical treats in the form of letters and characters alongside documentation showing the process from the drawing board to its final creation.
The exhibition also boasts an element of tangibility giving the visitors a chance to own a piece of history and take home a part of the largest and funniest typographic monument in the world.’
Comedy Carpet Off-Cuts is running from 17th May – 7th June at Jealous East, and 10th June – 5th July at Jealous North