“But I had a vision of unearthly beauty, and that is why I was able to live at all. Liverpool is the “pool of life.” – Carl Jung Memories, Dreams and Reflections
I made a trip to Liverpool last week primarily to see the Keith Haring exhibition at Tate Liverpool. However, I found the city to be astonishing and to be honest it kind of eclipsed the Haring exhibition, as good as that show was for me.
Anyway, the Haring exhibition is the first major UK exhibition of the artist and activist and displays 85 artworks in all their impactful glory.
I really love that New York art scene of the 1980s and was fortunate enough to visit in 1980 (I’ve often wondered if I inadvertently saw any original SAMO © graffiti!). Haring was an evangelist of his generation’s counterculture and was inspired by graffiti, pop art and the underground club culture. He also worked with like-minded artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat and designed a record cover for David Bowie so all the boxes are ticked for me!
His work responded to the urgent issues of the era including political dictatorship, racism, homophobia, drug addiction, AIDS awareness, capitalism and the environment. Sad to say that the beat goes on however, I found the work to be beautiful, moving, humorous, angry, playful and profound. It still resonates and has a bold energy. He was a beautiful soul . . .
I also visited the Walker Art Gallery: one of the finest art galleries in Europe, and home to renaissance masterpieces, Tudor portraits and one of the best collections of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite art in the country.
The gallery is absolutely brilliant and I was delighted to find PV Windows and Floorboards by Rose Wylie (I really love Wylie’s work) and The Liver Building, Liverpool by L S Lowry (a true original) amongst many more known and unknown finds.
The exhibition that absolutely captivated me was Double Fantasy John & Yoko at the Museum of Liverpool. I visited this 4 times in 4 days! I can’t add anything to the mountain of words written about these two fascinating people except to say that the effect it had on me was profound; I was intensely moved and uplifted. Here is a link to the exhibition. The first photograph above is my wish on the wish trees.
Finally, the architecture (especially the 2 Cathedrals), the energy, culture and history of the city are amazing. I hope this new stimulus creeps into my work in some way as I remember and then drop my bucket into the “pool of life”.
I think all creative disciplines; art, design, architecture, fashion, theatre, film, food and music, can sometimes fuse together and cross-pollinate to nourish and create new ideas or forms.
I have done design work in the arts for many years and enjoy the challenge of having to think in a different, yet still creative way. It makes me flexible, curious and often self-referential. One discipline can feed and provide ideas for the other e.g. the arrangement of text on a poster can be a useful reference for words on canvas.
I recently completed a piece of design for a local interior design company. They required a down loadable, 5-page floor planner for their clients. I hand drew the room features and digitized them; this created a softer image than hard architectural lines and the rest I made with design software. Tools cross-pollinating!
They were pleased with the results and I really loved doing this piece of work.
Now it’s back to working with found objects, paper and ink. More on that later . . .
On that first day, the endless possibilities, the journey just begun. Now, each day is a new day, streaked with pink and blue and filled with promise - I access and bow to the child within. Bliss Baby is a visual reminder to treat each day as a gift – golden, golden indeed!
noun [ mass noun ]
perfect happiness; great joy: she gave a sigh of bliss.
a state of spiritual blessedness, typically that reached after death. the bliss of heaven.
it was sheer bliss to be there: joy, pleasure, delight, happiness, gladness, ecstasy, elation, rapture, euphoria, heaven, paradise, seventh heaven, cloud nine, Eden, Utopia, Arcadia; halcyon days; informal the top of the world. ANTONYMS misery.