Liverpool’s biggest festival of history and culture- Heritage Open Days!

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I think this is one of the most exciting cultural events of the year on Merseyside. An event which many Merseysiders look forward to and plan with relish. It’s one of England’s largest voluntary cultural events and it gets underway right across Merseyside NOW!.

Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s outstanding architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public, or normally charge for admission.

Every year during September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors. Properties ranging from castles to factories; town halls to tithe barns; parish churches to Buddhist temples.

It’s a once-in-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring local history and culture alive for everyone.
Check on-line for the local heritage events happening near you this weekend.
http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk

Today at the Albert Dock, heritage did come alive for me and another few hundred people attending one of the “Heritage” on the Dock events.
I opted for several tours such as ‘Meet the engineers’ on board the newly restored Steam Ship Daniel Adamson, a Heritage Walk, Tate architectural tour, and the Pagoda arts Guzheng ensemble sound.

Later in the afternoon yesterday, I joined the knowledgeable tea expert Alison Appleton who guided a group of visitors with a fascinating talk and session of memorable Chinese tea tasting!

We sampled several South China teas such as the Fuding White tea, a pressed, brick white tea from the same plantations that produces silver needle tea; a Phoenix mountain Oolong tea, an exceptionally rare tea from a family owned single tea tree, not a plantation; a beautiful Bohea tea with a naturally fruity smooth with caramel after taste and a Lapsang Souchong, a classic and favourite tea of Winston Churchill.

This was all new to me and the experiences gained will no doubt drive me to seek out the more flavoursome varieties instead of the usual Yorkshire tea bag. Well, they do say ‘variety is the spice of life’.

At its peak, the Albert Dock was Liverpool’s chief port for Chinese and East Asian trade so, it was definitely a fitting place to hold this presentation and an innovative way of bringing history alive.

Sitting in an airy, fireproof Albert Dock warehouse room surrounded by antique 18th Century fold over tea tables and designer chintz fabrics, provided us all with the ideal historical location were this valuable cargo,tea, was once stored. The setting and atmosphere made the afternoon.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the authentic loose teas, all served in beautifully flowered ceramic cups and certainly became a ‘devotea’ of the exquisite leaf while socialising and enjoying the afternoon.
This is certainly an acquired taste I will develop further, now that my taste buds have been tantalized.
I recommend a trip to the Tea House!
@_TeaHouse http://www.alisonappleton.com 21 Lark Lane L17

Another exciting visit on my Heritage quest, took me somewhere completely different but a place I’d passed many times on the E. Lancs……. the Gillmoss Materials Recovery Facility tour…. to see at first hand what happens to the items I put into my recycling bin.
This was a very interesting and informative talk and guide around the working site conducted from the level and covered walkway.

Using the latest technologies in mechanical sorting, mixing recyclables from the kerbside collections of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Sefton are delivered to the MRF for sorting.

This hour long tour provides you with a second by second all action viewing of the whole process from beginning to end with 25 tonnes of material an hour processed before your eyes.
uk.veolia.dicoverycentre@veolia.com
http://www.veolia.co.uk/merseyside-and-halton
If you wish to have an interesting alternative to the weekend then log onto the above websites and take a tour…all FREE
Tomorrow…….. Croxteth Park, Speke Hall, Liverpool Old Dock, several churches and the Waterhouse University complex tour.

Japan Day Sat 20th August 10.30-5.30pm

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Busy on Saturday 20th August?
Are you interested in Japan?
Its people?
Its culture?
Its language?
Looking for a very special holiday surprise for the children?
Look no further and your dreams will come true.
You can spend a very exciting day of Japanese culture courtesy of the co-organiser……. the Embassy of Japan.

Try this FREE admission day out at the Liverpool Guild of Students 160 Mount Pleasant.
Full details….. JapanDay.org.uk with performances on the main stage starting 10.30am.

The special festival of Japanese Culture will be a showcase showing both old and new Japanese culture and will be the birth of exciting new ventures in Liverpool, in the future.

On display will be martial arts demonstrations of Kyudo, Kendo, Aikido and Ju-Jutsu which will certainly excite the children and adults alike.

There will be exhibitions featuring Japanese swords and armour, Ikebana, origami, kimono, bonsai, railways, braiding, Go, calligraphy, crafts, kanzashi and exquisite embroidery.

Be entertained by Japanese folk songs, Koto and the deafening beats of the Taiko drumming which will get the hairs on the back of your head standing on end!

View and take part in the modern Japanese culture associations of Cosplay, Manga and the visual Anime.

Live entertainment on the main-stage with Diane Kichijitsu who will give a performance of “Rakugo” the traditional Japanese art of storytelling….10.55 Awa Odin dance……1.30 SOAS Min’yo Group performance and many more booked on the website for you to arrange and time your visit so that you will get the most out of this jam packed exciting cultural event.

Be early and you will not miss the delicious Japanese food sushi, obento and Oh!…… those sweets!!!!!

‘A Festival of Japanese Culture’

A feast of Bacon: Tate Until September 18

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Love his art or loathe it; but the price it commands is phenomenal and for fans of Bacon, this is a worthy exposition to see. This acclaimed exhibition does however, shed some light on the techniques of this most mysterious and confounding of artists.

It’s a must for all budding artists in Liverpool.

‘Invisible Rooms’, the title Tate Liverpool give to the display, shows a stunning exhibition of the painters works with an extensive selection of sketches, many discovered on the floors and workstation of his South Kensington studio after his death in 1992.

This exhibition is a treasure trove of delight to meet the eyes, with sketches of boxers, wrestlers and crouching caged figures.
This is truly a working display of an artist which helps get you, to enter into the mind of Francis Bacon.

You see lists of his ideas hastily scrawled on bits of paper, covers of books, scraps of paper, all in almost illegible handwriting not unlike shopping lists, but these are the vital ingredients that give us today, a recipe for some of the greatest 20th century British figurative paintings we now know.

At first glance, these portraits look disturbing and vastly distorted but the artwork and compositions of distortion, take us beyond physical appearances and into a psychological interpretation.

Perhaps that’s why I and so many others are drawn into his world and to this exhibition that shows just how Bacon manipulated his source material, producing scenes most shocking and depraved but condensing the content, intensifying the figures and creating for them a new and unsettling platform.
Perhaps this is the mark of a genius and why so many are attracted to so much of his work.
The works make you want to look behind the canvas and interpret with your own feelings and emotions the truth that lies facing us in that portraiture which we stir wide eyed at for a few minutes. You are taken in. You are drawn into this exhibition like an addiction.

So many of the works on display give the impressions of cages around the central figures. ‘Study For A Portrait’ from 1949 gives the onlooker the idea of the Nuremberg trials, showing Nazi war criminals boxed behind glass. Emotion and high energy feelings at their highest seem to radiate from the works on display….. torture, violence, desperation, unhappiness, wretchedness all speak to the viewer as you try to unravel the mysteries and meanings behind the distortion the artist has created.

Did Bacon have a ‘heart of darkness’?
Take a trip to the Tate Liverpool and view ‘Invisible Rooms’, and see if you can unleash the answers to the stories hidden in the captured gaping mouths, silent screams of rage and grotesque distorted bodies on display in this wicked collection until September 18th.

Don’t miss viewing the popular, terrifying depiction of Velazquez’s ‘Portrait Of Pope Innocent X’, that’s if you can push to the front of the crowd of visitors who throng to see this subject sitting as if strapped to an electric chair, mouth wide open so that his scream is almost audible.

This is an extremely popular show with visitor tickets also permitting entry to Tate Liverpool’s exhibition of work by Austrian painter Maria Lassnig.

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