The photo was taken by top Liverpool photographer Simon Rogers and shows three of the four Belfast artists involved, Danny Devenny, Marty Lyons and Mark Ervine along with Liverpool artist Freddy Rylands. The fourth Belfast artist Mickey Doherty who isn’t in the photo was apparently at the time being dragged round Liverpool’s new shopping centre by his missus.
The photo was taken ahead of a very successful launch which started with live Irish traditional music from Belfast’s Liam Smith. Picket boss Phil Hayes spoke of how proud he was to have such amazing artwork on the side of the building and spoke of the thousands of people who had been to view the mural since its completion in September. TLMP’s Peter Morrison gave a short talk on the idea behind the project and the contribution of all the people who helped to promote TLMP and in the design and funding of this latest mural. Peter paid special tribute to the many Liverpool volunteers who worked with the artists during the production of the mural.
There was also a great talk about the people in the painting from Michael Kelly author of ‘Liverpool’s Irish connection' and another excellent presentation on the history of Northern Ireland’s murals from Ulster University’s Professor Bill Rolston, who described the Picket painting as a mega-mural, and pointed out that it is bigger than any single mural in Northern Ireland. There was also a very enjoyable Q & A session with the artists, including Mickey and introduced by Liverpool University’s Professor Jonathan Harris, answering some great questions from the packed audience about their work back in Belfast and also about this historic cross community collaboration in the Capital of Culture.