It’s the Liverpool Biennial year. Unfortunately due to the loss of my dad I haven’t had the time to dedicate an entire day to walking the full Biennial trail. I’ve caught bits and pieces over the past few months like the dancing inanimate objects at the random apartment in One Park West, which while technically a fringe event was really nice. I’ve seen the stairs in Liverpool One, the Hummingbird telescopes in Derby Square and a few other things. I’ve also been lucky enough to see behind the scenes on a few commissions. So while I haven’t had the best chance to take time out and soak it all up like I normally do I feel like I’ve not missed out this year.
After officially opening The Florrie in Dingle, Prince Charles went for a beer. He was standing outside waiting for his car when someone from the Wellington Vault pub shouted “Come and have a pint!” and he did. I’d just spent an hour photographing children curtsying, people in their Sunday best, a proper formal event to end up in the pub. Very surreal.
Four years ago I spent the evening in Toxteth documenting a party in honour of President Obama’s inauguration. In a very tightly packed room people from the Toxteth community showed their support of the newly elected President. It was an emotionally charged event with people of all ages cheering, clapping and being a part of an historic moment.
The Walker Art Gallery has a new exhibition based upon President Obama’s 2008 campaign by artist Nicola Green.
The Florence Institute. This is a stunning building grade II listed building in Toxteth. The Florrie used to be a community centre which opened in 1889 and for 90 years it served the community. Unfortunately due to an arson it closed. Thankfully it has been restored and is due to open in the next few weeks. I had a tour and it’s a gorgeous building.
I’m a strong believer that architecture should inspire and make people feel good. This is a simple community centre. What a gift to the community. It’s not a 1970’s box. It’s a beautiful building that the people of Toxteth should be proud to care for.
Sometimes Liverpool city centre feels like a bubble. Stepping outside that bubble can be a bit of a shock. This isn’t because I’ve lived in a city centre all my life. I used to live in west Wirral in an industry standard middle class area. 2 cars, few kids, plenty of grey Vauxhalls and such. A nice enough area to grow up in. I now live in New Brighton which is different to west Wirral but not shockingly so. The contrast between Liverpool city centre and its surrounding regions is very noticeable. Its not something I’ve noticed with other cities but maybe I haven’t been paying attention.