Leach’ art reaches us in lockdown

Tucked away on the bend of Bentley Road, Leach utilizes the residential window space of her property to create the ‘Burned Cannabis Farm Gallery’. 

The exhibition space was entitled ‘Burned Cannabis Farm Gallery’ after the activities in the property next door. Utilized for the cultivation of cannabis it was raided by the Police at first light one Sunday morning during the initial lockdown. Since then it has been set on fire several times, arrests in relation to the activities are ongoing.

An unusual property dating from the 1860s, both Cathedrals had yet to be constructed. The Royal Albert Dock has opened, but Tate Liverpool was a future re-development. The Walker Gallery had not been established and the Bluecoat functioned as a school and not the arts venue of today. As the leading cultural institutions offer us simply, ‘No way in’, Leach has presented a window gallery, allowing us to access art during the lockdown restrictions of the pandemic. 

Leach spent her professional life as a nurse, on her retirement she began to pursue her artistic fervour. After completing a fine arts degree over in the wild realms of Wirral Met, she has developed into a key figure within the Liverpool artistic Community. 

A stone’s throw from the Turner Prize-winning collective ‘Assemble’ and the regeneration of Cairns Street we via into leafy Bentley Road. A shrub lined view of presents the impressive images of Liverpool, the Metropolis in which we thrive. The retro net curtains offer an almost ghost-like appearance of the urban space. Probing to the side of the property we encounter a most admirable triplet of arches casing the details of the works exhibited. Alongside the splendour of the archaic doorbell, we are enlightened by the finer details of the paintings presented. 

Calmness prevailing in the image of Waterloo seafront draws forth, resonating with viewing ease. The relaxed, outstretched seafront decorated by the familiar colours of the houses which aline the escapade. The contemporary relevance of ‘Birthday in Lockdown’ cannot be ignored, in addition to a familiar favourite, ‘The Albert’ on Lark Lane. We may not be able to drink at its bar but when can admire its presence through Leach’ rendering.

At a time the cultural leaders are closing doors, Leach is opening new ones. We have a gallery space which looks beyond the confines of the traditional cultural venues. A fully accessible fusion of visual arts into the 24/7 pace of contemporary urban living. 

Will the rise of the window gallery last beyond lockdown? Will large cultural organisations be overtaken by grass routes initiatives? Are window viewing solutions to lockdown restrictions ready to take centre stage in the Global cities of tomorrow?

Exhibition continues until the spring.

32 Bentley Rd, Liverpool 8


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