Friday, November 14, 2008

Another photo from the official launch of the Liverpool Irish mural at The Picket music venue in Liverpool city centre. Taken on Friday 31st October showing Liverpool's Lord Mayor, Cllr Steve Rotheram with his wife Sandra and the artists.

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.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

As an OAP, Irish immigrant, I decided to help paint the Liverpool Irish Mural in early September 2008. It was not through boredom or want of something to do, I just thought it was a worthwhile venture for the Capital of Culture Year. Suitably scuffily dressed and armed with my trusty paintbrush, I arrived at the Picket Club to spend a week painting a blank wall. Well, besides the ‘craic’ and humorous daily banter, the company gradually blended together to make a great team. Ordinary looking Irishmen with extraordinary talent. Men who could copy coloured pictures at the speed of light. They explained, that their speed evolved as a necessity to complete their work before being discovered.

Regular transfusions of tea and copius amounts of sandwiches were the fuel of this motley crew. Together with the passing compliments of Scousers of all creeds and colours, some of whom stopped, just to add a dash of paint as a tangible symbol of support. As the days rolled on I began to realise that we were not just painting walls, but ‘building bridges’. No thought was given to the race, religion or political opinions of these gallant folk. I thoroughly enjoyed the week and made a few friends and contacts who have already been in touch, especially the Belfast artists who were the actual creators of this worthy mural. I hope it will survive for many years to come,
All the best Joe Kelsall.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Liverpool's Lord Mayor officially launches new mural

Hundreds of people joined Liverpool's Lord Mayor to celebrate the launch of the Liverpool Irish mural at The Picket, Jordan Street, on Friday 31st October.