Meller-Merceux is run by Aidan Meller and specialises in contemporary art, as well as featuring some more established artists. My visit coincided with an exhibition by Louis Parsons. On stark white walls were some brilliantly colourful prints, underwater seascapes which seemed to blur fantasy with reality, and which I would dearly like to have in my bathroom. At £500 – £1,500, they’re not cheap, particularly if you are more used to buying prints in Blackwell’s Art, but certainly worth saving up for.
Alongside this exhibition, there is also a show for landscape painter Michael Ashcroft, who seems to have been heavily influenced by Lancashire skies, and that’s no bad thing either. Even if you can’t afford to buy, spending a few minutes getting lost in this sort of swirling, slightly dream-like art is certainly a good way to unwind after a day, in my case, spent pen-pushing in an out-of-town business park. Hey, why not visit the Black Sheep gallery just opposite on the High Street, which also exhibits some great modern work, and features a Rolf Harris original. You’re basically doing a gallery crawl.
But what of Warhol? Well, the originals aren’t actually on show yet (you’ve seen them all anyway), but high-res photos are, and if you have £70,000 lying about, the gallery will bring in the orginal for you so you can take away a real Marilyn - signed by the artist. If that’s a bit steep, the Green Pea Campbell’s Soup print is much cheaper. This may be because green pea is a particularly unpopular soup flavour, or that Marilyn is much prettier than a can of soup. I forgot to ask.