August 2010 Archives

WITH the Mathew Street Festival and Beatles Week approaching, Liverpool is Fab Four-tastic at the moment. It's not all mop tops and tribute acts though. Here are some arty ways to get into the Beatles mood...

1. Astrid Kirchherr's retrospective at the Victoria Gallery and Museum 


Astrid Kirchherr and Stuart Sutcliffe in their Hamburg kitchen, copyright Astrid Kirchherr

Thumbnail image for ferrency4.jpgTHIS sign greeted me when I went to have a look at Nantwich-based artist Nicholas Ferenczy's exhibition of paintings and prints at Castle Park Arts Centre in Frodsham.

Sadly there was no sign of any banjos inside so I never did find out why they were there.

Nicholas's work includes a mixture of attractive landscapes, voluptuous life studies and colourful dancers that sit well in this tiny gallery.

THIS is the first in a sporadic series of links out to interesting articles/images/videos I've discovered this week, some but not all related to Liverpool.

1. Art history Dipity timeline

There are some big gaps in this timeline - for starters the 20th century is very sparse - but it's a good way of juxtaposing the work of different artists and visualising how movements in artistic style and theory influenced one another. It also begs the question - who do we traditionally leave out of these sorts of lists? How many non-white or non-male artists are included?

playingforreal.jpgACTORS including Jeremy Irons, Simon Callow, Sir Ian McKellan and Liverpool's own David Morrissey have some interesting observations on the task of playing the roles of real people in the new book Playing for Real by Mary Luckhurst and Tom Cantrell (modern drama professor and researcher at the University of York).

It's an interesting read, not least because its editors have printed the interviews verbatim rather than adding their own intepretations to the text. They do, however, include a introduction in which they compare actors techniques - Morrissey "read biographies and Gordon Brown's own books, voraciously watched footage, met people who knew Brown privately and publicly, and visited the town where Brown had grown up" for Channel 4's The Deal, whereas Callow is "fascinated by the physical and psychological effect of a man's profession on his body".

The book is full of gems, such as the revelation that McKellan became so unnerved playing a version of himself for Ricky Gervais' Extras that he has adapted the way he behaves in interviews to avoid replicating the fake-McKellan.

Refractions.jpgTHERE are five local artists short-listed for the John Moores Painting Prize this year - four originally from Liverpool and one from Chester. I interviewed them via email for a feature in today's Daily Post but they had so much to say I couldn't fit it all in the piece.

Here then, are their full answers. The Walker is keeping the exhibition tightly under wraps so I was only able to get hold of one of the short-listed works (left) - Refractions (Robert Hooke) by Jason Thompson, who is one of National Museums Liverpool's object dusting team.

Pamelaanderson2.jpgYESTERDAY was pretty surreal but summed up how diverse (and hectic) my job as Arts Editor can be.

After reviewing Hairspray at the Liverpool Empire (loved Michael Starke as Edna Turnblad) and popping into the aftershow party at the Liner Hotel for an hour (chocolate fountain with strawberries - yum), I was up early to write a feature on the five local artists shortlisted for the John Moores Painting Prize.

Then it was straight in a cab (wet hair and no make-up - not my usual attire but I was in a rush) back to the Empire for a press conference with Pamela Anderson Baywatch babe and star of the theatre's Aladdin pantomime this Christmas.

ON MONDAY I met some of the people behind the upcoming Everyman Unbound season that's taking over the theatre this autumn. As well as a new production of John Ford's Tis Pity She's a Whore, there will be a series of seven pieces by seven individual writers that will take audiences into the streets of Liverpool in a project called Anthology.

It sounds genuinely exciting, not least because it involves the company Slung Low which has a reputation for creating ground breaking theatre. "Ground breaking" is an expression I would usually use advisedly but in this case it seems appropriate as you can see in this video of Slung Low's site specific show They Only Come at Night, which took place in Bradford in 2007 (there are a few occurrences of strong language). They also created Small Worlds, which was at the Playhouse earlier this year.

THIS is the video for Spike Theatre's new show. It's very funny and reminds me of Monty Python animations, although it doesn't give much away about the show.

THE RLPO are on their Spain tour this week. I've been reading trumpeter Brendan Ball's blog, which he's updating daily, and feeling envious of his midnight strolls around San Sebastian.


HAN FENG has been announced as the winner of the first ever John Moores Painting Prize China - a new version of the award that has been based at the Walker Art Gallery for the past 53 years.


This is his painting, Big Plane (2008), created in acrylic on canvas. In reality it measures 2m-wide so is no doubt much more striking than it seems here, and you'd be able to see the texture better.

LDP Arts Authors

Laura Davis

Laura Davis

As the Liverpool Post's Arts Editor, Laura covers theatre, music, dance and the visual arts in Merseyside and beyond. Contact her at
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