Do we need a Miss Liverpool?

Miss Liverpool copy

The ritualistic process of crowning a Miss Liverpool is an annual event in the city of Liverpool. Initially, relating to the ancient custom of Marriage, the ball-like gown paraded by the contestants often being the traditional white. The notion of a maiden passing of age is also conjured up by the generation of the contestants, the latest winner; Elli Wilson, being a tender seventeen, most entrants are in there later teenage or early twenties in terms of age. A tall slender figure with a bikini perfect body relating to the process of fertility selection. Often a ‘Barbie-esque’ girl, a typical Arian with pure long straight blond hair. Images of Snow White and the Sleeping Beauty are conjured up by this fairy tale heroine, types of girls. Equally, does the pageant relate to the Debutante Balls so common with the Aristocracy and the Jane Austen novels we treasure as a society? Is the crowning of Miss Liverpool so different from the most recent Royal Wedding of Megan and Harry?

Should a contest be based simply on looks, it this merely an act of male objectification and is this wrong? Do modelling agencies like ‘Impact’ who often sign contestants degrading to women in the way in which they present the model’s ‘Vital Statistics,’ measures in terms of the figure and cup size of her bust?

Lucy Whittaker, former winner, Impact modelling

Does the beauty pageant relate to sovereignty and are the winners so different from Kate Middleton and Megan Markle? Is the process similar to a traditional Debutante ‘Coming Out’ ball and do we need this in contemporary society?

Does the Miss Liverpool contest promote child pageanting, is this the sexualization of children and is this being encouraged?

Are we happy with Nightclub culture, the final awards ceremony for the contest being held at the Olympia in West Derby Road? Does the winner simply go onto make nightclub appearances worthy of a role model figure? There have been long term associations between the Olympia and the Grafton Rooms which has long been known for prostitution within the city. Is the contest helping to create a rape culture which we should be aiming to suppress?

Is the Pageant simple a tool for creating minor celebrities leading to appearances on hyper-reality shows. Was the former winner, Daniel Lloyds appearance on Celebrity Big Brother a positive or negative matter? Many of the winners seem to become minor celebrities, fund cosmetically enhancing boob jobs and is this a process we want to be part of?

Is the contest simply a symbol of White able bodies hierarchy? Winners are seldom from minority groups, in term of ethnicity Miss England has only ever been won by a singular Muslim girl. Are those with disabilities, same-gender sexual orientation or trans women ever present as winners or participants?

Previous winners

Does the concept of beauty contests, celebrity culture and the vanity which surround our advertising agencies lower self-esteem and put pressure on women to be more beautiful and ultimately younger. Is the contest ageist in term of participants and winners?

Answer the ultimate question: Do we need a Miss Liverpool?

A) Yes, she is the ultimate female idol.
B) Yes, it’s just intended as a bit of fun, she can be seen as someone to aspire to in addition to leading women from other industries.
C) I would prefer for the Miss Liverpool contest to be changed to eliminate objectification and to promote skill and intelligence of women and to include women from BME communities.
D) Miss Liverpool must go….

Please Comment below.

Keys

Keys Image copy

Keys is the latest flash Fiction work from Alison Little.

Keys

Around us we are surrounded by keys, hung from every section, floating around, spinning. Shadows brightly identified by the white surfaces which are the parameters of our encasement in this heaven -like cell. The keys float and dangle head height like angels in an outer world. The jingles and rattling almost ghost-like, jitters of evil coming to take us from the purity of our setting. Clattering faster and faster, more and more in motion together, louder and louder, machine gun like in battle, will we be taken?

Subtly they quieten down, jingle in serenity again, bell-like, the instruments of the piano, not one of the devils jailers on a dictated mission to take us to him. We are safe within the white purity of our surroundings, the playful clacking of the brass and steel instruments of secure captivity. The tags which identify their uses, the fobs which fumble and the enlarged shadows which follow their leaders every move. Sounds which surround, which inform, which provide safety but exclude us from freedom.

A dreamscape of soulfulness suspended in our vision and the recipients of the routes of sound waves. Serenity, shadows and the safety of celebration.

Alison Little

Keys was written in response to an art installation all named ‘Keys’ created by Raymon Watson for the History of Hands exhibition held at the Victoria Gallery & Museum in Liverpool. In this, a collection of keys originally from the Crumlin Road Prison were suspended and used in conjunction with a sound installation. The exhibition ran from the 10.03.18-21.04.18.

History of Hands Exhibition

Victoria Gallery & Museum

Leslie shows us the Money

Last week, Liverpool based artist Nigel Leslie talked us through how he had been selected as 1 of 100 important artists to decorate an old £5 note for a charity auction. Names already signed up include the Chapman Brothers, Gilbert and George, Gavin Turk, Liverpool’s iconic Peter Blake in addition to Cyrano Denn aka Danny Crone also based in the region. ‘Fivers for Artistic’ is a bright new charity set up to help mentor new young artists to overcome barriers and become self-sustaining within the art world.

Finally, we get to see the original creation: The artwork by me is called ‘Feline – Male’ (2016). Mixed media. The original painting was reduced from a photograph and transferred onto the old £5 note.

All that’s left to do is sign the new creation and wait and see how much it raises at Auction.

Nigel Leslie

Artistic

 

Pet Portrait Presents

golden for print

Delightfully hand embroidered pet portrait delivered in time for Christmas. An exciting new service offering hand embroideries renditions of your loving pet. Above we see the latest completed, a glorious long haired golden retriever, coating a joy to replicate, natural threads in golden glory.

Canines, felines, of the feathered and scaled varieties and equestrian for those of us who are better off……….stables and manor houses can be included in the background of the image. Christmas scenes can be incorporated, white fluffy things shrouded in snow, fish in tinsel lined tanks.

A unique service, from your own photographs, either provided digitally of using the snail-paced services of Royal Mail. The images are enhanced using the latest graphics software and cropped to the desired size, then printed directly onto canvas. The designs are then embroidered by hand, painstaking attention to detail is given, care in the application a primal concern.

Alison Little is one of the North-West’ most progressive textiles artists, exhibiting at leading arts venues in Liverpool and across the UK. She has her embroideries on sale directly to the public from Arts Hub on Lark Lane. Embroidery from photographs printed directly the canvas is a pioneering technique which she has evolved, unique to her practice. A is a Director and teaches embroidery for the newly formed Liverpool Independent Art School.

A £50 deal is on offer, a framed image of your prized pet:

Frame size 26x31cm

Embroidery size 14x9cm

(Approximately, some variation may be necessary)

Delivered directly to your door. Get in touch for inquiries in regards to larger sizes or specific requests.

For more detail:

little re-makes website

 

 

New Embroidery Course Announced

close up

Embroidery from Photography

4-week course running throughout November, Saturday 4/11/17-25/11/17 from 2-4pm situated at 1 Rose Lane Studios.

Cost £12 per session.

Session 1

Discussion around suitable subjects for embroidery piece, walk to Sefton Park to take a range of photographs, digital camera an advantage for participants but one will be available. Images downloaded and suitable ones chosen, run through graphics software then printed to a fabric.

Session 2

Introduction to a range of embroidery stitches, work on small samples. Begin work on final pieces using stitches learned earlier in the session.

Session 3

Continue to work on final pieces, group discussion around choices of stitches selected.

Session 4

Edge finishing techniques demonstrated, use of re-purposed frames for presentation. Introduction to the commercial aspects of working as a textile artist based in the North-West.

Contact to book your place.

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

Alphabet Soup: Making Sense Again

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Alphabet Soup is the latest work of Liverpool based conceptual photographer: Emma Walker. Emma is a survivor of sexual assault, the intention of her artwork is to create a positive piece which will help other survivors come to terms with the traumas of rape. Alphabet Soup takes us through the emotions experienced after a sex attack: shock, confusion, sadness and distraught:

‘I wanted to create honest images that captured the feelings and thoughts, by non-verbal communication.’

States Emma. In the fifth image, there is no girl present in the photograph, this represents a point in which she has reached rock bottom. The further images represent the recovery process, the figure is returning to the image step by step. The ultimate image is described by Emma:

The final photograph shows a girl happy, unafraid and brave. Not hiding away. She is proud. She can do this and got through this. The letters are in alphabetical order, showing how the confusion settled and mental health had started to fall back into place.

After her attack, Emma became involved with RASA (Rape and Sexual Assault) the Merseyside-based counselling service. Last year she Organised a climb up Snowdon and raised over a thousand pounds for the charity. She has plans for a further charity climb this year, all proceeds from the sale of Alphabet Soup are to go to RASA. She is also training to be a counsellor in the hope of helping other survivors of Sexual Violence.

In Alphabet soup, we have artwork with the potential to make a difference, an artist process which helps to make sense of a traumatic experience and an artist with plans to use her creativity to make a difference.

Alphabet Soup is being exhibited as part of the Shatter the Silence exhibition.’Shatter the Silence’ exhibition takes place in the cafe exhibition space at the Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BT, the private View was held 4 on Friday 24/03/17, the exhibition running until Sunday the 21/05/17. The Cafe is open from 9am-3pm weekdays and 9am-4pm on Saturdays closed on Sundays.

http://www.liverpoolquakers.org.uk

http://www.rasamerseyside.org