Burned Out

Burned Out

A burned out car.

Some see wreckage.
Others watch their property prices dive.
A crime indicator.
Token of low prosperity.

You view wonder, amusement and beauty through curiosity,

Last Saturday, the day after the November 5th celebrations, Guy Fawkes, long gone. His effigy burned a thousand times across the country.

Morning walk, dog in tow.
Smouldering still, the remnants of last night’s bomb fire. Old mattress spring frames, plastic tubings.
The debris of revelry.

Thread the trail to the railings, dislodged and left aside, the local authorities role to resurrect. Ease of unloading, rubbish bearing to the waste land of firework frolics.

Moving adjacent, the shattering of a windscreen, glass fragments engulfing the threshold to the park. Later the Echo tells of the bombardment of a Police squad car in the vicinity.

Then you see it, tucked away beside the former Shanks Bar. Artistry, small but beautifully burned out car. Positioned in glory, in simplicity, but most of all: an object of curiosity.

So why do you find burned out cars so amazing?

Firsty, you question the make and model of the vehicle. You look for a badge, an embedded symbol to mark its identity. Scanning the vehicle: two door, four door, open boot of an escort or compact as the size of smaller models.

Next, you look inside, how are the seats positioned, stretched back or pulled forward to accommodate back seat passengers. Is the hand brake on, what gear is it in and what do the indicators tell us?

Pearing internally, you glimpse at how the vehicle was manufactured. Upholstery reduced to ashes and side panels diminished. The internal structure of the car can be viewed before the layers of comfort and aesthetics were added to the functional framework shell.

Penultimately, you look for signs of how the blaze went up. Petrol poured all around, the bonnet or the interior of the car. Done at haste or with the calmness of experience?

Finally, you contemplate the saga behind what has happened. Joy riders or local yobs procuring a street parked vehicle. An insurance job perhaps, worn out by the road and time to cash in with a claim.

As others scorn, vandalism brandishing the airwaves, you take out your camera. While taking photos, others join, groups laden with smart phones capturing images of the discovery.

The curiosity of a burned out car!

Beautiful World, Where Are You

…Fantastic Sex Scenes

Beautiful World Where Are You is Sally Rooney’ hot ticketed, successive, novel. After the grand-slam of Normal People, enacted into a BB3 series, then aired on BBC 1 amidst lockdown restrictions, her new novel was much anticipated. Book shops opened early for its UK release; September 7th, within five day it had sold over forty thousand copies, conquering the book charts with literary splendor.

Sally Rooney was in the news afresh last week, the highly ethical author refused publishing rights to the Israli publishing house which she had worked with previously. This was inline with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), a Palistinion led culture and economic sanction group tackling Israli companies at the helm of segregation and human rights violations.

Beautiful World Where are You, is well worth the wait!

Well worth the wait!

**Spoiler Alert**

We were presented with an expressly up-to-the-minute Ireland. We had: Tinder dates, lengthy discourse over intercourse email, bi-sexuality and casual narcotics. Sally Rooney attended the Liverpool Literary Festival in October 2018 to give a reading from Normal People which had just been long listed for the Man Booker Prize. The 2018 Biennial was running over that period and the title, Beautiful World Where Are You is said to have been taken from the arts festival. 

As with Normal People we are afforded an outcry of excellent, but vividly real sex scenes. The two central couples in the narrative, Alice and Felix, Eileen and Simon are rampant in the bedroom department. Graphic touching prevails, at a point of passion Felix refers to Alice’s genitalia as Cunt. However, this is not crude or off putting, it is aforementioned in a rather seductive manner. What overrules in both relationships is the intercourse revolves around the woman’s pleasure. Equally, both men are ardent to ensure the woman orgasms before they ultimately release. The author provides the femme characters with the essence of sexual devotees all women merit. 

The author provides the femme characters with the essence of sexual devotees all women merit 


Sexuality is elevated throughout the plot, a major theme in her initial novel: Conversations with Friends. The relationship between Alice and Felix appears to have been developed from a short story ‘Mr Salary’ which she had published at an earlier stage. Alice and Felix are mutually bi-sexual, they confer over this early on in their relationship, both are comfortable with the scenario. However, we are not bestowed with a radical view of sexuality through the novel, their carnality  is essentially normalised. In a mid way chapter, Felix phones Alice to say he can’t make their arrangement that evening. He proceeds to go out with his friends from the warehouse in which he works,  intoxication on beer and casual narcotics follows. Back of several text messages to Alice, she complies to him coming over, culminating in him virtually passing out when his head splurges over the pillow. Could we have a more straightforward synopsis than this? A writer who keeps it real and reminds of all the insane encounters archived  in our long term memory.

The satire of Alice finding porn exploring annal sex on his homepage

A first-rate third novel which jet-packs us to a contemporary Ireland. On a Global stage, Sally Rooney is certainly one of the strongest Millennial authors to have emerged in recent years. Questions have to surface over the relationship between herself, a greatly successful fiction writer and the character of Alice, a prosperous author. Is she utilizing the character of Alice to vent her frustrations over the publishing world and her individual exuberance? Concluding during the early stages of lockdown, Felix being dejectively affected through lack of employment and intense boredom. The last chapter of the novel appears to jump forward eighteen months, perhaps constructed after the other chapters had been edited, the gap appearing more extensive as a result of everyday life changing so much due to the pandemic. A novel with feminist pursuits throughout also appears to be questionable when it transpires that Eileen is pregnant with Simon’s baby. What was once an on/off non committal relationship becomes a happy-ever-after tale on automatic pilot.

And…fantastic sex scenes

https://bdsmovement.net/

125: Everton Library

Last Saturday saw a flurry of events to mark the 125th birthday of Everton library. There were skechers, scribblers, cake, bird making and John Lennon made an appearance on what would have been his 81st Birthday. 

Gem of Everton Brow

Everton library originally opened in 1886, one of the earliest public book hordes  in Liverpool. The once dubbed ‘Gem of Everton Brow’ also functioned as a technical college and remained open until 1999. Unlike the Millenium Bug it’s state of disrepair became a reality and dereliction prevailed. Emergency repairs were made after flooding and vandalism to ensure the grade II listed building didn’t fall further into disarray. Two previous funding bids to restore the library failed. ‘Open Everton Library’ campaign has acquired funds to complete remedial work commencing this very autumn. Further funding bids for restoration were approved, however with complications around the global pandemic and the central government take over of Liverpool City Council, funding is no longer a certainty. 

Green credentials will be pivotal to retrofitting the late Victorian edifice. Existing features will remain, choices made between historical importance and eco-efficiency to be conducted. Harrison Stringfellow Architects are looking to introduce natural materials: sheeps wool and hempcrete. Hempcrete is a modern material, the combination of substance of millenia old hemp with eco-friendly bio resin to produce a material which is used in a similar way to concrete. Materials and workforce to be sourced locally boosting the circular economy.

‘Lost tribe’, the 140 thousand scattered across the city

The day started with a divide, a creative one in this case. Gathered in the historic St George’s Church, opposite the Birthday Building, two camps were formed: the artists and the writers. North End sketchers made up the majority of the drawers. They picked up their stools, papers, clip boards, trusted pencils and made haste to visually document the once great Victorian structure. The writers were briefed to consider the past, present and the future of the grade II listed home of learning. Biros to lined jotters, some wrote of memories of when the library had functioned, others identified with its current state of disrepair. The two bodies were then to reunite, the urbanscapes were viewed and readings were prevalent. A first rate start to a creative celebration.

Homebaked, the popular Anfield based CIC brought in the pies for lunch, nighlighting the potential for the use of local supply chains from the onset.

Adorning a paper chain of corsages, the aloofness of the sculptural representation was apparent as he stared, off-focus, into the endless heavens.

The celebrations then moved to the marquee sited in the quadrangle in the rear of the library. This gave the children a chance to shine, flapping bird creations in the formation. Mid afternoon all actions were to cease. As ‘Imagine all the people’ took over the sound waves, John Lennon made an appearance. On what would have been the Beatles legends 81st Birthday, he literally got off his trolley. An oversized bronze statue of Lennon was wheeled into the marquee, then resting centrally. Smart phones on hand, the crowds endeavoured to capture images of the immortalised icon of Beatlemania. Adorning a paper chain of corsages, the aloofness of the sculptural representation was apparent as he stared, off-focus, into the endless heavens.

The singing of Happy Birthday was followed by cake. The Poets took the stage and the event was to finish with a projection onto the side elevation of the library.

Open Everton Library is the campaign to reopen the now dishevelled Victorian learning space. They need funding and spreading awareness of the project within the local community. 

A great project, to restore the heritage of the past and to provide the environmentally sustainable future we require.



https://evertonlibrary.org/

Flatland: Tate Liverpool

In 2018, Emily Speed flourished with her application for the pioneering North-West based artists award to mount a full scale exhibition based at Tate Liverpool. With the pandemic delayed manifestation she astounds us with Flatland.

Speed, based in Liverpool, succeeding studying fine art in Edinburgh and the Capital: London, she resituated within the region. Over the last decade her practice has converged upon costume production and performance art. Works relate directly to the afflictions between persons and architectural structures. Through this she identifies with how dwellings configure their inhabitants, but equally, how an individual occupies the physiological confines of their prescribed arena.


Flatland was primarily the title for a late Victorian satirical novella written by a school master: Edwin Abbott Abbott, in which the exhibition pertains. In this he creates a fictional two dimensional world: Flatlands, all its inhabitants only exist in two dimensions. The narration is given through the eyes of  Square: representing the professional classes. The lowest class order are that of women, who are portrayed as simple straight lines. Workmen and Soldiers are isosceles triangles, equilaterals representing craftsmen. Hexagons are the lowest level of the nobility, increasing to the many sided polygons, almost circles, which serve as Priests. Male offspring are allowed to gain a side; Squares children are pentagons, accrediting them to ascend the class ladder. The isosceles triangles of the soldiers and workmen are only permitted to attain several degrees by generation, ensuring reaching the the craftsmen level of equilateral triangle, is a generation-lengthy process. There are restrictions to the number of children higher level polygons can produce, limiting potential leadership challenges.



Square is introduced to the world of three dimensions by Sphere. After initial reluctance, he is able to see the world in 3D. However, Square takes analytics to the next level, realising the potential for the fourth dimension: time, thus leading to him being mocked in disbelief by Sphere. Although the book was not a phenomenal success when published it became more widely acknowledged in the 1920’s after Einstein’s theory of Relativity determined a fourth dimension. Abbott Abbott is often seen as a revolutionary in terms of insight, the novella has inspired many further works on every level conceivable. An episode of the teenage animation ‘Futurama’ draws on the manuscript when two space vessels collide and become one flat sphere. 

 
Emily Speed’ Flatlands centers around feminist agendas within the novella. Women being of the lowest caste level, minimal individual lines which don’t pertain to geometric shapes.  They are necessitated, by Flatlands law, to make a peace cry as they walk, pandering to the patriarchal notion of hysterical women. Equally, females are required to use more diminished alternative entrances to males. This is due to them being deemed deadly as they can transfix men, their frontal points harpoon-like. This notion is opposed to other feminist concepts within the novella, the potential to scare and maim men. This could be considered empowering, however it could equally relate to the earlier period of whitchcraftery where women were systematically held accountable of acts of depravity which they did not commit.

In the 2D realm of Flatlands, women do scant above staying home and adhering to the instructions put to them by their husbands. Alternatively, in the 3D world they are presented in an entirely new manner. They are colourful, curvacious and even quarrelsome. Although they follow male directions they display intuitiveness, they are not subservient in the way of their 2D counterparts. To some degree, Matilda, of the 3D world, almost goes as far as demancicating Square through her talk of cuteness. Potentially advanced introspective, Abbott Abbott was to relinquish life in the mid 1920’s, a period when women were granted the right to vote.



In Flatland, the novella, having irregular sides is viewed as deformity and harshly frowned upon. Speed offers a contrasting view of disability by championing a deaf performer in the secondary video installation. In this she displays a woman using sign language as a primal and suggestive of, only means of communication. The screen is encompassed by the set used in the  main film. Based on Japanese Kabuki sets it is portable and protracts and retracts depending on the requirements of the performance. Reminiscent of primary sports hall structures, opening into new dimensions as lessons dictate. A second section of the set displays the costumes adorned by the performers.

The exhibition also displays ‘The Corridor’ from Maria Maria Helena Vieira da Silva. A 1920’s cubist painting subjecting one point visions to various planes of angled relations. Although looking to promote a source of inspiration for Speed’ practice it appears somewhat out of place as a single painting in a contemporary Art installation. 

The main focus point of the exhibition is around the video of a compelling performance piece. Commencing with a performer opening out her apron to unfold a series of architectural structures from what appears to transcend from the internal of her body. The all female cast are bestowed in garments for housework in colourless browns and dusky pinks of the Victorian era. The pallid actresses start, in common with Speed’ earlier performance work, zombie-like and alien to one another. They move around the geometric set, facing either straight on or directly behind, grid-like through position. The almost tent-like set is moved around, sections unzipped then re-zipped. A prominent hand motion sequence is accentuated, oblate hands oscillating below, then above on another on linear planes. Dancing takes place, but the women are restricted to confined motions, positioned in a row as they fluctuate their hips, machine-like, from one side to the opposite. 

As the performance progresses the women initiate eye contact and work with one another. House-work-like chores, similar to that of folding sheets and pegging up clothing, are conducted in factions. The music becomes livelier, moving toward the drum and bass tunes of our modern day dance venues. The women begin to shift into new costumes, one a modern synthetic lime-like fabric. Wadding is exploited to make a cube-like skirt and jacket. Developing into a contemporary night venue dancing scene. The women move freely in dancing motions, transcending the stage in illustrious free flow passage.




This is subdigated by a somewhat conflicting, pithy, pole dancing specticle. Despite being clothed to dancer is evidently portrayed within an errotic, as opposed to fitness realm. Through this we endeavor to determine what directive is being portrayed. Does the pole relate to the two dimensions of Flatland, the dancing portraying women as flat sex objects as opposed to intelligent, highly functional individuals? Alternatively, are we being presented with a woman who is allowed the modern day freedom to dance in a sexual way which was denied to females during the Victorian era?

An exhibition which broaches, but does not always resolve, so many questions. Undeniably, significant feminist work which bridges the overlay between performance and fine arts practice. An artist to take notice of as she accelerates within the realms of creativity and the feminist pursuit of gender equality.

A must set aside an hour exhibition, to examine Flatlands with the depth it sanctions. 

Exhibition continues to June 5th 2002, booking essential.

https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-liverpool

Assemblage Art

Assemblage Art is the combination of images and discarded items to form new artwork.

The art form dates back to the curiosity cabinets of the fifteen hundreds which became popular again during the Victorian era. Picasso brought the artform into the mainstream in the early twentieth century, developed further by the Italian Arte Povera (Pour Art) movement. Today it is a commonplace process within contemporary art practice. Tracey Emin, a leading modern master, exploits the process through her installation works, MY BED in particular.

Hither, I have taken some customary objects and magazine images to create a representation of FEAR. The F is from a burned out car number plate, suggesting a potentially fatal car accident. The female image of a pirate is unusual in terms of gender, but potentially a more potent threat. To her right we have an image of a woman torn, implying that she has lost her head. Womens safety when walking alone has become a very concerning issue within the UK. This week we have seen a full life sentence with no opportunity for release given out to Wayne Couzens, the serving Police Officer who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard in March of this year. Secondly, an arrest of a food delivery  worker has been made for the Murder of primary school teacher  Sabina Nessa  earlier in the month. Both women were innocent victims walking alone, unknown to their predators. 

The image of the mountains, high reaching and glacial, combined with the plastic spiders draw attention to the dangers of the natural world. Finally, a depiction of a woman with her face wiped out with paint. Representing the current Taliban regime in Afghanistan where women and girls are being denied education and employment, effectively being wiped out of society.

Assemblage Art: 

Quick

Easy

Allows everyone to be an artist!

Give it a go!

Kate Winslet: Feminist

10 reasons why we relish this leading feminist icon

1

Defeating the fat shaming bullies at school, being branded ‘Blubber’. Achieving great success at Stage School she was voted Head Girl. She continues to refuse to conform to Hollywood ideals of beauty and stands up to media intrusions over fluctuations of weight.

2

The stunning performance of Rose in the 1997 top grossing Titanic. After fighting off the favoured Gwyneth Paltrow and Claire Danes, her curves and complex women portrayal won the film countless awards. She then beat off the body shaming tabloids, then repelled further when tainted as Ballsy and Outspoken.

The Feminine Mystique

3

During the research period for Resolutionary Road she read The Feminine Mystique leading to an outstanding portrayal as a dissatisfied, fifties American Housewife. 

4

Prior to giving birth to two of her three children she was apprehensive over performing naked for sex scenes. Agreeing to take the role in Little Children to present a positive role model for women with imperfect bodies.

Role model for women with imperfect bodies

5

With a little help from her friends, Emma Thompson and Rachel Weisz, they formed the British Anti-cosmetic Surgery League.

6

A successful libel case was run by her legal team against Grazia Magazine over an article in which she was stated to have visited a dietician. Awarded £10,000 damages which she donated to an eating disorder charity.

7

Standing up for LGBT rights over her representation of Mary Anne in a same sex relationship for Ammonite. Extremely convincing as a legendary paleontologist who had her work continually re-appropriated by her male colleagues.

Work continually re-appropriated by her male colleagues

8

During the death enduring, pandemic ridden 2020 she found time to make a voice recording for a bedtime story. This was a highly successful children audio book to raise money for the Save the Children Emergency coronavirus appeal. 

Oversized clothes combined with overgrown hair

9

Convincing as a worn out detective in Mare of Easttown. In this she was happy to dress down, wearing oversized clothes combined with overgrown hair, at a point when we were all trying to tame our lock-down locks.

10

After her Emmy Award last Sunday, she acknowledged the other nominees. Followed by recognition over unity of women and how we were covering each others backs. 

We Support you Kate!

We Salute you Kate!

We are so Proud of you Kate!

Street Art: North Liverpool

The contemporary issues at the front of the nation’s young minds: their fears, their frustrations and the desire to demand the re-modelling of society. The anxieties of adolescence emulated through the spray can culture of the street.

A smashed paving slab parading a ‘Thanks NHS’ rainbow suggesting an end of public spirited ‘Clap for Carers’?

The road arteries, urban connection venues and green spaces of North Liverpool make up the canvasses for these expressions of creativity. Works of artistic merit decorate the forum, sheep to faces of thunder brighten the arena. LGBTQ issues push their way into promonent vision. Black Lives Matter and the global protests of summer 2020 make their presence known. Mangra style art of the East and Hindu symbols shift around terms such as racism. In contrast, the iconic swastika representing the anti-semitic Nazi’ of the twentieth century never far from view. Anti-capitalism and its factions reflect the socialist agenda of regional left wing politics. A smashed paving slab parading a ‘Thanks NHS’ rainbow suggesting an end of public spirited ‘Clap for Carers’? Ever present politics of Boris, the former prime minister Tony Blair and the realities of Brexit. Football rivalry of old and not forgetting, rather a lot of phallic forms!

‘EAT THE RICH’ is stencilled onto many pedestals, canisters and other outlays

Anti-Capitalist vibes took on a tenacious presence on the protest spheres of North Liverpool. A stanchly red, Labour dominated region, in fact there are no Tory MP’s elected in Liverpool whatsoever. The Converservatiove Parties only real successes in the city were following Winston Churchill’ campaign launch on Merseyside in the early 1950’s. A major factor in this relates to the lower incomes within the area in which votes collate. Liverpool city council has suffered cuts of almost two thirds since Cameron’s austerity measures were introduced in 2010. The decline of shipping, of great importance to the Port city, is often spearheaded onto the 1980’s Conservative Leader: Margaret Thatcher. The sounds of the Mersey Beat Bands, the Beatles in particular, their working class agendas still dominated the airwaves of this Northern municipal.

‘EAT THE RICH’ is stencilled onto many pedestals, canisters and other outlays. Further illustrations look to combine hamburger motifs with freehand spray depictions. The term ‘Eat the Rich’ can be attributed to the 18th Century philosopher: Jean Jacques Rousseau. First used in response to the French Revolution, the poor were starving while the Monarchy were receiving never ending supplies of food. They revolted, the royals were guillotined and the people took control. Of late, various politicians have used the statement, Elizabeth Warren or the US and the Land Party of South Africa ran their election campaign with the slogan. Ordinarily used within radical left wing circles, however surprisingly popular on Tik-Tok, a social media platform popular with young adults. 

Hate the masses


These can be parallelled with ‘Stamp on the Royals’ which can be seen branded in a socialist red. ‘Hate the masses’ comes into view, oversized and in contrast to the commonplace left wing etchings. Potentially a reference to genocide, however more probably a response to the social isolation enforced by restrictions of the pandemic. Covid has increased the gap between rich and poor nationally, Liverpool having been in proportionately affected by higher death rates and the economic impact of additional periods of lockdown, the trade from the spectators at the prominent football groups in particular.

The penis is sprayed, sprawled and depicted in evermany forms across the Everton park area

Embracing the creative arena we are offered a large quantity of phallic forms. The penis is sprayed, sprawled and depicted in evermany forms across the Everton park area, which transcend Netherton Rd, in particular. Women often see this as a threatening image, the penis as a weapon. Freud’ theory relates to man’s greatest fear; of losing their prime tool of masculinity.


In Roman times the symbol of the penis was commonplace, a young boys amulet of a phallus meaning to grant protection. Depictions of male genitalia were often carved in the street pointing towards brothels, the most famed present in Pompeii. Due to low income, poor opportunities for employment and general deprivation, levels of prostitution are high in North Liverpool. As a port city there is a long history of fornification for financial gain, particularly around the dock areas. Other graffiti, stencils out ‘Sex work is Work’ across receptacles, brick structures and columns. Sex work is in fact legal, however soliciting for custom is unlawful. The Red Umbrella project was set up in 2018 to help change the lives of sex workers within Merseyside. It is estimated that around 80% of sex workers don’t want to be working in the industry, they are captive by drug and alcohol addiction, austerity and backgrounds of sexual abuse.

These ideologies aside, there is often a humour element to the ‘Dick’ depiction. Graphic or photographic images of the phallus are often received with an air of disgust, however doodles are often embraced with laughter. In fact we can look toward the image of the head with the penis added to the upper section. Does this not refer to the term ‘Dick-head’, a colloquialism which has been popular across the country since the 1960’s?

A city of great footballing rivalry, everybody is designated as a red or blue, referring to support for the Premiership greats of Liverpool or Everton football club. Derby day banter which takes over the work canteens and the school yards which makes this city so vibrant. Amongst all of this, somebody found time to scroll ‘Save Mary-Hill FC’ on one of the columns of Everton Park, support for a Glasgow conference based team. Out of interest, standard admission to a match only costs £6!


Street art reflecting the activism of the young, the desire for change within the region. Anti- racism and BLM meets fascism, ‘Non-binary’ and ‘Gender-fluid’ are branded across the domain as common-place terminology. The identification of issues relating to austerity and prostitution. Defiance of the Police and to some degree presenting criminal activity as the norm. The skate-park melting pot of political views, the politics of the pandemic, Brexit and the decade of austerity enforced on the region. The fun of the banter around the premiership giants which over shadow the terrace dwellings of Everton and Anfield. Lets not forget an infantile giggle at the range of ‘Dickhead’ depictions!

Scatterings

Last of the ashes being washed out to sea

Alison’ partner Dave was lost to the first wave of covid, due to restrictions there where delays to scattering of the ashes. This poem was read before the ashes where scattered at Hilbre Island, Wirral.

Scatterings

Last in the flesh

Heart compress’

Life no longer bless’

My hand, impress


Davy the bus has joined you afar

A few jar’

The afterlife bar

Angels strum classical guitar



Charlie, our aged dog

Mass ailments to catalogue

Playing watchdog

Resting well worn coggs



The Puppy present

A year adjustments

Affection blandishment

His heart, your compartment


We stand shoreward

Moving forward

Love not deferred

You glorious Bastard!


Match day is back

Your team on track

I will show tact

Over yesterdays match


Pubs open as standard

Works open, but staggered

The Grove, change of guard

Your drinking backyard


Across Stanley Park

Everton’s mark

Raffa’s embark’

Goodison Park


The World cup final

66 again for a while

Limited fans, the Wembley mile

Beaten by Italy, but showed style


Few changes; the house

Lights fixed, odd fuse

Mass colour ooze

Remains a madhouse


My star

Loved from afar

Emotion: no bar

From doing my hair

To going up stair’

Your dancing with flair

Joking over a silly mare

Clothes you would wear

Love you would bare



For now, my glorious Bastard!

Alison Little

Louise Bourgeois: Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool offers extended gratification with its first major accessible exhibition since covid restrictions eased: Focus on Louise Bourgeois. The works and gallery, bold faced and vibrant, lay unprocessed by the pandemic. Following our ascent to the second floor aka six full flights of stairs, we encounter a magnificent spider scaling the walls. French-American artist: Louise Bourgeois, exhibits are presented in full sublimity of greatness. Confessional, demon driven, reproducing themes of family dynamics, sexuality and morality. Adjacent to the works of Lucian Freud in the next gallery, but she was in no respects his meagre cognate.

The spider relates to her mother as a weaver, but also through astuteness, safeguarding and industriousness

Observations forthwith, fixating on the spider as we enter the Art rooms. Intense spotlighting ensures the bronze and black patina eight legged creature appears to surmount the gallery facade with ease. Although spiders can be beheld throughout her oeuvre, the ample cast forms did not transpire until she was in her eighties, spider I on display being actualized in the mid nineties. The spider is a customary symbol of her mother, Bourgeois had a troubled upbring just outside of Paris. The Family were French aristocracy, owning an antique tapestry mill within their grounds. Her father took the children’s governess as his mistress, a circumstance in which the entire family, inclusive of her mother, were heedful. She accursed her father  over the too soon death of her beloved mother when Bourgeois was only twenty years old. The spider relates to her mother as a weaver, but also through astuteness, safeguarding and industriousness. Cruxes of family dynamics, sexuality and morality run throughout her works.

Per contra, the image is dominated by the female form, the overblown scale of her impregnated womb and doctored bosom

Couple 2007, shows Bourgeois returning to themes of motherhood, fertility and copulation which she explores throughout her 70 year span as an artist. Struggling with fertility personally, Bourgeois’ eldest son was adopted as she had been advised she was unable to conceive. Subsequent to the adoption, she gave birth to two further sons without medical intervention. A leading figure within the Fight Censorship Group, founded in the seventies as a response to local authority threats to close a show: ‘The Sexual Politics of Feminist Art’. Throughout her work Bourgeois flaunted the image of an erect penis, Couple 2007 a prominent architype. Per contra, the image is dominated by the female form, the overblown scale of her impregnated womb and doctored bosom. Use of reds are frequent within the period produced, when she was mature in years and beyond the time of fertility. The use of gouache, wet on wet, forms natural, unrestricted marks. Bourgeois early career portrayal of genitalia paved the way for feminist artist such as Judy Chicago. Positioned in a row of similar works from her later period, the wall space of the arts complementing the success of the floor based creations. 

Gorged fabric presents us with a male, highly detailed phallic form

Single II suspends from the ceiling as we transcend the gallery space. Corpse-like, oversized, headless and only an indication of hands and feet, however unquestionably a human form. Bourgeois uses the arch as a symbol of hysteria within her works, highlighted most prominently in ‘Triptych for red room’. On initial inspection the gorged fabric presents us with a male, highly detailed phallic form. Dellaria is often associated as only a female trait, is she implying that the male can become equally frenzied? However, on near-at-eye probe we have additional female sex organs in the area where the head would be positioned. This suggests an exploration of the links between man and woman, a recurring theme throughout her practice. The arch can also be seen as a symbol of tension where muscles are stained to their limits. Is this an example of a climax through orgasm, but of an isolated occasion contrast to the couplet sculpture where the couple are in coitux?

These works allow for us to gain vast insight into Bourgeois mental conditioning. The affection for the industrious spider, her mother. Antagonism toward her father and his mistress: Sadie, the governess. The period of depression after the death of her mother which turned her away from maths and science and towards art. The seventy year span as an artist, many exhibits created during the twilight years. Undeniably, one of the most far-reaching artists of the twentieth and early twenty-first century.

Exhibition continues until the 16th September, booking essential due to restrictions.

https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-liverpool

The Hattery Murals

The Hattery murals is a commision applied for by the artist: Alison Little, for Stockport Town Centre.


The Hattery Murals

Each mural is introduced with a famed Pankhurst purple feather. A Mother of the region who undoubtedly purchased many hats fashioned at the Stockport mills. We are then released into an array of millinery dating from its rise in the region in the sixteenth century until modern day, beyond the doleful decline.

The popular silk top hat draws parallels with the growth of the silk production in the industrial mills of the urban landscape. The Battersby Hat proffers its presence with a rare charm and a far-flung distance from the nearby filming of the former soap character of Les. The 1600’s popular trend of the Welsh Hat introduces the suggestion of felt production technique. Perched in place is the flat cap: iconic of the nineteen twenties and increasingly modern day. Floral creations commonplace in publications of Hatters Gazette in its heyday of the Forties entices us further. Pinks of Wedding and the familiarity of sequins in Underbanks pulls in the Ladies. The retro nature of the stores and art markets on view through the headscarf and the magic of the Stockport County bobble beanie. Florescencies of the bucket hat reminiscent of the gatherings of the eighties which took place in the early day of what was to become the acid house rave scene.

The backing tone simulated is of Stockport council, the greens merging into maroons at the lower section. Ideally, for production to have two sections of marine ply laser cut to the dimensions of the window arches. Work takes place in the artist studio, hand painted in acrylics then finish with a hard coating of yacht varnish. Panels to be fitted and any alteration to occur on site.