An exhausting day of culture in Liverpool

As I had a free day, I decided to head to Liverpool and see some of the current exhibitions,  I did a bit of research to see what I wanted to see before going, planning my route to avoid having to walk more than was necessary.

Starting in the Walker Art Gallery, on to The Bluecoat, Open Eye, The Museum of Liverpool and finishing off in The Tate. A lot planned for one day.

Walker Art Gallery

Reality – Modern and Contemporary British Painting

“After many years of swimming against the waves of fashion in art, I’ve heard it said once again that painting is back in fashion. I think that it has never been in or out of fashion”                                                          Roy Richardson 2014

This statement which was on the walls of the first gallery room for the exhibition was particularly pertinent to the previous weeks lecture with Tom McGurk The death of painting?  And the subsequent reading material Why Nothing Can Be accomplished in Painting and Why it is Important to Keep Trying by James Elkin.

The Exhibition is made up of British artist who are concerned with British identity and the ways that British people deal with the modern ever changing world.  There is a range of subject matters however the changing landscapes appears to be the prevailing theme, with each painting conveying human presence or absence.

David Hepher - Tree (2010 - 2011)

David Hepher – Tree (2010 – 2011) (own photo)

One of the pieces of work which I was drawn to was Tree by David Hepher (2010-2011) This is a series of 3 huge mixed media canvases, displayed as one piece of work. Hepher likes to work from council blocks where the facia of the building has been eroded by time, weather and by the people who change the appearance of the building with their décor. The middle canvas has a huge tree to one side, the other side is textured concrete. The 3 canvases are brought together not only by the reqular pattern of the windows, but also the green of the stairwell which I felt could be a reference to nature and the positioning of the graffiti which is pink and green. The word tree is included within the graffiti on the right hand canvas. The subject matter may suggest that he is addressing social issues but Hepher states that he is more interested in portraying the personalities of the residents in what he calls his Housescapes.

The exhibition as a whole was really interesting for me, I have tended to go to photography exhibitions more than painting over the last few years, but I was surprised at how long I spent at the Walker with this exhibition and the looking at the previous John Moores prize winner’s exhibition. For further information on John Moores Prize

Heath’s Willendorf Venus charts his efforts to draw the famous sculpture whilst blindfolded

Claude Heath. Winner of John Moores prize winner 1997 Willendorf Venus

Claude Heath. Winner of John Moores prize winner 1997
“Willendorf Venus” (own photo)

Detail of Willendorf Venus

Detail of Willendorf Venus (own photo)

I’m not going to discuss any of the rest of the exhibitions in any detail, but am going to share some of the photos which I have taken.

P1010497

Niamh O’Malley at The Bluecoat

The Bluecoat was showing Niamh O’Malley’s work, working within a range of mediums, sculpture, drawing, photography and vidoe she uses “reflective surfaces through which images are constructed, revealed and obscured” this is a concept which I am interested in and have been exploring within my own photograph and studio based work.

Niamh O'Malley

Niamh O’Malley

By now I was getting a bit hungry, so after some lunch and renewed energy it was down to the The Open Eye, I love the reflections in the building down there, so snapped a few photos en route.

Reflection of the Liver Birds in the glass buildings

Reflection of the Liver Birds in the glass buildings of the Open Eye

The Open Eye was showing Vukani/Rise the work of Zanele Muholi who’s work as a  photographer and explores gender, race and sexuality particularly in South Africa

Zanele Muholi at The Open Eye

Zanele Muholi at The Open Eye

Zanele Muholi

Zanele Muholi

The final exhibition of the day was Poppies, Women and War, a photographic exhibition by Lee Karen Stow,  this was in the Museum of Liverpool and explores the personal stories of how woman have been affected by war

Lee Karen Stow - Poppies, Women and War

Lee Karen Stow – Poppies, Women and War

I did make it to the Tate, but I had already seen the current exhibitions, so decided to call it a day, my aching feet and back were grateful, and to return there once the new Matisse opens on November 20th

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One thought on “An exhausting day of culture in Liverpool

  1. In reference to your quote from Roy Richardson and the Reality exhibition at the Walker Art gallery, i felt there was a strong link between the photographic process and a number of the paintings. For example the painting Looking glass by Clive Head, though developed from his own drawings I personally felt it wouldn’t exist without photography. His study of reflection and fragmented imagery was synonymous with the images you can create with using a slow shutter speed.

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