This overview is just a snapshot of the wonderful art that Liverpool has to offer; I didn’t even manage to get round all of the art galleries with Sudley House and the University of Liverpool’s own Victoria Gallery among others that I missed. With the galleries consistently being updated and with such a wide range on offer, Liverpool is such a bright and exciting place for art lovers to come and visit that one day is simply not long enough!
The Walker Art Gallery
The Walker Art Gallery is an exquisite Victorian building which houses paintings and sculptures from the past 500 years, each century has its own style, character and smell (bit of a surprise to realize this). When visiting, a close inspection of the paintings is a must as you can see the cracks and ridges within them.
“The Struggle for Existence – Wolves” was a high point for me. This was a powerful painting, one which is definitely worth seeing in real life to truly appreciate its size and grandeur.
The Charles Trevor Prescot painting of Bold Street was another one that stood out for me due to the fact it is a famous Liverpool street and how drastically it has changed in the past 100 years – note the Bombed out church towards the back.
Recommended Time: 3+ Hours
The Open Eye Gallery
The current exhibition at the Open Eye Gallery is entirely photographic, based around post-Hiroshima Japan. There are photos on the first and second floor which are close up and personal images of the Japenese at the time. At first glance they may seem quite ordinary but they do give a thought provoking insight to how they dealt with their environment at the time. The Eikoh Hosoe image of the Man and Woman was very striking with the image standing out for me.
Recommended Time: Less than 1 hour
The current exhibition at The Bluecoat is regarding listening, with different sounds and experiences for the ears to enjoy. I was sursurprised how well Laurie Anderson’s 1978 “Handphone Table” worked, although the piece upstairs seems to be a little mismatched, I found it strange and it didn’t seem to get any sort of message across.
My personal highlight was the beautiful “Song” by Ragner Kjartansson (2011) which had a very eerie quality to it (get it- ear? I’ll move on.)
Recommended Time: 1-2 Hours
The Tate Liverpool has a range of sculptures, photographs and contemporary paintings; the bottom floor is designed like a skate park which is enjoyably unusual, however there are only a few pieces on the floor which I think are on the whole a little disappointing. The gallery much improves on the second floor where an array of paintings hang and allow viewers to see the backs of them, which is a fine touch. The other side of the floor has a collection of photos and sculptures; the ones to look out for are the “ZL636595c” by Stuart Brisley and the “Five-Man bicycle” by Simon Starling (you read that right!)
Oh and there is also a man’s leg sticking out the wall…
Recommended Time: 2-3 Hours
Overall, the galleries are definitely worth visiting! My guidelines state a recommended time but if possible spend longer as there are some truly insightful pieces of artwork and reading about them really enriches the experience. My favourite gallery would have to be the Walker Art Gallery just for it’s sheer size and variety so if you fancy a change from the norm and haven’t already checked it out I thoroughly recommend you to do so!