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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!

 

‘Meek’ @Headlong Theatre at Unity till Sat 15th Sep

A not so holy story of ruthless state control that will have you hooked at the very first. A play of friendship and one woman’s determination not to be broken.

In this uncanny, high definition world, we are all more connected, more vulnerable and more human- but not equally so. This play shows how a small act of resistance can lead to a political revolution.

‘Meek’ is a tale which explores the line between religion, politics and the power of social media. A talented group of actors to watch, showing raw emotions. This play is a candid, uninhibited and emotional visceral act, with an intimate tender portrait of friendship, hurt and loss.

I was fixated by this new blend of dramatic theatre, of geopolitics and religion that catches the still sad voice of humanity. It’s a play that leads to questions and conversations, which have been incorporated with a post-show discussion.
‘Meek’ is certainly a play that reflects on our own fraught times giving the audience a roller coaster of tension and adrenaline, of nervousness and intrigue, drawing you in deeper and deeper right until the sting at the end.

This is a must to see, with a Sat Mat 2pm.
‘Meek’ by Penelope Skinner, a Fringe First Winner and directed by Amy Hodge gives the audience a play that’s very much of our times.
It just might change the way you think!

Book Now: 01517094988/Unity Theatre

Liverpool’s Grand Designs really impress!!

Yes, this week has seen thousands of visitors flock to the Echo Arena Labour Party Conference and stop….think, and take a closer look at Liverpool in all its glory.

I have heard so many comments about Liverpool’s fantastic waterfront, the historic buildings, entertainment, hotels and brilliant shopping facilities. Positive comments have abounded day after day and rung in my ears as I flit from conference to conference.

Involving myself in the many Fringe events connected with Culture, Brexit, and…… ‘How can we engage more young in their local communities’ gave me an opportunity to tune into the many visitors positive perceptions of the city during breaks, when we explored the ‘complimentary food and refreshments’ on offer.

Many visitors had travelled from the south and were on a first visit, but having seen what the city could offer……… promised a more in-depth visitation later in the year, to sample the ‘culture’ and the many museums, art gallery’s, and theatres; some even suggested a need to tread the many trails of the Beatles, or seek out educational establishments such as the LSTM in the Georgian or now also known as ‘the Knowledge Quarter’ some suggested even traveling further afield to the football mecca’s of Liverpool and Everton.

During the week, I became immersed in many of the public debates with leading politicians and thinkers, centering around bringing people together to strengthen communities through art, culture and social cohesion. L8 and the Biennial became a discussion point with ownership and belonging: reclaiming and reinventing public space a serious issue of discussion.

In one such meeting, favourable comments about Liverpool were voiced by Anna Turley MP during her ‘instilling skills, uniting communities’ conference debate chat.

Anna made it clear how the fantastic value a city’s heritage could make to the economy and the well-being of everyone, with Liverpool seen to be a perfect example of this.
I was pleasantly pleased when she recommended that Redcar her local constituency, look to Liverpool as an exemplar turn-around city using its wonderful historical assets.

‘Preston on Sunday’ did wonders too and gave the Titanic Hotel a good plug. The future of that area is really opening up and dissolving the city’s “divided” aspect. Hopefully more investment will pour into the Vauxhall and Bootle areas so we can become a more inclusive city and try successfully for the ‘European Green City Award’ with the Atlantic Corridor area fully serviced and developed with a development drive right up to Crosby.

During this week our TV has given us a constant nightly drip feed of impressive Liverpool backdrops giving the nation a full view of Liverpool’s iconic seafront and grand designs during casual interviews of political characters.

No matter what your politics though, this Labour Conference event was a showcase for the city. I was proud to be a Liverpool citizen while seated in the Tate sipping an espresso surrounded by envious southern colleagues.
I retold the old, old story of standing in the same warehouse room, windows smashed and pigeons galore flying about, telling Michael H. what a fine architectural city this was.

The vision in those early days was to clean up the Mersey, create the Mersey Forest and develop a Garden Festival. This was the blueprint for today.

The future plans for the city on both sides of the Mersey look stunning…. but that’s for another day.

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