This week it’s London Coffee Week and, not to be left out, Liverpool is hosting a fringe Coffee Culture Week as part of the celebrations. Brought together by Seba Rashii Culture, Liverpool’s Coffee Culture Week is celebrating the links between coffee, culture and creativity.
If you’d have asked me a year ago about coffee and creativity and how they’re linked, I’d have thrown my head back and snorted in derision. Possibly. But back then, no-one asked me, I didn’t answer and now I’ll never know what I would have said or done.
But a year is a long time and much has changed since then. Just over a year ago, I emerged, Bambi-like, blinking and not too sure on my legs, as one of Liverpool’s five Cultural Champions. With no real clue what we were doing, the five of us – me, Johny, Ray, Judy and Andre – were let loose on the cultural life of our city with the brief to CONSUME – CRITIQUE – CREATE
The “CREATE” part of the brief left me quaking in my boots. Faced with the extraordinary breadth and range of talent in this city, I waited for someone to show me the door with a shake of their head as if to say, “Come on, love. Who were you kidding?” I was single, working mother who just fancied getting out of the house a bit more. What was I doing here?
But no-one showed me the door and I immersed myself in the cultural life of the city. And it’s no exaggeration to say it was a life-changing thing.
“Ok, so where does coffee come into this?” you may well ask. Well, coffee for me has been integral to my life of culture and creativity. Probably the most well-used phrase I’ve deployed over the last year has been “Fancy meeting up for a coffee and a chat?”
I’ve used it with artists, musicians, writers, event organisers and, of course, my fellow Culture Champs. There are few things more rewarding than shooting the breeze over a coffee or two. As well as being a great opportunity for a good old bit of gossip (an excellent pastime in my experience) coffee is a great catalyst for new ideas and collaborations.
And amid a sea of cappuccinos, lattes and mochachinos, I had an idea. I was ready to CREATE. My idea at the moment is like a newly-hatched chick that needs some good old TLC for it to grow. Whether it grows into a beautiful swan or a big old turkey is one for the future, but in the meantime I’ll keep on having those coffees and watching those ideas flow.
Check out a whole load of brilliant articles and interviews on Seba Rashii Culture Zine
Over the years we’ve witnessed the recognition of several Liverpool born acting talents who now seem in that privileged ‘ here to stay’ position. The likes of David Morrisey, Jason Isaacs, Stephen Graham and Ian Hart are just a few that immediately spring to mind and they wouldn’t get you very far in a game of pointless. Being someone who once attempted to tread the boards in several school productions ( most notably my method approach as ‘third tree to the right’ and by method I mean completely wooden) I’ve always had a compulsion to entertain and to also delude myself that I am an entertainer. Not in the same ambitious style as the aforementioned stars but nonetheless with an equal amount of enthusiasm. My biggest obstacle though has been that as a forty something where I could go to scratch this itch and it’s only until now that I’ve found such a place.
Located at 36 Seel street The Liverpool Actors Studio Theatre as well as being a home for upcoming new productions is now holding both writing and acting workshops . Starting 26th February and led by it’s two experienced directors Cath Rice and Barry English, the classes aim to develop abilities in the likes of sight reading, characterisation, improvisation etc.. All the tools you’ll need to perform. I’m hoping that my ‘stan is laughing at me’ method becomes more the ‘Stanislavski ‘ within me. I’ve been to this theatre before and know just how inclusive of it’s audience it is during a production so to hopefully become involved in what it’s now offering is an exciting prospect and one I’m really looking forward to but I promise I will resist the temptation to wear my Huge scarf or Air kiss and I most definitely won’t mention ” The Scottish Play.”
For information on available classes and forthcoming productions click:
WHAM BAM THANK YOU GLAM! Glam! The Performance of Style Tate Liverpool: Exhibition 8 February – 12 May 2013
Being a 70s kid my burgeoning and non hairy toes took their first dip into the world of culture right smack bang in the middle of what could arguably be termed the most flamboyant and colourful scene of the last century.GLAM. Whether born out of the Hippie movement ,Psychedelia, The Sexual Revolution or politically motivated, it had invited itself to the party and even if it’s name wasn’t on the list it was still coming in.
In the same vein the Tate Liverpool has thrown itself a party which in its own words attempts to ‘visually demonstrate the development of glam and it’s various manifestations in the UK and USA through cultural material from the period’
This was an exhibition I was really looking forward to and I have to admit I had certain expectations relating to my definition of Glam. A bit of Ziggy, Bolan, Ferry and anyone else on the bill at Top of the Pops during the early 70s. This was satisfied immediately upon entering the exhibit and viewing the Album cover mural displaying albums such as Diamond Dogs (Bowie), In the Court of the Krimson King (King Krimson), Stranded(Roxy Music), They only come out at night (Edgar Winters group) as well as many others.They were just the ones I recognised from my own collection. Apart from the few jackets on display alongside (in particular a leather Cherry & Ladybird Jacket from Alkasura, on the Kings Road,Chelsea.one of Marc Bolans favoured outlets at the time) there was a notable absence of Glam attire on display. I suspect this may well be felt by a lot of those who visit the exhibition only because I’m sure for a lot of us our experience of Glam were the clothes as well as the Music .I can still recall my then cultural mentor , my uncle Tom, a cool teenager with en vogue ginger shoulder length hair and an undying love for David Bowie tutoring me in the ways of musical righteousness. As our babysitter he introduced us to Space Oddity and not without egging me , my brother and my sisters to come up with a routine to perform alongside it.
But to refer to it as I did earlier, the exhibition demonstrated glam as a scene and there is no scene without it’s people. Bearing this in mind the Performance of Style exhibition demonstrated not just that but excelled in it using popular Cultural Icons as its introduction before it identified themes and factions within in it .Themes which unapologetically address androgyny both pretentiously and without pretense. Works by David Hockney, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, Allen Jones and Richard Hamilton exemplified this and a particular highlight was a painting by Franz Gertsch titled ‘At Luciano’s House’. I had to inspect it closely to believe it was a painting. Unfortunately due to not wanting to infringe on any copyright issues you will have to see the painting for yourself but by way of trying to make up for this I have devised a small collection from my own personal glam gallery and although I didn’t share the same flamboyant and slightly hedonistic message to the world I was a part of, I did do a fair bit of styling and profiling.
Whether you’re a music enthusiast or share an interest in examining the components that make up a popular cultural movement or like myself have part of your heart firmly stuck in the 70s theres every chance (like me again) you’ll leave the Tate Liverpool with a hankering for a 7 minute album track carrying a party Seven under your arm whistling the theme tune to ‘Man about the house.’
The exhibition continues until 12th May 2013.
For more info click http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-liverpool