Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Liverpool Mural Project Objectives.

Why use Murals as part of Liverpool’s culture celebrations?

Murals are used to educate and inspire as well as to give a sense of identity
and pride in a culture and community.

Murals are an excellent way to gauge the concerns and hopes of a community. They can serve a variety of functions not easily achieved through traditional methods.

Public art in general, murals in particular, are powerful forms of social communication. Firstly, they are accessible to everyone regardless of education, ethnicity or language. Muralists have the advantage in being able to reach out to a wider audience and are not limited to art galleries.

Murals are significant in that they bring art into the public sphere. Many large companies such as banks and insurance companies invest in large art collections, which they display in the public spaces of their buildings.

We wish to create a series of Murals in and around the City, for example, murals based on pictures and album covers of The Beatles. This could create a huge increase in tourism potential and the murals could be used to expand economic development, even in marginalized areas. We intend to use Public Art to regenerate and reinvigorate community participation in the celebration of Liverpool's culture, and encourage public ownership and pride in public art!

Why do we wish to use Irish artists as part of Liverpool’s culture celebrations?

There has for hundreds of years been an historical and cultural link between Liverpool and Ireland. In particular the link between the people of Liverpool and Belfast has been very strong indeed, with large communities settling in and contributing to Liverpool’s culture over the years.

The murals of Belfast are truly amazing and famous throughout the world, they continue to attract thousands of visitors each year. Bus and taxi tours are immensely popular with tourists to Northern Ireland. Tourists are drawn in great numbers to Northern Ireland just to see the fine artwork the muralists have done. The local people of Northern Ireland have great pride in the artwork in their communities and often stop to inform visitors of the meanings behind the murals.

One of the key reasons why we wish to utilise the talents of Irish artists, more particularly Northern Ireland artists is due to their vast knowledge, experience and skills they have developed over the last 30 years in this medium.

This is the reason why we have made contact in Ireland with some of the best muralists in the world. They have been very enthusiastic and appreciative of the project we are developing.

The artists we have met whilst developing this project are very keen to work and teach others how to do their own murals particularly the local Liverpool arts and community groups.

We feel this project will not only be a strong visual enhancement to the City of Liverpool, it will also help generate greater tourism and local economic development due to expected growth in tourism. The scope to generate tourist trails that will take in all of the murals will help in the regeneration of this great city.

This project will also have the opportunity for many future economic spin offs with regards to book publications, postcards, calendars etc, of the murals in and around the city.

We are keen to use artists from both communities in Northern Ireland to work on the same project along side Liverpool artist. This is the opportunity for local artists to learn from undoubtedly some of the worlds leading muralists. If this were to happen it would not only be a major high profile cultural and historical event, it would a first for Liverpool if not the world.

This would further enhance Liverpool’s standing worldwide and show that our City truly embraces and is at the forefront of a wide multi-cultural society.

Using this opportunity would be a testament to Liverpool’s support for the on-going Irish peace process, and cross community relations both in Northern Ireland and Liverpool. It would be an example of the status of Liverpool that these artists would be willing to become involved in such an historic project.

The sustainable interest this project would generate could lead to other murals showing Liverpool’s history, Liverpool’s famous citizens, Liverpool’s sporting heroes and Liverpool’s many multicultural communities.

The interest, support and enthusiasm we’ve received while developing this idea from Ireland and particularly from people in Liverpool has confirmed our belief that this project could play a huge part in Liverpool’s 2008 culture celebrations.

Supporters of The Liverpool Mural Project:

Robert Ballagh is one of Ireland’s most respected artists and has shown a particular interest in our project.
He has produced many respected works of art. He represented Ireland at the 1969 Paris Biennale. Among the theatre sets he has designed are sets for Riverdance, Samuel Beckett's Endgame (1991) and Oscar Wilde's Salomé (1998). He has also designed over 70 Irish postage stamps and the last series of Irish banknotes, "Series C", before the introduction of the euro. He is a member of Aosdána, which is an affiliation of creative artists in Ireland.

Bill Rolston is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Ulster and has published a wide range of books. The Writing on the Wall: (political murals in Northern Ireland) and Frederick Douglass: a black abolitionist in Ireland.
He is a senior lecturer at the University of Ulster and has confirmed that he is very keen to help with this project and create further links between Belfast and Liverpool. Bill has indicated to us that he would be willing to give a lecture on murals in the community

We have been in contact with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and they are more than happy to support this project. We have also been in contact with The Edward de Bono Foundation in Northern Ireland, which is one of the leading cross community organisations and active in many cross community initiatives. They have confirmed their support in this project.

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