Liverpool Plinth Winner 2019

Awards, Colour, Connections, Exhibitions, History, Public Art
Split Decision outside the church

Today is summer solstice, the longest day of the year which gives me extra time to get this written. Well, obviously not really but I am trying to use the daylight and sunshine to my advantage.

Another year which is speeding by with its struggles but also with success. This time last week ‘Split Decision’ was unveiled as the winner of the Liverpool Plinth competition, positioned on a plinth outside the Church of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas. The sculptor entered three pieces into the competition made possible by Dot-art and Liverpool BID company. It wasn’t a commission. This piece was made 2 years ago and fortuitously hadn’t been exhibited anywhere before. We assumed he hadn’t won the competition or even been shortlisted because, back in May we still hadn’t heard anything . However, there had been a little delay in the announcement and so we were double thrilled to find out that he had won it. 

Last Friday, the rain just about held off and the sculptor enjoyed a fantastic day in Liverpool with important people and press. He kept phoning me with updates. I love the photo below where he is being interviewed and is beaming from ear to ear.

 

It feels a pinnacle of the journey so far, to be on a public plinth for a year, gaining publicity and exposure. It has been fascinating reading the initial public reaction, my first response was of anger at some of the comments but the sculptor is at a point in his career where he understands that art will provoke both positive and negative feedback, both are valid. The fact that it is creating conversation, for him, is the benefit and what he is looking for.

 

content of plaque on the wall below

I am so proud and can’t wait to take the boys to see it over the summer holidays. It felt very serendipitous to me that this first very public event was in Liverpool. My father was born there and as a family we have supported Liverpool’s football team for decades. There felt a strong link and connection.

So if you are in the north of England and passing by Liverpool, take a trip round the one way system that almost made my husband late for his own event!

The sculpture is facing out towards the famous water front. You can’t miss it.

Photos taken by Andy Garrett

Chocolate Eggs

Philosophy, Soul searching

I have an almost insatiable appetite for chocolate at the moment…(always!). I am not sure if there is any proof that chocolate warms you up. There is just something soothing about it when you are cold. We have been in, what feels like arctic conditions and last week-end we were literally snowed in. The boys and myself that is. My husband had gone to Switzerland to meet a gallery owner and spend time with a friend. Switzerland  conjures up images of snow, however it was warm. He didn’t bring back the sun but bars of gorgeous swiss chocolate. A lovely friend also gave me some chocolate, probably for the whole family but I am quickly working my way through it and in the shops it is the season for chocolate eggs. although the weather is not helping the ‘spring’ feel. My son had an ‘inventive’ egg decorating competition in school this week, it was a big thing for him especially as he was very aware of his Father winning a competition. So we had to have the ‘winning isn’t everything’ chat and that it is the taking part that counts. He   constrained himself to the ‘egg idea’, drew a fantastic hen and made a magical nest which had six decorated eggs in. I failed in taking a picture of it as it was a mission to get to school in the blizzard. His teacher humorously asked him, ‘Which came first? the chicken or the egg’? He very promptly replied ‘The Egg’.

'The Egg'

‘The Egg’

This Egg is the wooden under layer for the coloured painted eggs like the one I blogged about in ???? entry . Some people can remain the same old egg. Some people change. The grains in the wood make it look like an onion. Some say that this personal transformation work is like peeling layers of an onion.  Interestingly, there are 7 layers of an egg which parallels the 7 stages of transmission in my husbands First@108 public art work which is in the early stages of being made large-scale for the Royal British Sculptor Society. Rather than the idea of birth or rebirth it makes this egg more about the layers within us. We can shed the layers of our past, the insecurities and doubts of youth and as we grow in age and wisdom but physically diminish. The smoothness of our outer shell reformed into a new shape. I personally don’t believe in the  idea that we can be reborn but more that we are ever-changing, adapting, growing. We can change.