Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Wales, Liverpool, Timperley...

The Three Compass s

Easter holidays kicked off with a visit to Wales to see my friend and colleague, Mark Fenn, which was brilliant. Spent the whole afternoon in a cafe in Newcastle Emlyn catching up with him and passing over my "Macbeth" brooch, which featured on the front of his book, "Narrative Jewelry" (sic).

Macbeth Brooch

We then drove up to Liverpool for a few days and, thankfully, the grey, dull weather broke and everything warmed up. Our journey took us through the lovely Usk, which is well worth a visit, especially for the remarkable church, the Priory Church of St. Mary, which has the oddest church organ I've ever seen:

Priory Church of St. Mary - Usk - 3

We drove north from there, making the mistake of stopping in Wrexham, only notable for the Brutalist court building:

Wrexham Court - 2

Liverpool was fantastic. The weather was warm - really warm, especially given that it was only late April - and everyone was relaxed and friendly. The whole place is a heap cleaner and brighter than when I last visited in the mid 1990s and Dingo and I had a great few days, kicking off with a trip on the Peter Blake "Dazzled" ferry, 'Snowflake'. I've wanted to ride on this since the project was completed and it was great to be able to finally get round to it. Of course, what I hadn't realised was that you don't get a very good view of the artwork when you are on board!

Mersey Ferry Trip - 1

Mersey Ferry Trip - 6

After that, we wandered up to the Metropolitan Cathedral, another amazing Brutalist building and one which I had wanted to see for years as it has doors and reliefs by William Mitchell, another favourite artist.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral - 2

The doors, representing the "Liver Birds" (not the dire Carla Lane-penned 70s sitcom), are wonderful:

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral - 5 Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral - 4

What is most remarkable about the building, however, is the use of light within the space:

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral - 15

No photograph can really do justice to the way that the light changes as you move around the building, an effect achieved by huge panels of glass and the superb lantern:

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral - 9

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral - 14

In the evening, we met up with Anthony Wong and went to the most remarkable vegetarian restaurant - The Egg. A proper, old-school vegetarian restaurant with ramshackle furniture, agit-prop posters on the walls and vast portions of wholefoods! Fantastic.

Vegetarian Lobscouse!

After that, it was off to Southport to see Anthony Gormley's "Another Place", which would have been great but the place was overrun with horrible dogs.

Another Place

We drove by by way of Timperley specifically to see the Frank Sidebottom statue!

Timperley - 1

Timperley - 2