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Keith Haring at Tate Liverpool

A major new exhibition opened at Tate Liverpool last night. Keith Haring was an artist and activist in New York throughout the eighties. Initially famed for chalk outline drawings on subway advertising boards he quickly moved on to much larger pieces, making commentary on the issues of the day. Highlighting the spread of AIDS and promoting safe sex whilst railing against the media, racism, homophobia and neo-nazis.

The work is incredibly vibrant and has a great sense of movement and depth. I had been familiar with some of his work for some time, his stylized stick men will be known to many, but was unaware of how deep and varied his work was. It really is a fantastic body of work, brought into focus by his untimely death in 1990 aged just 31.

The exhibition features 85 artworks and includes video, music and photographs and runs until 10th November. Go see!

 

Champion gets a Land Rover Experience above and beyond!

This was the ultimate experience which began with a hearty breakfast at the Halewood Visitor Centre café, South Road, Liverpool L24 9PZ.

A group of Liverpool CEO’s spent a day involved in an in-depth study of the technical computer systems that drive the massive Halewood factory; a factory tour of this fascinating campus to see how the systems work and a drive on the all terrain track in a Range Rover Evoque.

Whether you are looking for an insight into vehicle manufacturing, the opportunity to drive the world’s most capable vehicles, or a combination of the two; the activities offer unforgettable experiences!

The ‘behind the scenes’ tour of this amazing facility gives you a fascinating insight into todays motor production industry. It presents an unforgettable hive of activity with 54 robots just operating in the paint shop facility alone and with 111 employees per shift.
This is a massive site with thousands of stakeholders, a small city with its own shopping mall!!!
On one tour, we passed the paint shop with its 1.2 million litres of paint per year process capability, that’s enough to paint the Forth road bridge in Scotland five times over (it takes five years to paint it once!)
I asked why so many women in the paint shop and the reply was, because they have a keen eye for colour recognition. This dates back, I was told, to prehistoric times when they were hunter gatherers and if they collected the wrong berries….well!!!!
Oh, and they use ostrich feathers to dust the car bodies but not any old ostrich…..but from female ostriches as the males tend to fight more, which damages their feathers.

To see a car evolve from just pieces of pressed metal before your eyes and have each one personally coloured, have its own personal sat nav for its destination country, personalised interiors, engine size and interior design, leaves you thinking…what if….but it seldom happens because the computer systems are so smart!

The tour experience has 5 different options ranging from short tasters,longer more detailed visits, one to one exclusives and opportunities to even view your car being built.

The drive experience was what we all waited for….. and what a performance that was…..with 3 different drive options ranging from the short demonstrations, a get behind the wheel and a longer more tailored driving course.

The team building package, which some of the group opted for, was a physical driving challenge with taxing tests.

After the days excitement, some colleagues were so thrilled with the experience that they booked for the evening tours and drive options for the family at weekends.

This was a fantastic day and I would recommend pre booking one of the packages through….Hannah Breen-
Tour & Drive Experience 0151 448 4023.
You will not regret this experience!

Remember Blackler’s Father Christmas!

Do you remember the giant Father Christmas from Blackler’s department store?
Height: 5m
Chest: circumference nearly 5m
Waist: circumference a little less than 5m
Boot size: 45

When on display, more than 10,000 visitors a week marvelled at him and the magical scenes from the ‘Winter Wonderland’ and told Santa what they’d like for Christmas.

I will always remember the fantastic atmosphere the giant Santa and the Christmas scenes evoked especially, a time when the grotto was opened one Christmas by ‘Pinky and Perky’ Oh memories…but I’m sure a lot of readers will have their very special memories of the store.

Historically,the giant Father Christmas from Blackler’s department store was in the Liverpool store between (1957-1988) and is now back in public display for the first time in over 20 years in the Museum of Liverpool’s atrium.

Made by Peter Blazey and his colleagues in the display studio in 1957, this very special Santa will bring back many happy memories for generations of local people. You can see and listen to Peter in a special on-line report, in which he explains how the giant Santa came to be and how it has been returned to its former glory.

So, please, this Christmas holiday, make sure you tell granny or granddad and make a very special visit to the Museum of Liverpool where Santa will be until 30th December, and if you have any old photo’s of him and memories then share them on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #giantsanta.

This is a real iconic piece of Liverpool’s modern day history and all praise goes to the team that developed and researched the idea to bring the model back to life.

Check liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/giantsanta

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