Is this Liverpool’s most exciting new arts venue?

ATT_1415537805297_20141108_144352Newsham Park Hospital Seaman’s Orphanage opens its doors to Liverpool artists

Something special has come to Liverpool this weekend. The first gathering of Liverpool artists of its type in this haunting old building, the exhibition includes artwork, sculptures, photography and even performance art. Every kind of artist is represented here in this great community-based event, from established artists to emerging ones and even local students. Newsham Park Hospital itself is an inspired setting for an exhibition and it’s wasted old halls and wards (some filled with ominous looking equipment) provides an extraordinary backdrop for the work on display.

I caught up with artist and organiser Anna di Scala on the opening day and asked her how the whole thing came about. She told me how she and friend Angie had used Facebook to get things organised. Anna told me, “We wanted to organise an event for the whole of Liverpool. We noticed that galleries were taking artists from other parts of the country and pushing Liverpool artists out, so I did as much as I could to get Liverpool artists on board – and children, of course.”

About the building, Anna said that it was pretty straightforward after Angie asked the owner. Unbelievably, the whole event was put together in just six weeks. “The building itself is something to see before the artwork, so everything you see is a piece of art in itself. Every artist who’s set foot through the doors has been inspired and there’s new art being created on the back of it” Anna would love to run further events and would love to bring in some of her artist friends from Italy and Spain. She told me, “I hope this is just the beginning of a big art venue.”

I was thrilled to see a wide demographic of people all dressed up in their winter woollies who’d come to see the event and this was reflected in the artists whose work was on display, from children to pensioners. I talked to a couple of the artists who had work on display. Mark Sheeky, whose Dali-esque work sits next to Anna’s in the main hall was enthusiastic about bringing art to the community and would love to see more of it. Mark told me, “Considering it’s over 60 artists in quite a short amount of time, it’s quite an achievement.” And I couldn’t agree more.

I also spoke to Hope University student Andrew Trimble who is exhibiting for the first time. Andrew’s work is nestled into an old hospital ward cubicle and he said the space had inspired his choice of work to display.

I was so excited about the exhibition that I even bought my own piece from one of my favourite street artists Love ArtUK.

The exhibit ends today, Sunday 9th November, so get down there if you can. If you can’t, then lets hope the next exhibition in the amazing space is with us really soon.

 

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