Park Benched

 

rainbow

Park Benched is a fictional works by Alison Little.

Explicit content warning.

I stand solid and well positioned overlooking the lake in Stanley Park. A traditional park bench is my primary role. High-quality seating provision for the park dwellers of the North Liverpool district of the famed Anfield. To my front, I have the Kop and the Liverpool Football Club stadium, to my rear I have the home of Everton Football Club: Goodison Park. I am the great divider, a barrier and a leading resting point solution and clearly not a rotting park bench in need of a lick of paint.

Approached by a young man, he sits down looking a little too eager. He has been here several times over the summer months. Not from Liverpool, he wears baggy jeans combined with a smarter cotton shirt, his neck is engulfed by a mass of multicolour plastic jewellery. Hair dyed a bright range of colours from pink to blue, and a hoody is tied around his waist. His look is finished off by a token tribute to his sexuality, a rainbow lapel badge pinned to the pocket of his shirt.

He must be a student off Uni for the summer months I think to myself. Viewing the soft features of his cheekbones I ponder over the look of anticipation on his face. Here come another man, much older, he has been visiting my bench for countless years, a regular of many moons. Dressed in a variety of faded shades of black he brandishes a wiry greying beard, although summer he wears a dark jacket, dusty and unkempt in appearance. His eye twitches as it always does from under the well-worn wool hat which tops of his thinning figure.

They begin to talk quietly to one another, after around five minutes they leave my seating solution and skulk off towards the bushes towards the left-hand gate, a quieter space within the park.

After around a quarter of an hour, they return and take a seat together. As of earlier, they talk quietly for a while. I look at the student, the innocence and naivety glowing from his flushed face. Here it comes, I’ve seen this many times before, the finishing gesture. The older man squeezes his knee, clenching his hands gently a few times, then subtly he slots a rolled ten-pound note into the shirt pocket beside the rainbow lapel badge. Rubbing his shoulder goodbye he makes his way off, his dark trousers trailing the ground slightly as he sludges away.

The vulnerability of the student, the lack of understanding apparent on his face. Not fully comprehending what had just happened, unsure of why he had been given money. As he decides to leave I hope never to see him again, taking a seat, recognising there are better ways of living.

Alison Little

 

We are Clubmore

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‘We are Clubmore’ is a mural proposal put forward by Alison Little for a regeneration scheme running in the Clubmoor region of Liverpool.

‘We are Clubmore’ combines typography and abstract painting skill to produce this striking mural. We see a mix of techniques which will draw attention to the regeneration which is happening in Clubmoor. The slogan generated ‘We are Clubmore’ represents to people who reside and work in Clubmore and represent how the community which they create. The use of blue tones and the red backing refer subtly to the Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs which are both n walking distance from where the mural is to be sited. The re-arrangement of the ‘MORE’ is to indicate a cross road, a turning point for the Club more towards a more positive environment.

My Clubmoor

 

 

Seeing Red

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Seeing Red is the name of the game for Arts Hub’s latest exhibition: The Fabric of Fine Art. Alison Little brings us her textiles works, red being the focus of her latest creations.

Red Flowers is a painstakingly detailed miniature framed embroidery. The scarlet floral forms are located beside the Liverpool Football Club Stadium from the Delilah walk entrance through Stanley Park. The prowess of the Premiership football clubs sporting success reflected in the vivid primary colour of the Botanics, contrasted by the freshness of the greens. A striking piece to brighten and add focus to any wall.

The Red Lady was simply still letting off the aroma of fresh paint when positioned in the first-floor gallery space. The three heads; green, blue and red, invaded the display cabinet bring some thought and contemplation to the array of artists mediums. Heads which will turn heads, textures which engage with our tactile qualities, colours which carry our imaginations to new places.

Finally, fresh from her singer sewing machine the wall based machine embroidery ‘In the Red Dress I wear to your funeral’ stole the focus of the show. A strong piece inspired by the poem written by one of America’s leading poets; Erin Belieu. The poem is a fast paces work highlighting the resentment felt towards a lover of an outer marriage affair. We are taken through a rampage of hate at the funeral, encountering images of his wife and family. In the textiles works, we see a devil woman crouched within a coffin, surrounded by coloured fabrics representing the flowers which are present at funerals. A mass of colour, fabrics and creativity brought together into one determined artistic upshot.

If you are anywhere in Liverpool this week make sure it’s Arts Hub on Lark Lane.

2-8th October

Arts Hub 47, Lark Lane, L17 8UW

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Arts Hub

 

Blooming Small!

Blooming small is the word for the latest works from Liverpool based textiles artist Alison Little.

These miniature embroideries have been painstakingly stitched to show Liverpool Parks at their finest of flowering glory. She utilises pioneering techniques using digital photography to print to fabric then hand embroiders the pieces using an expanse of stitches. Organic variation of fibre manipulation allows for the touch of hand to be visible in the edging process. The first depiction is from the ever-famed bluebells present in the woodland areas of Croxteth Hall Park. The second is a vision of the new found glory of Everton Parks annual transformation into an array of wildflower meadows.

The two embroideries will go on display at Arts Hub for Alison Little, the fabric of Fine Art to be held from the 2nd to the 8th of October. In addition to the miniature embroideries, the exhibition will encompass larger wall based freehand machine embroidery pieces looking at everything from themes around Liverpool icon buildings to an interpretation of the latest contemporary poetry. A range of techniques is explored around quilting, appliqué, the re-purposing of decoratively patterned fabrics and the use of dis-solvable medium to create contemporary lacing edges. The latest ranges of framed hand crochet Wedding Day ranges. An organic approach to crochet where the mathematics of pattering meets the artistry of shaping. Not forgetting a selection of Nations most loved dogs featured on luxury cards. New samples of the pet portrait service where photographs of your furry friends become needlepoint creations. Fibres used to form fur, colours were chosen to depict the canine form.

A tiny piece of Liverpool Botanic, framed and available to purchase from Arts Hub.

2-8th October

Arts Hub 47, Lark Lane, L17 8UW

Arts Hub

New Exhibition Announced

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Alison Little

the Fabric of Fine Art

at Arts Hub

This exhibition brings the latest fine art textiles to Liverpool’ leading grass routes exhibition venues: Arts Hub on Lark Lane.

We have the very latest works from Liverpool based textiles artist, Alison Little. Larger wall based freehand machine embroidery pieces looking at everything from themes around Liverpool icon buildings to an interpretation of the latest contemporary poetry. A range of techniques is explored around quilting, appliqué, the re-purposing of decoratively patterned fabrics and the used of dis-solvable medium to create contemporary lacing edges. Smaller framed hand embroideries exploring pioneering techniques in the use of photographic imagery to create fibre works. The latest ranges of framed hand crochet Wedding Day ranges. An organic approach to crochet where the mathematics of pattering meets the artistry of shaping.

Not forgetting a selection of Nations most loved dogs featured on luxury cards. New samples of the pet portrait service where photographs of your furry friends become needle point creations. Fibres used to form fur, colours were chosen to depict the canine form.

1000 stitches hooked, 100 needles threaded, 10 hours on the sewing machine and 1 very passionate artist. A show not to be missed.

2-8th October

Arts Hub 47, Lark Lane, L17 8UW

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A Way Through Everton Brow

Skull Everton Brow colour

A way through Everton Brow is a fictional works from Alison Little, none of the events of characters are based on real life.

Approaching the entrance to Everton Park I encounter a group congregated around the steps area. In having walked up from the town, then I decided to take a short cut through Everton Park, a pleasant walk through the eighties formed geometric botanical scape of the former slum-like dwellings. The steps ahead of me, encased by artificially positioned rock structures arching in my vision. Topped with beacons of the decade, semi-sphere finished, imitation Victorian meeting eighties manufacturing of plastic vacuum forming, lolly pop lighting. Many of the semi-spheres have been broken, the closest having fallen down from the teenage revelry of what looked like the previous evening. Up the hill to the left, there is the famed Everton tower, the moss lined former sweet shop which became an iconic symbol of the multi-million pound turnover of today’s Premier League. Towards the top of the hill, the soil of the parkland has been churned up, its annual transformation into a wild flower meadow taking place. A touch of England’s green and pleasant land of the rural communities bought into the inner city green space of North Liverpool. The distant tree’s masks the vision of the back-to-back housing which crowds the brow.

Coming up from the Netherton Road, a well-known prostitution zone, to my rear is one of the cities hostels for the homeless. The group look to be from this establishment, they are slouching on the steps and one of them is swagging cider from a toxically coloured bright blue plastic bottle, spilling much of it onto the white encrusted black T Shirt he has crawled into earlier in the day.

A motley, tooth lacking, hair overgrown crew, assembled in layers of clothing which looked to pad out their malnourished forms. As my eyes twitch slightly, the late afternoon sun distorts my vision. Two globes of the street lighting become eye sockets and the encircling steps become reflected into a mouth-like arch, smiling as the brick become teeth. I see the vision of a human skull, decaying, but deliriously enthused by its demise.

I consider walking around the long way, but on my approach one of the men slides to one side to allow my passageway through the group. There is a smell of fried chips from earlier in the day, proceeds of an afternoon spent begging.

As I walk closer I notice one girl amongst the group. An army like jacket combined with sprawling matt-like lengthy black hair trailing onto the ground, sweeping the debris from a day of spoils. A bag to her side looks to be her worldly possessions, easily lost and often replaced. A year, possibly two of grown out dark, dirty-blond ended hair from a cheap home dye treatment. She sits with her hood drowning over her face, the oversized jacket ruffled into her body stretching down over the well-frayed denim of the jeans. Legs entangled awkwardly, the knee joints almost too large for her frame, her upper limbs animated motion as she speaks. I look towards her face, the skin is pale, translucent and muddy in texture, common in the appearance of a heroin addict. As I pass through the group, her arms in moving, I hear her say:

‘If you could just lend us twenty quid’

She pleads, then in begging tones, she repeats her request again. As I walk forward and up towards the top of the brow I ponder over what her life must be like, reduced to the bleak state presented to myself.

In twitching my eyes again I am confronted with a new vision. I am in Everton Park when it first opened, the grasslands newly grown, the dusty smell from the demolition work still present. The trees are young, growing being guided, nurtured into what will become strong features of this green space. The lighting is new, the semi-sphere’ all intact and there is an air of excitement and optimism for this newly formed natural breathing space allowing an escape from the urban sprawl.

The swing park is alive with children’s games, delighted by their new found play-scape. Back and throw on the swings, mothers pushing younger children, grandmas and granddads holding coats and bags. Chase games over climbing structures, up and down, rhetoric, over and under. Spinning at full speed at the roundabout encircles while the occupants cling on as it reached optimum speeds. Concrete still fresh, neatly finished off with a waist height fence in line with the latest trends.

Outside of the fenced area, we have several dog walkers, one Staff is off its lead, squatting down. The owner blasé, no need to pick up, poop bags and scoops a thing of the future. Just left to rot as nature intended, a child standing in it simply wiping their shoe on the verge, no fuss, commonplace.

A mother is pushing a young girl in a buggy. The mother sports a purple dot dye blouse, no collar, large baggy sleeves cuffed inwards. A knee length skirt gathers volume in tiers, the purple mix of dyes finished off with a tie cord fitting. Her large curls flow in the wind as she pushes the buggy, a navy and grey MacClaren stroller, four wheels and the hood up to protect from the sun. The bottom compartment packed full of what they might need for the day, wet wipes and a well planned packed picnic lunch in addition to a few carefully selected outdoor toys.

Content in her push chair the daughter is happy for her mother to guide her, taking care not to hit any larger stones. Hair neatly combed into bunches, a glossy full fringe finished off with plastic animal clips. Her top is light green, wasted but with a short skirt built in. Micky and Mini mouse are in discussion on the front of the top. The girl pulls up her blanket, it scrunches around her and her sun hat seems to fall forward, she suddenly seems morphed by the buggy, then I hear her say:

‘Mum, can I have £2?’

I see before me the girl in the camouflage jacket thirty years ago. I see her when she was innocent and pure, unspoilt by the evils of life.

Reflecting on her upbringing, loving and good, decent and playful. I wonder again what had happened to her, where had it all gone wrong?

Walking towards the exit near the brow the strange eye twitching sensation happens again. I am now in a terraced street, the road ascending steeply ahead. To my right, the houses back onto the pavement, gated containing small yard area’s and possibly even outside toilets. To my left, there is a row of terraces front on with steps leading up the main doors. Only a few cars, one is parked up not far ahead, it is racing green in colour with a long stretched bonnet and a soft top, as it glistens in the sun I identify it as a Ford Thunderbird. I contemplate what its owner was doing parking a classic car of such high value in these dwellings and how it was in such good condition?

As I ascend further up the hill I pass two women chatting, both are wearing dark coats and head scarf’s, one has a loaf of bread under her arm, brown bagged and looking to be purchased from a traditional baker. I gaze over the new location and further up the street I see a woman sitting on her front step, she has a can of cider in one hand, to the far side of her, there is a baby in a well used Moses basket. As the baby cries out she shakes the basket and spits out ‘Shush’. Hardly more than a teenager herself she devours the can of cider. I hear a radio playing:

New release…..Sargent Pepper…….the Beetles.

Now I know where I am, it’s 1967, the Summer of Love, I am in Everton Park before all the demolition work and the housing schemes made way for the park. I look towards the baby, she was dirty from her mother’s lack of care, she tries to wipe her face clean with her hands having given up on crying due to lack of response. A purple dotted cardigan has been clambered into her, in need of a wash but still nice in appearance, it looks to have been a gift. A man staggers towards the group, leering as he sways, the Mother appeared to know him:

‘Lend me a few bob will ya?’ she slurs, ‘I need to get stuff in for the baby!’

Her honourable intentions being clearly unconvincing, her feet littered with crushed cans of cider from earlier in the day. I realise who the group are, the baby is the mother who was pushing the pram earlier and her mother would be the original girl’s grandmother.

My mind questions the trilogy, an alcoholic mother, a child who grows up to be respectable, tried to raise her own daughter well, her child growing up to be a heroin addict. A gene pool skipping a generation laid dormant waiting to strike again. Environment and upbringing cast aside, genetics have re-surfaced in the form of a truly destructive lifestyle.

A brow well travelled.