Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Rounding off a great afternoon at the Walker’s Art in Revolution we visited Like You’ve never been away featuring Paul Trevor’s photographs documenting deprivation in 1975. 58 black and white images on display for the first time show Toxteth and Everton as places almost unrecognisable now. A BBC docimentary showing at the exhibition sees Trevor revisiting the areas and being welcomed by many who remember him, one saying it’s “like you’ve never been away.”  With the help pf residents he managed to track down some of the subjects of his photograph. Poignantly, the young ten year old pictured in the pubicty for the exhibition died at the age of 20, as Trevor found out talking to the boy’s older brother.

Watch a short BBC documentary extract and read more here.




Runs until 25 September. Free


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Albert Lipczinski: Self Portrait

Art in Revolution at the Walker until 25 September is a wonderful display of paintings reflecting The Sandon Studios Society exhibition of Modern Art including work by the Post-Impressionists which ran at the Bluecoat a hundred years ago. Paintings on display include the work of van Gogh, Gaugin, and Matisse. Also Albert Lipczinski who had made his home and studio in Liverpool, and was deeply involved with the city’s ‘bohemian’, intellectual, cultural, political and activist life. SeeNerve for a good account of him.

The exhibition brings out some of the (mainly negative) responses of the art establishment: respectable people do not like revolutions. The revolution in art on display in Liverpool, 1911, followed from the 1910 Grafton Galleries exhibition, Manet and the Post-Impressionists. Of this, Virginia Woolf said, “On or about December 1910 human character changed.”

But there were other revolutionary movements afoot beyond the art world (although the exhibition subtly shows how they were connected). The great Liverpool Transport Strike of 1911 which we have covered earlier is also considered in the Walker exhibition with displays, audio, newsreel footage, photographs, and a short documentary presented by Eric Taplin whose book Near to Revolution is discussed in an earlier post. Photographs and the archive footage are available online, as is more information about the exhibition. There is a superb review on Gerry Condon’s brilliant site That’s How the Light Gets in.


We were lucky enough when we attended to see a short re-enactment of discussions between strike leader Tom Mann and unionist James Sexton, performed by Breathe Out Theatre’s Hugo Chandor and Anthony Crank.

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"The Day of the Dead": Adrian Henri

A quite unusual picture of Hope Street! Artist and poet Adrian Henri was at the centre of the thriving cultural scene in Liverpool 8, especially in the Hope Street area. He taught in the art college, and was often to be seen upstairs in O’Connors Pub at the corner of Pilgrim Street – now a costume hire shop but then on the circuit that took in the Everyman Bistro, the Philharmonic (pub), the Cracke and The Pilgrim. Henri performed his poetry along with the likes of The Scaffold (including Roger McGough, John Gorman and Mike McGear ) and as leader of the poetry-rock band Liverpool Scene.

In the painting, among the figures in the crowd are artists and writers William Burroughs, Alien Ginsberg, Frida Kahlo, Ed Kienholz and Henri’s Liverpool painter friend, Sam Walsh. In the main painting shown here the white suited, pipe-smoking figure on the far left is Malcolm Lowry. Lowry was the alcoholic author of the brilliant novel, Under the Volcano. He was brought up in Birkenhead and referred to Liverpool as that terrible city whose main street is an ocean. Apart from the opening chapter, the novel is all set on the Mexican Day of the Dead when the hopelessly drink-soaked Consul who is the subject of the book dies. There is a very good overview of Lowry himself in a Guardian article.

Henri also painted another imaginative piece, The Entry of Christ into Liverpool. This refers back to James Ensor’s 1889 painting, The Entry of Christ into Brussels. It is fascinating to see how we can put imaginative ‘maps’ or ‘representations’ over the everyday city we inhabit.

The Entry of Christ into Liverpool

Figures in the painting include the Beatles, John Gorman and Roger McGough (Scaffold), William Burroughs, Charlie Mingus (jazz musician), Arthur Dooley (the Liverpool sculptor), James Ensor as Christ on the donkey, and many of Henri’s friends.


“The Liverpool Scene”

From Henri’s poem, The Entry of Christ into Liverpool:

City morning, dandelion seeds      blowing from wasteground
smell of overgrown privethedges.   children’s voices
in the distance.    sounds from the river.
round the corner into Myrtle St.   Saturdaymorning shoppers
down the hill
cheering and shouting in the distance
children running
icecream vans
flags breaking out over buildings
black and red green and yellow
Union Jacks   Red Ensigns
stretched out against the blue sky
over St George’s Hall
now the procession

Obituary of Adrian Henri

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