Sitting here, very early in the morning, too happy to sleep. Remembering yesterday, the day we won the Turner Prize. Knowing this day will be full of talk. Of Assemble and art and community led change. Of dreaming, design, architecture and politics. But here at six in the morning thinking only of one word. One of the most deeply significant words in my life, one of the most deeply significant words in the history of Liverpool, for all the miscellaneous reasons why. The word ‘Granby’.
I am here as so often these days to meet a journalist.
As the morning sun gathers its energy we sit on a wall here in Ducie Street and talk about what is happening here. Of a people who laid their hands on their own place. And guerilla gardened their way into gathering the help and the friendships we needed to re-grow our place.
Briefly then I leave Granby and spend a few hours in town talking with people about possible futures, doing what I do
By the afternoon I’m back in Granby with Tony Mousdale, the City’s Empty Homes Manager.
The winds at the weekend haven’t done all of this to an empty shop on the corner of Granby Street and Cairns Street. Years of near abandonment did that. But they have made it worse.
There will now be decisions for us all to take. But not on this day. As the afternoon light fades I walk back into town and get something to eat.
Tonight transformed into a Big Television tuned to Channel 4.
And like so often in these past few days the opinion is expressed that what Assemble and all of us have done is ‘beautiful, but it’s not art’.
We wrap our arms around each other. We laugh, we smile and we cry all at once.
And I put my camera away and hold onto my friends.
“It’s recognising the politics in art, it’s recognising the humanity in art. It’s not this piece of work of art that goes into some rich person’s warehouse, this is something that you live with. And it’s art for the people. And if art isn’t about people and humanity, then what is it about?”
And now it’s the morning after. The sky is beginning to brighten and I’m ready for a day in Granby. A day like no other.
A day of quiet celebration and interviews with the whole team of us.
We also made the headline on the cover of the Liverpool Echo.
A very, very good day for us all and for Liverpool then.
Thanks to Liverpool City Council, Steinbeck Studio, the Nationwide Foundation, Power To Change, Liverpool Mutual Homes, Plus Dane, Terrace 21, Assemble, Granby Workshop and everyone who has helped in this huge, many years long example of love and co-operation. We all did this.