Of all the shops in Southport, none is more proud of its Northern roots than Gallery One.
This unique art shop is situated at 581 Lord Street, next to The Bold Hotel.
It is owned by Grant Searl, a published artist who has created the growingly popular ‘The Northerner’ brand, celebrating the North of England’s industrial past.
His much sought after works celebrate life from years gone by of people working hard in industries such as mining, shipping and farming.
Brighter and more colourful paintings and prints under Grant Searl Art, which often contain cryptic references to the local area and to more recent nostalgia are also hugely popular.
He said: “The style I have developed is that of the gritty reality of everyday working people’s lives, whilst reflecting the warmth and spirit of friendship, family and community.
“The history and folklore from the cities and towns of the north is an incredibly rich source of inspiration for me, providing a seam of work that I will continue to explore.”
Grant’s work often pays tribute to a time and a place that reminds him of a youth well spent.
His ’Retro Surrealism’ is a combination of memories he has, and surrealist influences he sees in the world we live in.
A proud artist, he ensures that all his work is hand painted and does not use any digital manipulation.
He said: “The Northerner is doing really well. People can only find the work in Gallery One and in two other galleries around the country.
“People come here from all over the country to look at works in the gallery. We are bringing people here to Southport.
“We are becoming a destination shop.
“We do sell lots of other work as well, works by different artists.
“Everything is quite affordable, depending on people’s budget and what they want to spend. We sell works from £30 to £10,000.
“We sell everything from prints to original works of art.
“Gallery One is unique, it’s a real hidden gem.”
Former hairdressers is cut above
He added: “A lot of people browse my shop windows when they walk past it at night, and then come back to buy something the following morning.
“We have got beautiful hanging baskets outside our shop, we have really tried hard to make this area look good.
“This is our ninth year here on Lord Street. It was a hairdressers’ many years ago, but has been an art gallery for the past 48 years.”
Grant was eager to take up the opportunity of taking over Gallery One after the previous owner decided it was time to sell up and move on. The good reputation of the venue meant that Grant decided to keep its name and build on its success, while also stamping his own style on the gallery.
Visitors can discover unique artworks from The Northerner, as well as quirky pieces by Grant Searl Art, and items from other artists.
Grant said: “Nine years ago, Gallery one was up for sale.
“I used to supply them with my art.
“The owner said he was retiring, so I thought it was a good opportunity to buy the business.
“I had a retail background, working as a retail manager for companies such as Woolworths and Superdrug, as well as being a published artist.
“It was an opportunity that was too good to turn down.”
- Gallery One is situated at 581 Lord Street, Southport town centre, For more details please call 01704 534922 or visit:grantsearlart.com