Saturday, September 29, 2007

From Abbey Road to the Falls Road with the LMP

The weekend visit to Belfast by The Liverpool Mural Project delegation was a resounding success indeed. The trip to Belfast by TLMP started with an amazing piece of news in a phone call on the way to John Lennon Airport, involving a major Liverpool housing association and the real promise of working together in 2008. After arriving at Belfast International airport on Friday lunchtime and instead of the original plan to all go and have a big real 'Ulster fry' breakfast, the LMP delegation went straight to work and met up with Belfast community development worker Sean Brennan and were taken straight to the Falls Road for a photo shoot for The Irish News. The TLMP co-founders Greg Brennan and Peter Morrison along with Belfast mural artists Danny Devenny and Mark Ervine were asked to recreate the famous Beatles Abbey Road picture on a busy crossing at the heart of the Falls Road.

The Irish News photographer stopped bus, taxi and car drivers along the famous busy road in order to get his front page photo under the heading, “From Abbey Road to the Falls Road, muralists come together.” A throng of tourists gathered bemused at the sudden activity, taking place not far from the famous International Wall, which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to the city.

The rest of the LMP's visit was spent in meetings and interviews whilst putting more touches to the forthcoming documentary film. Young filmmaker Tom Borso who is editing the LMP documentary had a busy few days setting up and filming interviews with the likes of Professor Bill Rolston, Danny and Mark the Belfast artists. He also managed to interview Sean Brennan who is well respected in the world of cross community development and works for the De Bono Organisation in Northern Ireland.

So a very successful and enjoyable weekend for all involved in TLMP, and the delegation all got their Belfast 'Belly Buster' breakfast eventually.

Friday, September 28, 2007

TLMP Delegation jets off to more N.Ireland meetings

A delegation from TLMP is jetting off to Belfast this weekend on a whistle stop tour of the city to attend meetings with The Arts Council and various media groups, including interviews for several Newspapers, Radio and Community TV. Greg Brennan explained the hard work that goes into such an historic and exciting project,

"We're going to be busy getting to meet everyone who wants to meet us, it gives us the chance to further promote the project and to meet up again with the artists and keep everyone involved over there up to date with the developments in Liverpool. This trip isn't just about drinking"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Another letter of support in The Liverpool Echo

Scandalous! if the Liverpool Mural Project, the first collaboration anywhere between artists from both communities in N.Ireland working together and involving Liverpool community arts groups doesn't get funded now. If this opportunity gets missed and something similar ends up being done in another UK city, then the 'culture club' will of badly let the people of Liverpool down. J.Whitby, Old Swan

Liverpool City Councillor writes to Phil Redmond

Liverpool City Councillor, Louise Baldock, (Kensington and Fairfield) is really excited about the possibility of getting a mural done in the part of Liverpool she represents, so much so that she’s wrote to Phil Redmond at The Liverpool Culture Company saying how much she is impressed by The Liverpool Mural Project. Louise kindly sent us a copy of her letter and told us she will continue to promote the project for 2008, and that she has in her ward several community art groups who would jump at the chance to be involved with TLMP.

Dear Phil,

I am very impressed with The Liverpool Mural Project which is a unique project which is aiming to bring the skills and experience of mural artists from all communities of Belfast, working together and with community groups in Liverpool.

As you will know, their objective is to create distinctive non-political murals for our Capital of Culture year.

The project has been supported and welcomed by many members of the Liverpool, Irish and Northern Irish creative and artistic community; Ken Loach, John Fay, Professor Marianne Elliott - Director of Institute of Irish Studies, Ian Jackson - The Liverpool Art and Culture Blog, Robert Ballagh, Professor Phil Scraton, Jimmy McGovern, Danny Morrison, Terry George, Peter Sheridan, Phil Hayes of the Picket, Christy Moore and many more. It has also been the subject of many supportive letters in local newspapers.

I understand that the Culture Board have so far rejected the project for inclusion in the 08 programme on the grounds that it is "not edgy enough".

However given that you have said you will re-examine rejected suggestions in an effort for 08 to reach out to more ordinary local Liverpool people and given the big support this idea has, I hope you will reconsider.

Best wishes Louise Baldock, Labour Councillor for Kensington and Fairfield (and I would love to see a mural here!)

Louise obviously wants to involve the ordinary people she represents in their city’s celebrations and recognises the many benefits of The Liverpool Mural Project can provide both the city of Liverpool and the regeneration of Kensington, whose residents she describes as, 'the proudest people in Liverpool'. So thanks again Louise for your support, and next time your in B&Q get yourself a decent paint brush, and dig out an old pair of jeans!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Croxteth Councillor, Rose Bailey backs Mural Project

Another Liverpool City Councillor, Rose Bailey (Croxteth) backs The Liverpool Mural Project,

"I would like to add my support too. Fantastic street artwork to hide the many 'grot spots' in our communities across the city not just city centre has to be a plus for the residents. Luvly and keep up the pressure on the decision makers who to date have not supported groundbreaking projects. Good Luck!"

We really need to make this happen!, says Liverpool City Councillor, Louise Baldock

Liverpool City Councillor Louise Baldock, (Kensington and Fairfield) has welcomed the Liverpool Mural Project. Cllr Baldock contacted TLMP and told us that Labour members of the Culture Select Committee all support the project and are doing what they can to promote this exciting project. They will be raising this in council and writing to the great and the good urging them to embrace it. She went on to say that Phil Redmond's announcement that he wants to re-engage with rejected projects and with organisations that want to support 08 is the ideal opportunity to get TLMP on the agenda.

"There are lots of parts of the city that are run down and where we are making great efforts to regenerate. Kensington, which I represent, is a prime example. Kensington people are the proudest people in the whole of Liverpool. To think that a neglected wall or gable end could be used for a world-famous, eye-catching mural, bringing the artistic world to celebrate this area would be marvellous. But there could be murals all over the city, not just here. Liverpool communities could themselves spearhead community art in the way that the Tate and the Walker have done for more traditional and establishment artists. The Liverpool Mural Project is everything that the 08 programme ought to be about. It is the epitomy of Liverpool culture and I urge everyone in the city to get behind it. We really need to make this happen"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Legendary award winning British Film-maker Ken Loach supports The Liverpool Mural Project

Ken Loach is without doubt Britain’s foremost political filmmaker and is renowned for his reverent depictions of the politics of everyday life. Avoiding Hollywood's siren call, the British director has a reputation, as one of the film industry's more respected and idealistic figures. Loach has had a long and distinguished career directing films and documentaries, from Cathy Come Home and Kes in the sixties to Land and Freedom and My Name is Joe in recent years.

"I would like to show my support for your campaign to have your murals included in Liverpool’s Capital of Culture programme. It is a great sign of hope that two artists from such opposing backgrounds are working together which should be welcomed and endorsed by Liverpool, with its strong connections to Ireland. And the designs look brilliant!"
In December 2003, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Birmingham. Oxford University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree in June 2005. He is also an honorary fellow of St Peter's College. In May 2006, he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship at the BAFTA TV Awards. Also in May 2006, Loach won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his film The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
Ken Loach lives with his family in Bath, where he is a supporter of and shareholder in Bath City F.C.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Another letter of support in Friday's Liverpool Echo

I Think that the proposed Liverpool Mural Project is a great idea! That's probably the reason why the 'Culture Club' rejected it. The idea of painting 12 huge murals over plain city walls would give tourists another 12 'photo prints' throughout the city. I personally think the project was considered too 'low brow' for the 'Culture Club' but, for a simple pleb like me, it is just the type of project which will be enjoyed by many other Merseysiders. Joe Kelsall, L31

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oscar-winner Tim Robbins with TLMP Belfast artists

Oscar-winner Tim Robbins with Danny Devenny and Mark Ervine in Belfast being presented with a framed copy of the Bombing of Guernica mural. During filming in Belfast Tim Robbins read ‘The Guardian’ feature on The Liverpool Mural Project and afterwards asked to go on a tour of West Belfast murals during which he photographed the works of Danny and Mark.

Finbar Rock an Evertonian from Belfast supports The Mural Project
"Things looking good with a slimmed down committee and Phil Redmond on board, I look forward to visiting the murals on one of my trips to Goodison Park in 2008. Mc Faddy to start on Saturday"

Guardian Newspaper Reports on Culture Changes

After our recent report on the changing faces of the Culture Company, today’s Guardian ran with a report outlining the new changes that have occurred and an interview with well respected TV Producer, Phil Redmond. Mr Redmond has been chosen as the new deputy chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company board, which has been slimmed down from 25 members to only six. He will lead the artistic side of the cultural celebrations, which begins next year, and he will work with arts organisations and encourage community participation.

Mr Redmond went on to explain that he hoped to give the programme more of an 'edge' by examining the city's Irish heritage and providing a "cultural clearing project", where arts groups who made submissions for 2008 and felt they were ignored can resubmit their ideas. He also spoke of the open culture initiative, which will encourage people to engage in activities: "I want people to know they don't have to have culture done to them - they can take part."

Could it be that Mr Redmond had recently read Duncan Campbell’s article in The Guardian? Or could it be that he’s been keeping up to date with the Liverpool Mural Project on this website?

Surely now the Culture Company must see how valuable the Liverpool Mural Project can be to not only them but more importantly to the city of Liverpool in 2008. The very fact that we have Belfast artists from two communities willing to grasp hold of the current peace process in Northern Ireland by working together. This along with their desire to bring years of artistic talent and experience to the people of Liverpool in order to help produce excellent pieces of public art in and around the city, surely common sense must prevail?

To read the Guardian's article in full click on the following link:

Another desperate reshuffle at the Culture Company

The Liverpool Culture Company attempts a clean sweep of the ineptitude that has cursed the build up to the 2008 celebrations. After lots of public infighting local media has confirmed that TV Producer Phil Redmond will now spearhead the artistic side of the 12 month cultural period. The board running Liverpool’s showpiece capital of Culture year met on Tuesday and agreed most of its members would stand down. Bryan Gray, chairman of the Northwest Regional Development Agency, will chair the new board. It has been also reported that the members of the culture company have not ruled out reallocating money or finding cash to fund changes in the programme.
Mr Gray said: “There will be tight control of the budget, but if there are good ideas we'll look at them as well.”
We at the Liverpool Mural Project would welcome a positive response from the new board running the Culture Company towards our plans for Liverpool in 2008. Like Jimmy McGovern said about our project in The Guardian recently, "God knows the Culture Company needs a winner or two right now."
To read the complete article from The Liverpool Echo website, click on the link below:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Award winning author supports The Mural Project

Timothy O’Grady is the author of two works of non-fiction,

Curious Journey: An Oral History of Ireland’s Unfinished Revolution (1982, with Kenneth Griffith) and On Golf (2003), and three novels, Motherland (l989), I Could Read the Sky (l997, with photographs by Steve Pyke) and Light (2004). Editions of his books have appeared in Germany, Holland and France, as well as the English-speaking world. Further editions are planned in Japan, Korea, Spain and Poland. Motherland won the David Higham Award for the best first novel of the year in Britain and I Could Read the Sky won the Encore Award for the best second novel.

"The first time I was in Belfast I was picked up at the rail station, driven past the town hall and the Linenhall Library and various other features of the centre of the city, and when we got to the bottom of the Falls Road my guide said, And this is where the assault on the senses begins. It was the year after the hunger strikes. Surveillance masts and towers rose into the gray sky. Troops with guns accompanied policemen pretending they were out for a stroll. Saracens charged up the road. It seemed a kind of dream. But flaming into colour and making something glorious out of this battleground were the murals - pictures of Nelson Mandela, an American Indian, Bobby Sands, revolutionary women from all over the world. They lifted the whole scene into something that transcended bitterness and reached towards the international and the inspirational. This was urban art made not out of a town hall project but from an energy that came from the streets and arrived at an individual muralist. The Shankill too had its murals, some celebratory, some defiant, some macabre. War too was waged with paint."

Timothy O'Grady was born in the USA and has lived in Ireland and Spain, he currently lives in London.

"That two Belfast muralists, one a republican and the other a loyalist, now propose to work together is one of the most fascinating details of the slow movement into peace, conciliation and progress. I think it’s a wonderful thing to support."

Photo credit Renate Lardner

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Legendary Irish folk singer songwriter Christy Moore adds his support for Liverpool Mural Project

One of Ireland's most outstanding singer songwriters, the legendary Christy Moore contacted TLMP to add his support. As vocalist and chief songwriter of Planxty and folk supergroup Moving Hearts, Christy has written and gathered a vast repertoire of songs and delivered them appropriately into the new millennium.

As a solo singer-songwriter, he has continued to add elements of rock and popular music to his well-crafted, tradition-based tunes, and has been a major inspiration to such modern Irish artists as U2, Sinead O'Connor, Damien Dempsey and The Pogues.

“I wish to add my support. I will be playing at the Liverpool Philharmonic as part of Liverpool being European City of Culture next year and I would love to visit Danny and Mark's murals should they be given the go ahead .....Ride On....
Christy Moore, Ireland”

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Support Comes Thick And Fast For Mural Project

The depth of support for the Liverpool Mural Project increases from all quarters. The support ranges from the local and international media, from playwrights to novelists, film producers and directors to musicians and business entrepreneurs and by no means last politician's. The feeling of goodwill and support towards our project continues to steadily increase with every passing day.

The Liverpool Echo has recently published a further letter of support in its daily letters page from a local resident. To read this excellent letter in full from one of the Echo's many readers please click on the link below:-

Cultural Shame

Liverpool's top music venue backs The Mural Project

Philip Hayes founded the music venue The Picket in the 1980's. The Picket established itself as one of the best places for emerging talent in the city featuring early performances by Cast, The La's, The Farm, Happy Mondays, & Space. Many famous musicians donated equipment to support the Picket including Yoko Ono, Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, Oasis, Travis and Joe Strummer of the Clash & Pete Townshend of The Who. The Venue closed at its premises in Liverpool’s Hardman Street in 2004.
After a public campaign to rescue the venue -see -it re-opened in the Independent cultural sector of Liverpool in Jordan Street. The opening event saw the legendary Liverpool Art School band Deaf School reform and appear to a sell out audience on 27th May 2006.
Since opening the Venue has presented a diverse programme including Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint, John Peel Memorial Concert, Carnival Samba performances, Dry Bar gigs for Liverpool's young musicians and bands, and Dance music nights from Circus and Chibuku.

"Liverpool and Belfast share so many similar experiences and have so many connections. It would be great to see a series of murals in Liverpool painted by Danny Devenny and Mark Ervine, it would represent a lasting legacy of both the Irish peace process, and the deep bond between the two cities. I think there'd be a real positive response from people in Liverpool to see them going up on walls across the city."

For further information and details of forthcoming events at

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

More support for Liverpool Mural Project from one of Ireland’s major contemporary playwrights

Peter Sheridan is one of Ireland's major contemporary playwrights, as well as a screenwriter, actor, and film director. His short film The Breakfast won several European Awards and his first feature film script Borstal Boy was released in 2000. He received the Rooney Prize for Literature in 1977 and was Writer-in-Residence at The Abbey Theatre in 1980. Forty Four, Peter’s memoir about his Dublin childhood became a best seller.

“What a brilliant proposal! I totally support you and wish you the best of luck!”

Together with his brother, Oscar-winning filmmaker Jim Sheridan, Peter Sheridan helped found the Project Arts Centre, Dublin's pre-eminent avant-garde theatre. Peter Sheridan's plays have also been performed at other leading theatres, including London's Royal Court Theatre and Dublin's Abbey Theatre.