Some Liverpool locations are getting new artistic additions thanks to an inspiring cultural campaign.
Very Public Art will see a series of brand new art commissions land across the city which will showcase the local creative community and give the creators the chance to tell stories through their work.
Each individual project will pop up over the next couple of months starting with And These Birds Can Sing located in the gardens of St Nicholas Parish Church. This magical sound, art and nature trail of bird houses is a celebration of women’s voices and encourages visitors to reflect, remember and be inspired.
Created by The Birdcage Stage CIC, each brightly coloured birdbox is constructed from wood salvaged from Strawberry Fields and has a unique theme inspired by nature and wildlife. The beautiful soundtrack has been supplied by We Want Women, Hope Street Harmonies and Singing Mamas Choir.
‘And These Birds Can Sing’ will be in place until Sunday 15 August.
There will be a further series of individual artworks arriving in the city throughout July, August and September.
Statues Redressed – the Sky Arts initiative announced earlier this month – also forms part of the Very Public Art campaign. This element of the project sees leading artists give statues across the city a temporary makeover as part of a conversation on the role and symbolism of the city’s statues. Sky Arts is working in partnership with Culture Liverpool and will be producing a documentary on the work which is set to be shown on the channel in October.
Some of the statues ‘redressed’ to date include:
Designer Daniel Lismore has given the statue of Victorian statesman Benjamin Disraeli a whole new look with a Pride-themed Empress of India dress.
Artist Bob and Roberta Smith has placed a We Will Get Through This With Art banner underneath Jacob Epstein’s famous Liverpool Resurgent sculpture (at the former Lewis’s building) reinforcing the statue’s original post-war message of hope and giving it new meaning following the impact of the pandemic.
In Sefton Park, designer Taya Hughes has adorned the Captain Cook statue with Elizabethan-style ruffs made from traditional fabrics associated with the indigenous populations of Africa, New Zealand and Australia, speaking to Taya’s personal experience of growing up in Zimbabwe as well as a wider critique of colonial rule.
Details of all the Very Public Art installations – which are all free and in the open air – will be announced over the coming weeks. For the latest information visit the official website and follow the hashtags #VeryPublicArt #StatuesRedressed.
All the works have been commissioned by Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool team, supported by Arts Council England.
Liverpool’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle, said: “The last 18 months have changed the way we think about the places in which we live. The pandemic and the lockdowns we have all experienced have given us a different lens through which to look at our homes, our streets, our parks and the city as a whole.
“For some people, they may never have felt more connected to the place they live as they do now. For others, they may be a bit bored and uninspired about seeing the same old landmarks.
“Very Public Art is all about bringing a new energy to the familiar, and giving everyone a reason to get out and explore the city’s streets again.”
Director of The Birdcage Stage CIC, Katy-AnneBellis, said: “It’s been an amazing experience curating And These Birds Can Sing for the gardens of St. Nicholas’s Church, all under the watchful eyes of the Liver Birds!
“It’s been a difficult couple of years for the arts and especially for choirs and the music industry, as many choirs have been unable to sing together in groups due to restrictions.
“Creating this exhibition has been moving, and joyful in equal measure as female singers from all over the city have submitted or recorded their voices, poems, stories and songs to be included within the beautiful setting of the birdboxes, finding new ways to bring our voices together and share them with audiences.
“Singing together in groups has always been such a joy and it feels quite poignant to hear all of these voices coming together from the tiny houses, like a reflection on the last year. I hope that people will enjoy the peaceful tranquillity of the birdsong and leave feeling their spirits lifted by some of the incredibly talented birds in our city!”