On the twelfth day of Christmas…my true love gave to me…12 works from my favourite local artists!
Forget the bath salts and handkerchiefs! This year, I’m wishing for beautiful and original art as a Christmas gift
Personal and original art is such a lovely thing and this year I’m looking at some of the great artists and artisans I know for some inspiring gifts for Christmas. Here’s my 12 days of Christmas wish list.
The very lovely Carol Ramsay from Arena Studios has set up her own design company. Selling beautiful hand-crafted artisan jewellery and accessories made using vintage maps, books and music scores, this is top of my list for something gorgeous.
Check out Jackdaw & Jay’s Facebook page for pictures and details of workshops to make your own Christmas decorations.
Original art fromThe Art Gallery, Bootle
Alice Rhenna’s community-based gallery has gone from strength to strength since it opened earlier this year and now you can buy many of the original works of art that have been exhibited there. Even better, if you can’t afford the prices straight off, Alice is offering a pay monthly scheme.
There’s also beautiful handmade gifts for saleand a selection of prints for sale that have recently come in by local and national artists. Works are for sale by Bernie Howden, Chrissie Howden, George Lund, Peter, Barker, Ross, Gibson, Phil Garrett.
Katie Greer is selling beautiful presents for Christmas. Her cinammon decorated candles are a must for a wonderful Christmassy smell. Yum!
Check out Katie’s shop at Etsy
Louise makes personalised cards for any occasion, with a donation from each going to a charity very close to my heart, SANDS – the Stillbirth and Neo-natal Death carity. She also makes lovely framed pictures with words of your choice.
Check out Louise’s Facebook page for more
Val at Cloverbrooks has some fab retro style crochet bags; ideal for storage, as well as pot holder, fruit bowls and cutesy owl doorstops.
Check out Cloverbrooks on Etsy
Whoever said ‘money can’t buy me love’ never met Jay from LoveartUk. Jay produces original, thought provoking art on the theme of love. Every piece is personal and unique and you can snap one up from as little as £30.
Contact Jay through the LoveartUK Facebook page
Michael is one of the most exciting photographers in Liverpool. His works are done in an über-realistic style and include the gorgeous ‘Queen’, which you could stare at for hours on end.
Check out Michael’s work at Michael Kirkham Potography’s Facebook page
Multi-disciplnary artist Jazamin’s stream-of-consciousness paintings are witty and vital. As well as producing some of the best art at this year’s Threshold Festival, Jazamin has had a solo exhibition “I’ve been using art as therapy all my life, honey” at the dot-art gallery off Castle Street and now you can buy her original work.
You can see more of Jazamin’s work and contact her through her website jazamin.co.uk
Nikki Simpkin’s Project Art has taken off into the stratosphere in 2013. So much so, I may be too late for Christmas. Oops! But there’s always my birthday next year. Nikki specialises in iconic art from famous films (I already have her ‘Audrey’) and she’ll also make a picture personal to you – your kids, your family, your crush, even!
If you order now Nikki will donate £10 from every sale to the Supporting Daniel charity.
Get in touch with Nikki on the Project Art Facebook page
Update! Nikki tells me it’s not too late and she’s taking orders up to 8th December
The Ragamuffins are the most exciting local band we’ve seen all year. Smashing it at Threshold 2013 and doing it big with wit, verve and a banging brass section, you can buy the band’s EP through their website theragamuffins.bandcamp.com
This year’s Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Gary Millar, may be just about the busiest man in the whole city, but he’s still found time to produce his second charity CD of the year with the proceeds set to go to some way to tackle homelessness. A great cause and the CD features some fantastic local talent – including Gary himself!
You can buy Voices of Angels at Parr Street Studios. Check out Gary’s Twitter for details @garymillar
Liverpool’s winter-wonderland-tastic Winter Arts Market returns to St George’s Hall for its fift year on 7th and 8th December. Featuring a bewildering array of local artists, the Winter Arts Market offers the chance to buy original and unusual art as well as workshops where you can make your very own work of art!
Not to be missed! Check out the Winter Arts Market Facebook page for details
The super-talented photographer Michael Kirkham has launched his first solo exhibition at Head Space at The Egg, Newington, L1.
I first met Michael when we were both working as part of The Threshold Festival 2013 press team. I was writing about the launch of the festival and the arts on show. Michael took the pictures and when I saw them, I was blown away. Already awesome at live band shots, Michael turned his lens on the art and really brought it all to life.
Having displayed his work at Bootle’s fab Art Gallery and being published in “Liverpool: City of Radicals” (Liverpool University Press), Michael’s new solo exhibit shows more of Michael the bloke.
Michael has a knack for über-realism and for picking interesting people for his subjects.
One of my personal favourites of the year “Queen” is there in all its glory. I could stand and stare at this L8 lady’s face forever.
As well as his beautifully observed faces and street scenes, Michael’s political activism is on show here, including the thought-provoking “Burn Baby Burn”, a protest picture taken on the day Margaret Thatcher died, which features one man triumphantly holding a carton of milk aloft.
Michael’s exhibition is on at Egg Space until 27 October and is well worth checking out.
You can also have a look at the extraordinarily wide variety of Michael’s work by checking out his website http://www.michaelkirkhamphotography.co.uk/
One of the abiding memories for me as a Cultural Champion was taking part in the Giant Spectacular in 2012. The best part of the whole event for me was taking an event out of the city centre and engaging with people further afield. And the people of North Liverpool did us proud!
Which is why I was so thrilled on Tuesday to see the launch of an exhibition called “Facing the City” at the newly opened Art Gallery on Stanley Road, Bootle. The brainchild of artist Alice Lenkiewicz, The Art Gallery is smack-bang in the middle of the community and Alice has some big plans for the little place.
Displaying work by local artists, Alice also plans to develop The Art Gallery so that artists can use the space for workshops and to preview their work.
She’s also keen to engage with the local community and the first event is an open day on Tuesday 23 July from 12-5pm, so do pop along to catch the Facing the City exhibition and talk to Alice herself. Having been there, I can tell you what a warm and welcoming place it is.
The work up on the walls is quite extraordinary. Facing the City is made up of work by local and national artists showing their interpretations of people they know from past and present. Covering a whole range of characters, there are some fascinating pieces from artists like Jazamin Sinclair and photographers John Lloyd-Quayle, Michael Kirkham, Graham Smillie and Karl Raven and a particularly great picture “Maisie” by Adam Akins that I could have stared at all day long.
Every picture and every face has its own story to tell, such as Wesley Storey’s image of the poet Henry Graham and Andy Green’s magnificent portrait of April Ashley (who you must Google!). It’s not often you get a chance to stare into the face of another person and study what makes it so beautiful and so unique and these artists and photographers have captured life in all its glory here.
Alice is also planning to run an arts and crafts month in The Art Gallery during September, so keep an eye out and get involved. I’m keen to go back in a few months to see how this little gem of a place has developed.
You can find The Art Gallery at 30 Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 2AA and on Facebook at The Art Gallery page
We’ll be featuring some of these artists in more detail, so watch this space!