This day didn’t turn out the way I’d roughly intended it to. Though it was clearly going to be grey and at least partially rainy I felt like having one of my walking round Liverpool with a camera days. The sort that sometimes turn into blog posts. Well in the event I didn’t do much walking but here’s the blog post.
I’d always intended to start the day’s walking at the Tate, where I’d been told someone I knew was involved in, well you’ll see what, and then I’d walk on. As it turned out I walked into the gallery shortly after twelve, got involved, and carried on my walking three hours later. Here’s the story.
Those big names from the photos above, together with several more you will probably have heard of are somewhere around the Tate today, but I’m not here for them. I’m here to see some new work and also art being made up in the same gallery. Let’s go. Continue reading “In Liverpool: One Saturday”
For some time now I’ve been thinking of writing something on here about Coming Home. For many reasons, some of which I’ll explain, the time’s never seemed quite right. But stories need telling, otherwise how do they become stories? So here goes, the Story of Coming Home:
Whatever kind of maker you are, a maker of things, tools, songs, stories, poems or paintings, the most difficult thing to do is to get going. So many of us are full of the big even beautiful ideas, aren’t we? But how many of them ever amount to something you can show or use or put in a story, let alone live in?
I’ve been thinking about this, this getting going, as some friends and I from The Beautiful Ideas Co have been talking about what Coming Home does next. And as I’ve also been reading a novel by Colm Toíbín called ‘The South.’ I love Colm Toíbín’s writing. He’s a near contemporary and I often find valuable thoughts about life and the living of it from reading his books.
In ‘The South’ I’ve found a particularly relevant gem. It’s in his afterword, where he writes about how hard he’d had to search for the answer to how to get this, his first novel, going.
Being a story he’d wanted to move around Ireland and Catalonia, abstractedly painting their emotional and historical landscapes he talked to an Irish artist, Barrie Cooke, about how he did beginnings:
“You make a mark” he said, as he gestured the making of an almost random mark with an imaginary paint-brush.
In the pub after the second ever showing of ‘Without These Walls’ It’s on Catharine Street, The Caledonia, and has always been there. A good basic pub that went through a few years where it tried out being a launderette too. Not now. These days it’s independently run, does great food, great music and positively encourages the bringing in of dogs. A group of us went there last night.The musicians who gradually assembled around us didn’t have any specific name on the June programme on all the tables. Just ‘Cajun Session.’
In North Liverpool along the Dock Road a company of artists, scientists, engineers and musicians are conducting an Experiment. An Experiment in Invisible Wind. So, obviously I went to have a look.
Due to the nature of the Experiment and the equipment involved we are instructed to turn off our phones and also to take no photographs. I have partial exemption on this, though once we enter the Omphalos Chamber, the core of the Experiment, I will not be allowed to take photographs. Continue reading “At the Invisible Wind Factory”
A true story of Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust on site.I want to tell you a story about social housing. A very detailed story (in two parts) about exactly how to do it. Or at least, exactly how we’re doing it in Granby 4 Streets.
I want to tell you this story now because recently some people who I thought knew better are saying social housing can’t be done any more. Or that anyway if you do decide to do it you’re doing something called ‘Submarket Housing.’ As in subhuman, subspecies, substandard, subnormal, substitute, subterranean? You can probably only barely imagine how annoyed this makes me feel, having been working in and around social housing now since 1972.
But this won’t be a rant, more like a demonstration of a community of people, including me, doing social housing here in Liverpool over the last few months. And it’s a detailed demonstration because over this time I’ve been the Granby community’s representative on site as we’ve worked on our latest batch of renovations. Throughout this time I’ve taken hundreds of site photographs, mainly to help us all run the job. But I think they’re interesting and even beautiful in their way. Because they show what doing social housing looks like.
That’s Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool and Lorna Mackie of the Nationwide Foundation, one of our major funders.
Having had a questioning but in the end celebratory look at St Georges Hall a few weeks ago, today Sarah and I have come for a sceptical look at another of Liverpool’s architectural gems, the Albert Dock.
Now before we start can I just say I do appreciate it. I’m glad it’s still here. In some ways its renovation in the mid 1980s was the one of the beginnings of a revived Liverpool. Before then I’d grown up barely aware it still existed. And I completely exempt the International Slavery Museum from everything I’m about to say. But beyond that, what exactly is the Albert Dock for?
We cross on the handsome bridge that now so successfully links the Dock to Liverpool One.