FERRY ’ CROSS THE MERSEY, 2006 , oil on Linen, 140 x 100 cm2006
Liverpool - designated the European Capital of Culture for 2008 - is a city I much admire for its architecture, history and culture, and I have visited it a number of times during my life starting in the late 1950s when I was an art student. I went to see the John Moores Liverpool exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, to watch Liverpool play at Anfield, to research the Beatles Museum and to see the 1984 International Garden Festival. On my last visit in 1984 I made the tourist trip on the ferry across the Mersey, a subject made famous in December 1964 by the pop music hit by Gerry and the Pacemakers. (The group also made a film the following year in which Gerry crosses the Mersey, sings his song and then rides a scooter to the art college where he is an art student.) My 2006 painting of the subject was prompted by my memories of the 1984 Mersey crossing and intended as a homage to the city. I was also conscious of L.S. Lowry’s painting of the River and the Liver Building made in 1962 (it later sold for one million pounds).
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