Of Time and the City: world premiere

Tonight we attended the world premiere of Terence Davies’ new film, Of Time and the City, at the Philharmonic Hall. The red carpet had been rolled out and the place was packed with an expectant throng from the London and northwest media and cultural elite. This was an event that I had eagerly anticipated ever since seeing Terence Davies introduce a short season of his films and engage in a Q&A session at FACT last autumn.

In Of Time and the City, Davies returns to the autobiographical source of his earlier great films – the Trilogy, Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes – the working-class Liverpool of his childhood. The film was financed as a commission to celebrate Liverpool as the 2008 European Capital of Culture and is essentially a compendium of archival footage that covers the years from the end of the Second World War through to the seventies. This is Davies’ dreamtime, the world of his memories of a simpler, better world, an ideal world even.

As we waited for the film to start, we were entertained as usual by the Philharmonic’s resident organist, Dave Nicholas. Then the lights dimmed and the famous screen rose slowly from the stage. The film began, and there we were in the Philharmonic as the curtains drew back to reveal the very same screen; it’s an beginning designed to represent the grand old picture palaces of the past — the curtains open, and the black-and-white footage expands to fill the screen and take us back to the world of Davies’ childhood.

In an article in the Telegraph, Davies says his intention from the start was to make a first-person statement, rather than a detached social history. “One or two people have said, there’s nothing it about the Toxteth riots – and there isn’t, because that didn’t touch me. In those days, Toxteth was far away – you didn’t go to those places unless you had someone who lived there. My environs were tiny: my street, the streets around it, school, church and going to the pictures, that was it.”

This survey of Liverpool is an occasion for Davies to revisit, through his voiceover commentary, his own autobiography. It’s an autobiography familiar to the viewers of his earlier Liverpool films. First, there was his struggle with his Roman Catholic upbringing, the “years wasted in useless prayer” before the inevitable loss of faith and the total rejection of the church, both as a set of religious beliefs and a social institution. Then there is is Davies’ growing awareness in his adolescence of his gay sexuality.

Cinema is another key feature of Davies’ memories of the Liverpool of the past. Although individual films have their role to play — for example, the effect of Dirk Bogarde in Victim (1961) on Davies’ growing gay consciousness — it’s the broader communal spirit of cinema-going that he celebrates here. Davies remembers family Christmases and time spent in the cinema: ‘In those movies it was always Christmas and it was always perfect’. But now, Davies concludes sadly, ‘they are all gone’.

As a teenager, Davies was not exactly representative of young Liverpool. In the early 1960s, he worked in an office close to the Cavern, where the Beatles were turning the city into the temporary capital of the world. Davies, however, never went there: a lover of Hollywood films who was just discovering Sibelius and Bruckner, he thought the Merseybeat boom was destroying songwriting. He hates pop to this day: “If I’m forced to listen to it, it is absolute hell – hell,” he says. The film has only sarcasm for the Beatles. Yet, in spite of being an avowed enemy of modern pop music, and in the one gross misjudgement of the film, he uses He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother by The Hollies over images from the Korean War.

Davies doesn’t hide his disdain for the way Liverpool has changed in subsequent decades. Near the end of the film there are scenes of city night life, of the nightclubbing, pub-crawling, binge-drinking contemporary leisure culture, scenes that are clearly intended as a rebuke to the Liverpool of the present. This is the main weakness of the film – when Davies returned to make the film he had been away for the best part of two decades. You feel that he really hasn’t understood how it feels to have been here during that time and to have seen the city (the centre at least) change immeasurably for the better.

Davies is caustic when he considers the Royal family, what he calls ‘the Betty Windsor show’.  Davies’ narration still burns with anger at the outrage of a luxurious royal wedding at a time of rationing in a nation that possessed some of the worst slums in Europe.

Davies’ last two films were literary adaptations (strangely, from American novels), The House of Mirth in 2000 and The Neon Bible in 1995. Neither approaches the intensity, power, and beauty of the autobiographical films he made before this and on which his reputation rests. Firstly, between 1976 and 1983 he made the three black-and white shorts (Children, Madonna and Child, Death and Transfiguration) that comprise the trilogy and depict his impoverished working-class childhood, the memories of his violent father, his close and loving relationship with his mother, and his struggles with his Catholic upbringing and his homosexuality.

Davies used the same autobiographical material for the two colour films, Distant Voices, Still Lives in 1988 and The Long Day Closes in 1992. The way the trilogy worked with shifts in time through increasingly complex visual and/or aural matches is refined in these colour films. They are as close as narrative film can come to a pure sensory experience of sound and image — The Long Day Closes is famous for its lengthy shot of the hall carpet, one that is held by Davies for the patterns of changing light to play out. His work in these two films has been described as ‘filmmaking of the rarest delicacy and beauty’.

As for the new film: ‘My idea was to contrast the city I knew and the city it has become, which is alien to me’, Davies said in an interview.

Of Time and the City: trailer


The Dream of the Rood

We went to the Metropolitan Cathedral tonight to see a programme presented by Ensemble 10/10 with The Hilliard Ensemble. The main item was the first performance of John Casken’s The Dream of the Rood, a setting of one of the earliest Christian poems in Anglo-Saxon literature. Unaccompanied, the Hilliards also performed Viderunt omnes by the French 12th-century composer Pérotin.

The programme closed with Messiaen’s Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum – a piece played by full orchestral woodwinds and brass with bells and gongs that Messiaen wrote, ‘destines the work to vast spaces: churches, cathedrals, and even out of doors on high mountains’.


Biennial: Turning the Place Over

Biennial: Turning the Place Over

Of all the strange sights that the Biennial offers this must be the strangest.  Richard Wilson’s Turning The Place Over is extraordinary – an 8 metre oval cut out of a derelict building and mounted so that it revolves.

From the Biennial programme notes:

One of Wilson’s incredible temporary works, Turning the Place Over colonises Cross Keys House, Moorfields. It runs in daylight hours, triggered by a light sensor. Co-commissioned by the Liverpool Culture Company and Liverpool Biennial, co-funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency and The Northern Way, and facilitated by Liverpool Vision, the project was conceived as a stunning trailblazer for Liverpool’s Year as European Capital of Culture 2008, and the jewel in the crown of the Culture Company’s public art programme.

Richard Wilson is one of Britain’s most renowned sculptors. He is internationally celebrated for his interventions in architectural space that draw heavily for their inspiration from the worlds of engineering and construction.

Turning the Place Over consists of an 8 metres diameter ovoid cut from the façade of a building in Liverpool city centre and made to oscillate in three dimensions. The revolving façade rests on a specially designed giant rotator, usually used in the shipping and nuclear industries, and acts as a huge opening and closing ‘window’, offering recurrent glimpses of the interior during its constant cycle during daylight hours.

The construction programme started in February 2007 and involved the careful deconstruction of the façade across three floors of the building, which was then reconstructed and fixed to the enormous pivot installed at the heart of the building. This astonishing feat of engineering is stunning audiences on many levels. Disturbing and disorientating from a distance, from close-up passers-by have a thrilling experience as the building rotates above them.

Wilson has exhibited widely nationally and internationally for the past twenty years and has made major museum exhibitions and public works throughout the world. Wilson has also represented Britain in the Sydney, Sao Paulo and Venice Bienniales and been nominated for the Turner Prize on two occasions. He was one of a select number of artists invited to create a major public work for The Millennium Dome and the only British artist invited to participate in Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2000, the largest contemporary art project ever staged in Japan.

Wilson’s past projects have generated both critical and popular acclaim. His seminal installation 20:50, a sea of reflective sump oil which is permanently installed in the Saatchi Collection, was described as ‘one of the masterpieces of the modern age’ by the art critic Andrew Graham Dixon in the BBC television series The History of British Art.

The Biennial’s Web of Light

The Biennial’s Web of Light

The most striking element of the Biennial this year must be Ai Weiwei’s giant spider web installation – a crystal studded spider with LED lights used to illuminate the web at night like glistening dew. The sculpture spans the entire area of  Exchange Flags.

The Chinese architect designer was inspired by the idea of the spider as one of nature’s master architects. Ai Weiwei was Herzog and de Meuron’s collaborator on Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium.

From the Biennial programme notes:

The spicier is one of nature’s architects, whose ability to weave his silken web provides the means for his survival. Ai Weiwei takes this symbol of creativity, and enlarges it to gigantic proportions, spinning a web of light across the entirety of Liverpool’s Exchange Flags. At the heart of this intricate steel construction is a crystal studded spider, while LED lights strung along the cables allow us to enjoy a paradoxical night-time image of dew glistening in the sun.

Ai has looked to nature for inspiration on previous architectural projects, most notably as Herzog and de Meuron’s collaborator on Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium. But Ai is not so much interested in plays on the natural, more in taking objects and, through a simple intervention (in this case a shift in scale), transforming the familiar into something new and extraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality.

Ai often draws on the* materials of the past, in particular China’s past, for his work, transforming them through assembly, remoulding, or sheer destruction, into present day commentary. Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995), for example, is a series of black and white photographs documenting the artist doing just that. These works can be read as a direct criticism of decades of cultural suppression and censorship in China. Ai himself spent much of his childhood in the remote province of Xinjiang, where his father, the well-known poet Ai Qing, had been exiled during the Cultural Revolution.

But there’s also a broader, more universal message in these works. They illustrate Ai’s belief in the right for ideas to exist freely, like objects in space. Fairytale, drew considerable attention at Documenta XII (2007). The artist brought 1001 Chinese visitors to Kassel, as well as 1001 Qing dynasty chairs, which were distributed throughout the exhibition’s spaces to provide symbolic points for reflection. The number 1001 was deliberately chosen to emphasise the individual within the group -one person more than a thousand.

Terry Duffy’s Monuments

I went down to the old St. Martins Bank building on Water Street to see the Terry Duffy installation, Monuments –  part of the 08 Biennial. Apart from the chance to this artwork, the added attraction is that it is displayed in one of Liverpool’s iconic listed buildings.

From the exhibition notes:

The installation encompasses the major and historic ‘Martins Bank’ building, which was once regarded as the finest banking hall in Europe. This is the first time the building has been open for years and it has never been used for a contemporary art project. Built at the peak when Liverpool was one of the wealthiest cities in Europe, the banking hall is a listed 1930’s building, which still retains its original fittings including a vast glass ceiling

Monuments is a powerful fusion of architecture, fine art, democracy, legacy, humanity and reinvention. Monuments questions, challenges and informs architectural and spacial democracy, contemporary aesthetics and humanities cultural legacy. Through the appropriation of the building Duffy will bring its significant history re slavery, global finance, architectural iconography to bare upon today’s diverse social and cultural issues, ie: multiculturalism and ownership of public spaces.

Monuments at Martins Bank will be a “one off” installation. It will create a public domain within a unique location challenging architectural and social hierarchies. It asks the question: “what do we now want to monumentalise”?

Terry Duffy writes:

To fully understand this installation I want people to journey from the outer shell to the inner core. This begins as you stand back from the building and realise the impressive strength, confidence and clarity that the architect Herbert J. Rouse imbued into this monumental edifice. It speaks volumes about the wealth of Liverpool then, at its peak in the 1930’s, the architectural links with Chicago and New York and the architectural vision in comparison to faceless corporate architecture that you often see today

Look closer at the exterior motifs by the Liverpool artist Tyson Smith and the visual references to Liverpool’s international trade connections and involvement in the slave trade. Through the imposing bronze doors into the banking hall you are confronted by incredible grandeur, rows of colomns, arches, bronze, gilding and a vast glass ceiling expressing more grand Italian palace than formal banking hall.

Past the exquisitely lacquered and veneered writing desks, the marbled floor and travertine walls, the highly decorative archways and visual reference to many other cultures, through into the secure banking area you realise even more the vastness of this space, one of the largest and most opulent banking halls in Europe.

Within this inner horseshoe shape you are confronted by a black monumental modernist enclosure in complete juxtaposition and opposition to the sorrounding detailed opulence. Along its black exterior, at the far end enter the inner space, a pure white enclosure resonating light from the vast glass ceiling above.

There is no denying the latent spirituality witthin the space, it is after all a sanctuary, a place to reflect. The 10ft high paintings in oils on board appear to float on the walls and although they are abstract, I can’t deny they have intentional powerful figurative overtones. The work is strangely ethereal and yet I wanted them to have undoubted physical, embodied presence.

Out again through the banking hall you begin to realise the symbiosis of this monumental installation: the building, the interior, the enclosure and the paintings. I want people to understand the fusion of architecture, fine art, history and humanity, to realise the sense of place, the sense of history and more importantly their place within it.

Without history there is no future.

Located in Water Street, one of the seven ancient streets of Liverpool, Martins Building is a magnificent Grade II listed building designed by Herbert J. Rowse, the architect of India Buildings, George’s Dock Ventilation and Control Station and the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

From 1918-1969 Martins Bank, which originated in London and dated back to the 16th century, was the largest bank in Liverpool. The grasshopper, featured extensively on the building, was the crest of Sir Thomas Gresham. He was a famous Elizabethan banker who is said to have founded the bank, the only major bank with its headquarters outside London.

The building was opened on the 24th October 1932 and has nine floors above ground, plus a mezzanine and three below, with foundations 15.24m under the building. The building is of fireproof, steel-frame construction with reinforced concrete floors and stairs. External walls are brick lined with hollow tiles and faced with Portland stone from St Paul’s and Wakeham quarries, noted for its beauty and the fact that exposure to the atmosphere increases its whiteness.

Born in Liverpool and at the early age of 13 Duffy won a scholarship for Art School in Liverpool. Following this, he trained as a lithographer and photographer and then for several years worked in several print and design studios in London.

From 1972 he studied at Liverpool Art College, where he met and worked with such eminent visiting artists as Joseph Beuys, John Cage and Merce Cunningham. In 1975 and 76 he was selected for the New Contemporaries London, his work experimented with line, form and space as it does today yet also with the then radical issues concerning Live Art and questioning perceptions of the gallery space.

In 1981 he returned to painting wanting to comment on the Toxteth riots and social unrest within Britain and produced the Victim Series. From the late 80’s the work gradually became abstract later in the 90’s realising that the same values of line, form and translucent colour had been in the work throughout. The 90’s saw greater success and recognition. He stands by his maxim that for him “painting for paintings sake is pointless, it is the potential to create new life that is essential”.

Since the 90’s he has had solo shows nationally and internationally including Paris, Berlin, New York. This summer he had a solo show called Standing Stones at the Walker Art Gallery in which his triptych, R.S. Thomas was also exhibited.


La Princesse: Liverpool’s ‘blimey moment

La Princesse: Liverpool’s ‘blimey moment

‘This is Liverpool’s ‘blimey’ moment, for sure. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many smiling faces on so many people’.
Phil Hogan, The Observer

‘There were times when it seemed to be leading the entire population of the city on a merry dance, like some kind of arachnid pied piper’. Lynn Gardner, The Guardian, 8 Sept

Like thousands of others, these last few days we’ve been entranced by the spectacle of la Machine’s spider, La Princesse, roaming the streets of Liverpool. The fifty-foot high spider was named ‘La Princesse’ by her creators, French theatrical engineers La Machine. This breathtaking commission will undoubtedly be a highlight of  Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture celebrations.

The excitement began on 4 September when astonished commuters discovered the giant spider clinging to the side of Concourse House, next to Lime Street station. A bulletin from La Machine states:

Specialist researchers announced that they had been observing the creature, apparently made of steel and wood and a thousand times the size of anything in nature, for weeks. It appears to be female, around 13m tall, and has been dubbed ‘La Princesse’ by the team.

I went down to join the crowds on Lime Street that evening. A shower had just passed and the spider, comatose on Concourse House, was outlined by a double rainbow.

That night, la Princesse remained asleep on the side of the building (whose demolition will begin next week).  On Friday the spider was moved to the Albert Dock. Another bulletin from La Machine explained:

The scientists believe the creature may be about to hibernate, and are attempting to prevent it falling into an inert state, as they are concerned at the potentially catastrophic results of the spider laying up to 1000 eggs. Scientists have therefore removed the spider from the building and taken it to a research base established at the ACC, at Albert Dock in Liverpool. On Friday 5th September it is expected that they will attempt to wake it, under controlled conditions, at 11:30am.

I went down there to see what was happening.

That evening La Princesse was on the move along the Strand in pouring rain.

On Saturday 6 September we joined the crowds packing the city centre to see La Princesse make her way down Lord Street and Church Street. Her progress was accompanied by showers of snow and jets of water, and music specially composed for the performance played live by musicians in the spider’s retinue. We had the opportunity to see up close how the team of operators manipulated her legs and controlled her movements: three ride on top of the spider and nine under her body, one to operate each leg and one for other operations.

‘She waved her massive legs at the crowd and they waved back, she sprayed water and the crowd begged for more, and when she was caught in a snowstorm and went to sleep in the middle of the main retail area, the audience gave out a great collective sigh of pleasure as if they had all been given a precious free gift. It turned out to be a very bad day for shopping, but a great day for art.’  The Guardian, 8th September 2008

On Sunday, this bulletin from La Machine:

The giant mechanical spider that has been roaming Liverpool’s streets since Friday has returned to what scientists believe to be her nest – on the side of Concourse Tower. Having explored the city yesterday afternoon she came to her resting place on the Tower last night. This evening it is believed that she will wake one last time. If you would like to say goodbye to La Princesse, come to Concourse Tower around 7:30 this evening for a spectacular farewell party.

So, accompanied by my daughter and her friend B, I squeezed my way through the crowds packing William Brown Street and St John’s Gardens as dusk fell. La Princesse was making her way slowly down William Brown Street, towards the tunnel entrance, where she would take her final bow, accompanied by jets of flame, fireworks and geysers of water.

La Princesse was a show by La Machine, created by François Delarozière. Music composed by Dominique Malan. La Machine was formed in the early 1990s as a collaboration between artists, designers, fabricators and technicians. Over a period of 15 years, from 1991 – 2006, Delarozière and his engineers designed and created a host of huge performing creatures which walked the streets of European cities, including Giraffes, Rhino and a giant Gulliver. Most famous to British audiences was the Sultan’s Elephant which transfixed audiences in London during its visit in May 2006.



Superlambanana: the final salute

Superlambanana: the final salute

Went down to St George’s Plateau today to see the mass goodbye of the superlambananas before they are auctioned off for charity. There are about 70 on display in a ‘Final Salute’ organised by the Culture Company in recognition of how the people of the city have taken the superlambananas to their hearts in the last two months.

The Superlambananas will be on display until tomorrow – then the 70 statues will go under the hammer with a reserve price of £3,000 each. A further 40 Superlambananas will go on sale a few days later at an online public auction.

A number of statues are being handed back to the community and some will not be auctioned because they are in a bad state of repair.

After the auctions, 75% of the net profits will go the Lord Mayor’s Charity Appeal – which includes The Marina Dalglish Appeal and Liverpool Heart and Chest hospital.


Gormley’s Field for the British Isles revisited

Gormley’s <em>Field for the British Isles</em> revisited

I went over to St Helens College to see Antony Gormley’s Field for the British Isles which I first saw at the Tate Liverpool in 1993. Field is one of Antony Gormley’s best-loved works of art featuring 40,000 clay figures. This summer Field has returned to St.Helens, the town where it was created 15 years ago.

The figures were handmade by 100 people, aged seven to seventy, at Sutton Manor High School in St.Helens in 1993, using local Ibstock clay. Every time Field is exhibited it takes about a week to install with a team of local volunteers, which this time will include some of the original makers of the work.

Winner of the 1994 Turner Prize, Antony Gormley is renowned for his distinctive representations of the human form. Gormley has described Field as ‘… twenty-five tons of clay energised by fire, sensitised by touch and made conscious by being given eyes … a field of gazes which looks at the observer making him or her its subject’. This arresting installation comprises a sea of miniature terracotta figures, clustered together. Some stand out because of their size and character; others are greyer than the earthy reds of the majority: the overall sight is both captivating and mesmerising.

Gormleys Field

In 1995 Field was purchased by the Arts Council Collection with the support of the Henry Moore Foundation and the National Art Collections Fund. Since its acquisition Field has been seen by nearly 400,000 visitors in Aberystwyth, Carlisle, Colchester, Gateshead, Gloucester, Lincoln, London, Salisbury, Sheffield, Shrewsbury, Wakefield and St Ives, in venues as diverse as a train-shed, a church, a cathedral, a gallery, and a warehouse.

This exhibition is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Merseyside Objective One Programme and is a Hayward Touring Exhibition from the Arts Council Collection.

This is Anthony Gormley on the Field project, which has involved the creation of many Fields in different parts of the world:

From the beginning I was trying to make something as direct as possible with clay: the earth.

I wanted to work with people and to make a work about our collective future and our responsibility for it. I wanted the art to look back at us, its makers (and later viewers), as if we were responsible – responsible for the world that it (the work Field) and we were in. I have made it with help five times in different parts of the world. The most recent is from Guangzhou, China, and was exhibited in Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing in 2003. It’s made from one hundred and twenty-five tons of clay energised by fire, sensitised by touch and made conscious by being given eyes.

The 200,000 body-surrogates completely occupy the space in which they are installed, taking the form of the building and excluding us, but allowing visual access. It is always seen from a single threshold. The dimensions of the viewing area are equivalent to no less than one sixth of the total floor area of the piece. This viewing area is completely empty. The viewer then mediates between the occupied and unoccupied areas of a given building. I like the idea of the physical area occupied being put at the service of the imaginative space of the witness

I gave these instructions to the makers:

Take a hand-size ball of clay, form it between the hands, into a body surrogate as quickly as possible. Place it at arm’s length in front of you and give it eyes.

It was important that it was through the repeated action of touching, forming, placing apart from the body and making conscious, that each person found their own form. The extraordinary thing was the distinctiveness of the forms that were found.


E Chambre Hardman

E Chambre Hardman

E. Chambré Hardman with Rolleiflex

We’ve all been on the tour of 59 Rodney Street, the former studio and home of the renowned local photographer E. Chambré Hardman. Between 1947 and 1988 the building was home to Edward Chambré Hardman and his wife Margaret. The house contains a selection of photographs, the studio where most were taken, the darkroom where they were developed and printed, the business records and the Hardman’s living quarters – complete with all the ephemera of post-war daily life.

The subject matter of the photographs – portraits of the people in Liverpool, their city and the landscapes of the surrounding countryside – provide a record of a more prosperous time when Liverpool was the gateway to the British Empire and the world. Parallel to this is the quality of Hardman’s work and his standing as a pictorial photographer.

59 Rodney St is the only example of an intact mid-20th century photographic studio open to the public in Britain.  It has been restored by the National Trust.

When he died in 1988, Liverpool photographer Chambre Hardman left behind a legacy of over 200,000 negatives and photographs spanning his lifetime. A compulsive collector, Hardman never threw anything away so his house was full of thousands of items, almost untouched since before the World War II. Access to Hardman’s work was almost lost to the public forever when the trustees looking after the collection ran out of money. It was the joint efforts of The National Trust and Liverpool Council that have ensured his memory will live on. Hardman’s collection of prints and negatives are now being stored and conserved at the Liverpool Record Office, with some of his collection being on permanent display at his former home as a lasting tribute.


More Superlambananas

It’s been fun going round photographing the little beasts because it’s so sociable – you meet lots of other mad people doing the same thing – trying to collect them all, sometimes snapping each other standing by or even sitting on the creatures (you’re not really supposed to do that). There’s no doubt that Go Superlambananas has been one of the enormous successes of Capital of Culture year.

Here’s the full list of superlambananas:

  1. Super ‘WiFi’ lambananafon ACC, Liverpool.
  2. Sushi, Lamb, Tempurabanana. Table 5 now!! ACC, Liverpool.
  3. Lamb-bassador ACC, Liverpool.
  4. Superchromebanana Jury’s Inn, Kings Waterfront.
  5. SuperSgtPepperYellowLambSubmarineBanana Beatles Museum, Albert Dock.
  6. United Lambanana Albert Dock.
  7. Ewes Water Wisely Albert Dock.
  8. Port-Traits Albert Dock.
  9. Light Exposure, Light Emission The Strand.
  10. Banana Rock The Strand.
  11. Reflectana The Strand.
  12. Loop of Life Crowne Plaza, Princes Dock.
  13. Atlambtic Companion Princes Dock.
  14. Twinkle Malmaison, Princes Dock.
  15. SuperPlazalambanana The Plaza, Old Hall Street.
  16. Superchaiselonguebanana Starting location Radisson SAS Hotel, Old Hall Street
  17. Savio the Superlambanana St Paul’s Square, Old Hall Street.
  18. Commercial District Skyline St Paul’s Square, Old Hall Street.
  19. Mona St Paul’s Square, Old Hall Street.
  20. Supergrassbanana St Paul’s Square, Old Hall Street.
  21. Baa-ve New World Outside Town Hall, Castle Street.
  22. Supercottonwoolbanana Cotton Exchange.
  23. SuperLoveBanana Cotton Exchange courtyard.
  24. Superlambananaleaves Cotton Exchange, Old Hall Street.
  25. First Past the Post Number One, Old Hall Street.
  26. SuperLawbanana Civil Courts, 35 Vernon Street.
  27. Top Banana 20 Chapel Street.
  28. Rocksy Exchange Flags.
  29. Chops Exchange Flags.
  30. Flora Exchange Flags.
  31. B of the Baa Exchange Flags.
  32. Superlordmayorlambanana Front Hall, Town Hall.
  33. SuperRoyalambanana Queens Arcade, Castle Street.
  34. Lambline St James Station.
  35. Sgt. Pepper Blakes Restaurant, North John Street.
  36. Superlambgranada Liverpool ONE.
  37. Superconnectedlambanana Lord Street.
  38. Pete Price’s Super Laugh Banana Metquarter.
  39. I Love Granadaland Metquarter.
  40. Baa-Nitez Metquarter.
  41. Petite Fleur Metquarter.
  42. Superfitbanana Balcony of Millennium House, Whitechapel.
  43. SuperWagBagBanana Williamson Square.
  44. Koppy Williamson Square.
  45. Homer Wellington Column, St George’s Hall.
  46. Our Working Community Wellington Column, St George’s Hall.
  47. Monument to the Superlambanana Inside World Museum, William Brown Street.
  48. Superfive-a-daybanana Inside Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street.
  49. Superlightbanana Inside St George’s Hall.
  50. Cargo Inside St George’s Hall.
  51. Our George St George’s Hall.
  52. Superlambananatree Lime Street Station.
  53. Ba Ba Braille Sheep Lime Street Station.
  54. Green Lamb Holiday Inn, Lime Street.
  55. Friendship Forever St John’s Shopping Centre.
  56. Push Me Pull Ewe St John’s Centre.
  57. Beryl Sebastian Clayton Square.
  58. 24hourSuperlambanana Clayton Square.
  59. SuperLewis’s 152 Lamb Lewis’s window.
  60. Working Towards the Future Church Street.
  61. Lamsa Bluecoat Courtyard.
  62. Fire Cracker To Martian Skies Bold Street.
  63. The Loving Lamb Bury Street.
  64. The Rope Walker St Peter’s Square, Ropewalks.
  65. Yellow Superlambanana in cage. 2008 Arthouse Square.
  66. The Deerlamboltnana East Village, Duke Street.
  67. Art Vandelist East Village, Duke Street.
  68. The Best of British Cains Brewery, Upper Parliament Street.
  69. Twinnylambanana Hope Street.
  70. Herd Days Night Hope Street.
  71. Purple Sky At Night Hope Street.
  72. BackBitternBanana, Backbitternbanana.com Catholic Cathedral Plaza.
  73. SuperStudentlambanana Brownlow Hill.
  74. Superabbeyroadbanana Brownlow Hill.
  75. Zip Outside The Cornerstone Building.
  76. Superkalzarbanana Pembroke Place.
  77. Kenny The Superlamb Hall Lane, Kensington.
  78. It’s Just a Superlambanana Community Justice Centre, Boundary Street.
  79. The North End Picton Children’s Centre, Lawrence Road.
  80. SuperLarryLambanana Corner of Smithdown Road and Tunstall Street.
  81. SuperConeBanana International Centre for Digital Content, Liverpool Innovation Park, Edge Lane.
  82. Stanley Hugh Baird College, Stanley Road.
  83. Rocking Superlambanana Main Restaurant, Royal Liverpool Hospital Alder Hey.
  84. “Peek-a-boo” Newsham Superlambanana Newsham Park, Newsham Drive.
  85. SuperFanBanana Liverpool Football Club, Anfield Road.
  86. Roy G Biv Stanley Park, Anfield Road.
  87. Blueberry Banana Blueberry School, Ackers Hall Avenue.
  88. Superbeezbuzzbyawildlambanana National Wildflower Centre.
  89. Fazakerley Night Fever Aintree Hospital.
  90. Fizz Fazakerley Steps.
  91. Tinky Grassy area outside Walton-on-the-Hill Church.
  92. Bridge-it 179 Townsend Lane.
  93. Superlidbanana Cedar Road and Longmoor Lane.
  94. Cobanana Corner of Lower House Lane and Utting Avenue.
  95. Super St Domingo Lamb Banana Goodison Park.
  96. The Superlambridge Runcorn Station.
  97. Smiley Lamb Runcorn Station.
  98. Youth Division Speke Boulevard roundabout.
  99. Peel Speke Boulevard roundabout.
  100. Urbananasplash Matchworks.
  101. Generation 21 Top of Aigburth Road.
  102. Bloomin’ Lamb Banana (Petal) Woolton Street, Woolton.
  103. Tudorlambanana Gateacre Brow.
  104. The Lee Valley CAAT Belle Vale Shopping Centre.
  105. World Changer Frontline Centre, Lawrence Road.
  106. Starry Sunflower Olive Mount Gardens.
  107. LambMapBanana Allerton Library.
  108. The Big Hope Gateway to Hope Building, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park.
  109. Colours of Hope Opposite Taggart Lodge, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park.
  110. Mandy Mandala Superlambanana Princes Boulevard.
  111. Superlamba-x-ray and child Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
  112. Cloudorama Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight.
  113. Past Port to the Future Port Sunlight Vision Museum.
  114. Superstegbanana Ness Gardens.
  115. Flora Lambanana Park Pavilion, Birkenhead Park.
  116. Culture Chalk Pyramids Shopping Centre.
  117. Lovemedoodle Euston Station.
  118. The Highest Superlambanana Moel Famau
  119. SuperLambBanana (the original) Tithebarn Street
  120. Superlambanana Baa – moves around the city.


Superlambanana on Moel Famau

Meet the highest Superlambanana of them all.  Over the summer, 120 Superlambananas have been placed around Liverpool but one has managed to escape, finding its way first to the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod where, through a series of workshops, children and adults helped decorate the Superlambanana with Moel Famau in mind.

This weekend saw The Big Walk, organised by Denbighshire and Flintshire councils to celebrate the links between the Clwydian Range AONB and Merseyside, as Liverpool celebrates its status as European Capital of Culture.


I’ve been photographing as many of the superlambananas as I can. Peel (above),  located outside Speke Retail Park is the wittiest, I think. Here are some more.

Our Working Community
Rocksy Chops & Flora
Top Banana
Baa-ve New World