Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Worlds best known Photographer and Historian of Murals sends his message of encouragment.

James Prigoff is an author, photographer and lecturer on the subject of worldwide urban murals. He is one of the most important photographers of aerosol art in the world. Jim has been documenting Street Art around the world for over thirty years. He has amassed one of the most comprehensive slide archives of mural photographs that exists in the world.

James kindly contacted The Liverpool Mural Project to say these kind and encouraging words about our plans for Liverpool in 2008.

Recently I received word of the proposed Beatles' mural project involving artists from Belfast and Liverpool. Danny Devenny is well known to me as an outstanding mural artist whose visual concepts and representations are always exciting to see. The project sounded quite significant on many levels. To my considerable surprise word came today that the project was not being funded as not being "edgy" enough. The mural message and images would be as cutting edge as the artists' and city determined they should be. But that is just the beginning. The project is certain to draw attention on a very extended basis creating an opening for the city to deal with historical imagery that will artistically enhance the city, but more importantly play a role in political education.

Philadelphia, PA, USA started its mural program with very modest local landscape imagery, some tributes to local "heroes" and an effort to paint over graffiti. With a larger vision, under the direction of Jane Golden, today Philadelphia has become the mural capital of the world with over 2700 murals covering a very broad spectrum of ideas, visions and people. It seems to me that Liverpool has a unique opportunity to start an exciting project with imagery that would be recognized anywhere on the planet.

Respectfully, James Prigoff

Author of: Twentieth Century Street Art Historian
Co-Author: Walls of Heritage - Walls of Pride - History of African American Murals
Spraycan Art - (over 200,000 copies sold to date)
Painting the Towns - Murals of California

Echo letters, Tuesday 23rd Oct: Murals a great idea

I TOTALLY agree with Jimmy Whitby (ECHO Letters, Oct 12) that murals would be a great idea for 2008 and that this is true working class art. Yes, there might be lots of expensive events planned for 2008 by the Culture Company, but not everyone in Liverpool can afford to see shows at the Philharmonic or the Empire.
Getting artists to paint large Belfast-style murals all over Liverpool would not only brighten up the place but give the city an identity and also give the people of Liverpool a chance to get involved with a worthwhile project or at least get to see meaningful art on their streets.
If the Irish artists from both the Catholic and Protestant communities working together want to paint the Beatles and they are going to involve Liverpool people, then that's great.
The City of Liverpool will benefit, can only benefit from this, for not only in 2008 but for many years to come.
Nigel Corlett, L19

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Principal Lecturer at Liverpool John Moore's University, Dr Stuart Borthwick supports Project

Dr Stuart Borthwick, Principal Lecturer, School of Media, Critical and Creative Arts at Liverpool John Moores University clearly understands The Mural Project. In a letter of support received this week Stuart explained why he felt the project should be a part of Liverpool's 2008 culture celebrations.

"The Liverpool Mural Project is important for many reasons.

Firstly, the mural artists Danny Devenny and Mark Ervine are gifted craftsmen. Whilst their previous work was forged in the cauldron of armed conflict, they are now spreading their wings and their skills are flourishing in peacetime. Secondly, for both muralists to decide to work in Liverpool means something significant to Liverpool’s Irish community, those in Liverpool who identify themselves as Unionists, and all points in-between. Thirdly, the project is democratic in nature. Both muralists have suggested that ordinary members of the public will be able to join them in painting murals. Finally, the Liverpool Mural Project is important because it has the potential to say something profound about Liverpool’s history and heritage, and as a result has caught the imagination of that mythical beast, the ordinary scouser."

"I look forward to walking through Liverpool in future years and spotting unique and mesmerising murals that capture the spirit of Liverpool, and which tell their own story. All power to the muralists!"

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Liverpool film company supports The Mural Project

Hurricane Films is a Liverpool based film production company established in March 2000. As well it's broadcast films the company has also worked on community based projects, most notably a 'community' feature film in 2006, Under the Mud. The Hurricane ethos is to make films the company is passionate about with people dedicated to getting the best up on the screen.

We're a small Liverpool-based production company, and we just wanted to say we fully support the call to commission your project - hopefully the powers that be will see sense and finally back it. All the best, Roy Boulter

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Writer and Arts critic voices his opinion on TLMP

Belfast writer Tom Paulin confirmed his strong support for the Liverpool Mural Project in an email today. Mr Paulin is a well respected literary critic and arts reviewer who is known as much for his appearances on the likes of The Late Show and the Newsnight Review as for his excellent literary talent.

Tom who was born in Leeds but moved to Belfast as a child with his parents fully understands the significance of the mural artists from two different communities in Northern Ireland working together. He had the following to say about The Liverpool Mural Project's plans for Liverpool's 2008 European Cultural Celebrations.

The two traditions - the Orange and the Green - have never come together in this way before. These mural painters are distinctive and gifted artists indeed. Your project has my full support.

'Keep on Keepin' on' says Glen Monaghan, Liverpool

Good luck in taking this project to the next level. I have read with dismay that

this project has been dismissed as"not edgy enough". Unfortunately "EDGY" seems to be the new buzz word amongst the befuddled group who have been given responsibility for OUR year of culture in 2008. If the coming together of people from both sides of the political divide, in what was previously a war zone, to help another community who already fight against non-culture stereotypes is not edgy, What is?? I hope you can manage to pull this off because I guarantee that any future tourists who visit this fine city, will have the Liverpool Murals very near the top of their "must see" list whenever they arrive. Keep on Keepin' on... Glen Monaghan, Liverpool

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Echo Letters, Friday 12th Oct: The Bigger Picture

LET’S hope when the proposed murals get done that the people of Liverpool who are lucky enough to learn from these Irish artists, go on to do more in their own communities. I'd love to see a big 'Justice for the Hillsborough 96' in Anfield, maybe if there's any paint left they could sort that out. I've e-mailed The Liverpool Mural Project and told them I'd love to be involved, The murals in Belfast represent the working class in Belfast from both communities. The murals they are hopefully going to produce here are going to involve the working class of Liverpool and inspire and brighten up all parts of Liverpool, not just the city centre.
Liverpool gets a chance to get a brilliant, historic project like this and all the associated media attention but risks losing it by not offering any funding. It is unbelievable. Jimmy Whitby, Old Swan

Belfast Screenwriter and Director supports TLMP

Pearse Elliott was born and raised in West Belfast, and his writing strongly reflects his community. He came to prominence in 1995 when he won the BBC Young Playwrights' Festival Award. In 2003 he completed Pulling Moves, a groundbreaking, ten-part comedy series, and the first of its kind to be set in Northern Ireland. Elliot has travelled extensively and lived for a number of years in the USA. His writing includes radio, television drama and Cinema, His screenwriting includes Man About Dog, Shrooms, and The Mighty Celt which he also directed and starring Gillian Anderson (X-Files) and Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting, The Full Monty)

"Murals are reflective of history and the people's narrative, this should be a no brainer, but somehow it isn't - why?"

Liverpool singer/songwriter backs The Mural Project

Imagine if Woody Guthrie joined The Jam. That is the sound of The Alun Parry Band. Referred to by the Liverpool Echo as "a Merseyside folk God", Alun Parry is one of Liverpool’s foremost acoustic based performers and songwriters. His packed gigs are described as the number one night out in Liverpool, and his album Corridors of Stone received widespread critical acclaim. BBC Radio’s Folkscene, Britain’s longest running folk music radio show, recently profiled Alun Parry’s work and music in a one hour special.

"I hope this project succeeds. it would be a great addition to 2008 that would add lots to Liverpool life. My view is that this would be a real favourite amongst Liverpool people. and if the Liverpool culture company aren't in favour, I'd take that as a compliment! Bestests, Al 8-)"

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Echo Letters, 5th Oct: More to city than Beatles

I MUST reply to the letter headed ‘Murals are a Fab idea’ (ECHO, Sept. 29).
I must point out to Mr Carr and the Liverpool Mural Project that Liverpool is 800 years old and the Beatles have influenced one area of popular culture across a relatively short period.
Could I suggest to the culture company and Mural Project that, if they want to decorate the city for 2008, they produce informal and educational murals not only of interest to tourists but local people and schoolchildren.
Before Liverpool is turned into some sort of Beatles Disneyland, I propose we remember its proud history in literature, sport, cinema, art, theatre, tele- vision, transport, the list is endless.
I also suggest we have a mural that acknowledges, accepts and apologises for the city’s involvement in the slave trade, while another celebrates the work of dockers and shipping merchants, whose endeavour and foresight built the foundations for the city to grow and thrive.
Mr A J Riley, Prescot

Friday, October 05, 2007

Minister for Culture looks forward to TLMP success

Dear Liverpool Mural Project

I was interested to read about your project and specifically the way it will celebrate Liverpool and bring communities together. Good public art transforms our environment, stimulates debate, challenges perceptions and has an impact on everyone who encounters it. I am supportive of all projects that work with communities to bring lasting benefits and I look forward to following the succesful development of the Liverpool Mural Project.

Margaret Hodge, Minister for Culture

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Echo Letters, 29th Sept: Murals are a Fab idea

AFTER the appointment of Phil Redmond to the Capital of Culture organisation, perhaps now, given his initial statement of intent, the city will see community level concepts such as the mural project given due attention. From what I gather, this project is an attempt to bring colourful and distinctive Beatles images to walls dotted around the city streets. There is perhaps no greater expression of Liverpool's cultural impact and proud history (to myself and thousands of others who packed out the bars despite the cancellation of the outdoor Mathew Street festival performances) than celebrating the "four lads who shook the world". If Redmond and the Culture Board are to appease a public weary of disappointment, misinformation and bureaucratic ineptitude, the murals seem ideal to win hearts and minds.
I am sure that the people of the city and its image need a real lift. Perhaps giving local initiatives such as the above the time, acknowledgement and support they need would be a real boost in the run-up to 2008. Cliff Carr, Netherton