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Liverpool's Very Public With Its Art

'And These Birds Can Sing' installation in St Nicholas Gardens - Photo by Amy Heycock.

SOME Liverpool locations are getting new artistic additions thanks to an inspiring cultural campaign. Very Public Art will see a series of brand new art commissions land across the city which will showcase the local creative community and give the creators the chance to tell stories through their work. Each individual project will pop up over the next couple of months starting with And These Birds Can Sing located in the gardens of St Nicholas Parish Church. This magical sound, art and nature trail of bird houses is a celebration of women's voices and encourages visitors to reflect, remember and be inspired. Created by The Birdcage Stage CIC, each brightly coloured birdbox is constructed from wood salvaged from Strawberry Fields and has a unique theme inspired by nature and wildlife. The beautiful soundtrack has been supplied by We Want Women, Hope Street Harmonies and Singing Mamas Choir. 'And These Birds Can Sing' will be in place until Sunday, 15 August 2021. There will be a further series of individual artworks arriving in the City throughout until September 2021. Statues Redressed, the Sky Arts initiative announced earlier this month; also forms part of the Very Public Art campaign. This element of the project sees leading artists give statues across the City a temporary makeover as part of a conversation on the role and symbolism of the City's statues. Sky Arts is working in partnership with Culture Liverpool and will be producing a documentary on the work which is set to be shown on the channel in October 2021.

Liverpool's Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle, said:- "The last 18 months have changed the way we think about the places in which we live. The Pandemic and the lockdowns we have all experienced have given us a different lens through which to look at our homes, our streets, our parks and the City as a whole. For some people, they may never have felt more connected to the place they live as they do now. For others, they may be a bit bored and uninspired about seeing the same old landmarks. Very Public Art is all about bringing a new energy to the familiar, and giving everyone a reason to get out and explore the City's streets again."

Some of the statues 'redressed' to date include:-

Designer Daniel Lismore has given the statue of Victorian statesman Benjamin Disraeli a whole new look with a Pride themed Empress of India dress.

Artist Bob and Roberta Smith has placed a:- 'We Will Get Through This With Art' banner underneath Jacob Epstein's famous Liverpool Resurgent sculpture (at the former Lewis's building) reinforcing the statue's original post-war message of hope and giving it new meaning following the impact of the Pandemic.

In Sefton Park, designer Taya Hughes has adorned the Captain Cook statue with Elizabethan style ruffs made from traditional fabrics associated with the indigenous populations of Africa, New Zealand and Australia, speaking to Taya's personal experience of growing up in Zimbabwe as well as a wider critique of colonial rule.

Director of The Birdcage Stage CIC, Katy Anne Bellis, said:- "It's been an amazing experience curating And These Birds Can Sing for the gardens of St. Nicholas's Church, all under the watchful eyes of the Liver Birds! It's been a difficult couple of years for the arts and especially for choirs and the music industry, as many choirs have been unable to sing together in groups due to restrictions. Creating this exhibition has been moving, and joyful in equal measure as female singers from all over the city have submitted or recorded their:- voices, poems, stories and songs to be included within the beautiful setting of the birdboxes, finding new ways to bring our voices together and share them with audiences. Singing together in groups has always been such a joy and it feels quite poignant to hear all of these voices coming together from the tiny houses, like a reflection on the last year. I hope that people will enjoy the peaceful tranquillity of the birdsong and leave feeling their spirits lifted by some of the incredibly talented birds in our City!"

Details of all the Very Public Art installations; which are all free and in the open air; will be announced over the coming weeks. For the latest information visit the official website and follow the hashtags:- #VeryPublicArt #StatuesRedressed. For more information about Statues Redressed visit:- All the works have been commissioned by Liverpool City Council's Culture Liverpool team, supported by Arts Council England.

Success for North West Cancer Research's Cycle of Hope

Dan Whalen, Megan Whalen, Hannah Branwood and Mike Whalen Birkdale residents

MORE than 138 people took part in North West Cancer Research's Cycle of Hope, on 11 July 2021, raising a total of ₤40,000 for vital cancer research in the Region. The fundraising event saw cyclists complete either a 60km or 60mile loop of Merseyside and Lancashire, starting and finishing at Southport Rugby Club. Together they cycled a combined 6,300 miles. Both routes rewarded the cyclists with some of the North West's finest views, as they left Southport southeast and then north, completing a loop of the Region's picturesque countryside.

Alastair Richards, CEO of North West Cancer Research said:- "It has been a difficult 18 months for the Charity, as fundraising opportunities have been very limited. Covid19 has led to delays in people getting diagnosed and treated and so there has never been a more important time for research. I'm delighted that Cycle of Hope was a great success. It was a pleasure to offer an opportunity for people from around the North West to come together, have fun and raise money for a great cause. The fact we were able to raise over ₤40,000 says so much about the fantastic local community. From everyone at North West Cancer Research, we want to say a massive thank you to everyone that took part, sponsored, donated or came to support the event!"

The event was supported by headline sponsors Rutherford Direct, with additional sponsorship from Southport Solicitors, Brown Turner Ross. James Moran, of Rutherford Direct, said:- "After such a tough year, it was a great opportunity to see the community come together for something positive. Well done to all the competitors for making it around the course! Thank you to North West Cancer Research for inviting us back to sponsor the event again this year. We are proud to share the vision of providing wider access to high quality cancer care for all and we look forward to supporting the event again next year."

Sam Bushell, Managing Director of Brown Turner Ross, said:- "We were delighted to be involved in Cycle of Hope for the 1st time. It was a great day enjoyed by so many, and lots of money was raised for a great cause. A big well done to everyone involved, especially our own eight cyclists who amazingly raised over ₤2,000. I am so proud of all they achieved."

Entries for next year's event on 26 June 2022, are now open... For more information visit:- NWCR.Org. To get more information, you can also contact Cara on:- 01517092919 or send an email to:- Cara@NWCR.Org.


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