Like You’ve Never Been Away – Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
‘In 1975 Paul Trevor came to Liverpool to document inner city deprivation for the ‘Survival Programmes’ project. His remarkable photographs tell a different story however. Their backdrop may be the dereliction of post-war Liverpool. But these images go beyond this bleak cityscape and get close to his real subject: families and children.’
So says the Walker Art Galleries publicity blurb.
This wonderfully touching exhibition shows inner city deprivation almost incidentally as the pictures show the fun, love and warmth of working class life in the 1970’s in Everton and Toxteth. What particularly struck me was the freedom kid’s had in those days. Paul’s photographs focus particularly on the children playing in the street. The look of fun and optimisim in the face of obvious dereliction and poverty is deeply moving and inspiring.
In contrast, children today are locked away in fear of the streets, in the 1970’s the streets were owned by the kids!
Paul Trevors work was part of a project to describe inner city deprivation and was eventually published in 1982. What it actually shows in fact is the triumph of the human spirit which was and is what makes us uniquely Liverpudlian.
If you see no other exhibition this year, see this. It will make you laugh, cry, reflect on life today but most of all, lift your spirits and make you proud of the people of our city.
My score: 11/10
Like You’ve Never Been Away runs at the Walker until 25th September, entrance free.
This exhibition is part of the Look11 Liverpool Internation Photography Festival which runs until 26th June at venues across the city.