It’s not about football it’s art. OK, well it is about football in a way. In the art of Christine Physick, now on display in the Meeting House Café, in the Quaker Meeting House in School Lane, Liverpool. Just next to The Bluecoat and Radio Merseyside.
Art you can take part in creating. This Saturday, 15th November.If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you’ll know that the Meeting House is currently one of my favourite places in Liverpool. Not just for its café, the wonderful joint operation with Blackburne House, but for the people and the place as a whole. Peaceful, dignified and welcoming to all.
So a great place for an exhibition which is a serious and dignified debate in itself. Containing depictions of the debates so many of us have witnessed and even lived through this past decade and more, as Anfield has struggled so hard with its future.
Most of the words that follow are from the artist’s own description of her work and the reason for its existence. Interspersed with some of my own pictures from Anfield over the years.
“Football as the national game inspires both positive and negative emotions in equal measure. Those who follow the game tend to support a particular club for life: football helps to shape their identity but in return it demands tremendous loyalty.
With the establishment of the Premier League in 1992, competition on and off the pitch has increased exponentially as clubs compete against each other for TV revenues and world class players to keep their club in pole position. These concerns have tended to create a distance between the traditional fan and their local roots as the clubs compete to build an international reputation on the world stage of football.
The work on show reflects two of the major sources of conflict between the club and their local supporters who have increasingly been priced out of watching live games at their local stadium as the cost of tickets increases season on season.
The second issue of concern in this strained relationship is the club’s proposed expansion of the ground at Anfield. These plans have brought the club into conflict with the local community as many residents have been forced to leave their homes. Those who have remained in the area have been left to cope with serious issues linked to urban blight.
The title ‘If you build it they will come…This is Anfield’ relates to LFC’s need to either build a new stadium or extend the footprint of the existing ground.”
Christine also goes on to explain the title’s referencing of ‘Field of Dreams.’ The ‘magic realism’ Kevin Costner baseball film that took place partly at Fenway Park in Boston. Home to the Boston Red Socks, and co-incidentally owned by Fenway Sports Group, the current owners of LFC.
And Homebaked doesn’t sort the whole place, of course it doesn’t. But the whole city loves the idea and loves what they’re doing. The whole city cares.
This is Anfield. An argument. A debate. A thing of intense beauty.
The Meet the Artist event is this Saturday, 15th November, as advertised above. Some of the Anfield people from Homebaked people are going to be there and so will I.
And the Exhibition’s on from now until 28th January 2015.
This is Anfield. An argument. An exhibition. A debate. A thing of intense beauty. For us all. And it’s not just about football.