Ever sat in a restaurant and realised that the person sitting opposite you will have had an entirely different view from yours. Maybe you’ve got the view to the street and pavement outside, while your companion can see the hustle and bustle of the kitchens and the serving hatch. Your experience of the restaurant might be qualitatively distinct as a result of the simple matter of perspective and outlook.
Apply this thinking to the cities of the United Kingdom and you might suddenly begin to understand something of the particular character of one of the greatest of those cities – Liverpool.
The picture above was taken last night down by the shore of the wide River Mersey as the sun was starting to set. In the distance, the mouth of the great river is still lit as the sun drops in the West. I’ve been picturing the UK’s cities in my mind and their rivers – London and the Thames, Newcastle and the Tyne, Bristol and the Avon, yet none of these rivers open so clearly onto the oceans beyond like the Mersey as it flows in and out of Liverpool. As a Liverpudlian, your imagination is constantly drawn by this slipway to the rest of the world. To the cities of North America; Montreal, Quebec, New York and San Francisco. To the far shores of the antipodes; Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania. To the Orient; Shanghai, Hong Kong and beyond. If you want a clue to the character, personality and outlook of Liverpool and it’s citizens, look no further than the River Mersey and the seven seas lapping at the city’s shores.
Looking more like San Francisco’s world-renowned hippy haven – the Haight – these beached boats in Hoylake were a marvel to behold.
Spray painted colours to brighten the darkest of seas. Designs to baffle and bewilder Neptune himself!
Psychedelia meets street art.
Dazzling colours and designs.
Haight or Hoylake? Here’s a clue.
Gloomy old day here in Liverpool and getting darker by the minute. Here’s a few shots from sunny California to bask in. Interesting Beatles fact I only discovered recently .. the Fab Four played their last live gig at Candlestick Park, San Francisco. Nice to have that connection between the two west coast, port cities of Liverpool and San Francisco.
Even Buddha looks happy!
And finally, some neon madness …
Only just caught this exhibition that’s been on at The Bluecoat in Liverpool since July and is due to finish on Sunday, 18th September.
Well worth a quick look if you get the chance. Paintings by US artists, Linda Blackburn and Bruce Lee caught my eye and I’ll definitely be looking to find out more about them. Ashamed to admit I can’t remember who the artist is who created this striking image. Will do my best to update the blog with details later.
Liverpool poet, Adrian Henri, even puts in an appearance; a copy of his collection of poems, ‘Rhino Rhinoceros’ is exhibited, along with other western memorabilia. Apparently, Henri had originally travelled to San Francisco, only to press on through the West and indulge an emerging and little-known passion.
And this is from the press release;
Honky Tonk, the exhibition, draws similarities between Liverpool, Austin, Nashville and other American cities. Artists from both sides of the Atlantic and beyond bring together art, music and the honky tonk flavour, providing a contemporary response through painting, video, photography and installation. Infused with irony, humour and playfulness, the show explores pleasure through language, behaviour and the DIY nature of entertainment. Also included is archival material provided by local country fans, reflecting a fascination with cowboy culture, Western films and, naturally, music.
Couldn’t have put it better myself.