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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 27 March 2006

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A dedicated children’s gallery at the Walker Art Gallery opens 31 March 2006.

THE Walker Art Gallery, in Liverpool, launched a new gallery dedicated to its younger visitors. Big Art for Little Artists is a magical experience for your own little artists where they can discover art through looking, touching, listening and doing and provides a launch pad for discovering the rest of the gallery’s world-famous collections.

The gallery appeals to children of all ages but has been specifically designed for those children up to age eight. This safe, friendly and accessible gallery features a whole host of different activities to keep mini-visitors occupied.

Featuring a variety of objects from the Walker’s own collection, including paintings, sculptures, toys, ceramics and costume, Big Art will encourage learning through play and consists of a series of zones...

The Doing Zone is a busy space with lots of things to see and do. Focusing on themes such as nature, the area provides the opportunity to look, touch, draw and make. It features a special mini gallery, the Little Art Gallery, for children to display the results of their creativity. This area also includes a Mood Room, a quieter, more relaxing space featuring changing lights and nature sounds.

The Dressing Up Zone is themed around historic and contemporary clothes and accessories and will include a selection of fancy dress costumes themed around the characters from some of the Walker’s most famous paintings, such as Henry VIII. The centrepiece to this zone is an enormous, elaborate throne with room enough for a child and an adult to sit on to act the part. Behind some special doors children can discover dolls from the Walker’s collection.

The Story Zone features a mini-amphitheatre seating up to 32 people, a puppet theatre and displays including paintings, toy trains, Dinky Toys and dolls house furniture. There is a regular programme of storytelling, events and activities. Here, children are treated to stories told by real actors in regular film presentations, bringing to life objects from the Walker’s collections. The 4 minute stories feature the Walker’s famous painting And When Did you Last See your Father?, a Patrick Hughes painting and a work by LS Lowry. In a very special feature, famous children’s author Shirley Hughes has recorded some of her poems that children can listen to at an audio point.

A key element of the gallery is the Silly Sums display, a fun way of teaching children numbers 1 to 10 with items from the collection.

Ann Bukantas, Curator of Fine Art says:- "Visitors to the Walker Art Gallery will be surprised by and delighted with the new Big Art children's gallery. We welcome thousands of children through our doors every year, but this is the first time we have created a space that is dedicated towards their enjoyment of the gallery and its collections. It will show what great fun it can be to look at and make art. We are looking forward to seeing even more children at the Walker, whether with families or schools and hopefully many of them will be coming here for the first time. And if some of those children go on to become regular visitors - and even grow up to be artists! - then it will have been truly worthwhile."

The approach to interpretation in the gallery has been developed with the Little Artists, a couple of mischievous characters created by young British artists John Cake and Darren Neave. The Little Artists help visitors with activities, create trails around the gallery as well as providing some exclusive merchandise.

The Little Artists are excited about the project:- "We value creativity, inspiration and fun. Our cartoon characters are being used to guide children round the gallery. We hope they will be an inspiration, a spark that will enthuse them to create. For us, our involvement in 'Big Art' is also an artwork in its own right, and part of our investigation into the language of branding and cultural values and how people respond to them”.

The gallery features newly commissioned work from craft makers Fiona Clark, who has created the large throne, and Wirral-based Amanda Notarianni and Charlie Macpherson, who have produced a glass artwork inspired by rainbow colours.

Address:- Walker Art Gallery William Brown Street, Liverpool
Admission:- FREE
Opening hours:- 10am to 5pm daily
Information Line:- 0151 478 4199

Unison members set to lobby Phil Woolas office...

UNISON members are set to lobby the Oldham constituency office of Phil Woolas, Local Government Minister, as part of the largest industrial action seen in this country. Rod Lawson, a Unison member in CAFCASS and a constituent of Woolas, said:- "I have written to Phil Woolas on five occasions now making my feelings known on the injustice the government are showing towards us on our pensions. He (Woolas) has not had the decency to reply and this dismissiveness saddens me as a life long Labour Party supporter. At the last General Election we were urged that if one in ten Labour voters didn't vote then the Tories would be in. Woolas needs to be reminded that many of his constituents are Unison members and will not forgot the governments betrayal of committed public sector workers at the ballot box"

Mr Lawson added:- "Not so long ago Phil Woolas was also proposing free bus passes for all over the age of sixty. No doubt then that all public sector workers who will be forced to work until the age of 65 will feel gladdened by this. Perhaps we'll take to catching the bus for all our public and statutory duties - ludicrous."


IT BRINGS a whole new meaning to airing your dirty laundry…  People in Liverpool are a little lacks when it comes to their pants research revealed this week.  According to a survey by sensitive skin washing detergent company Surcare, 40% of Liverpudlians own pants which are 5 or more years old and 10% admit to wearing their pants inside out to get an extra day's wear.

But it’s not just people in Liverpool that need to pull up their pant habits. More than 1 in 10 filthy Brits have confessed to wearing the same pair of pants for more than 3 days according to the survey.  And a foul 4% of blokes reckon they have gone a WEEK without changing their undies.  An inventive 1 in 20 frequently wear their dirty underwear inside out to get an extra day of wear out of them. 

But to conquer any whiffs, 37% of canny girls put ‘smelly’ things in their knicker drawer to keep their lingerie smelling sweet.  And 19% of crafty fellas even spray their underwear with their favourite aftershave to mask any odours according to the poll of 3000 Brits.

An optimistic 3% of Brits carry a spare pair of pants with them in case they get lucky on a night out but a more practical 18% claim they have a spare pair in the event of an ‘emergency’.  1 in 20 of us have left our underwear in an incriminating place with the sofa and the in-laws bed among the top places.  Another common pant faux pas is when a dirty pair of knickers falls out the leg of a pair of trousers or jeans.

David Briscoe, spokesperson for Surcare, said:- "These results are shocking, wearing dirty underwear simply isn’t healthy and, importantly, likely to cause irritation. With the annual spring clean upon us; let’s hope the nation doesn’t forget to spruce up its underwear draw. After all, it seems that whilst today we spend a lot of money on designer clothes, we sometimes seem to seriously neglect our smalls.”

When it comes to washing our smalls 40% would let their other half do it but a prudish 26% said they wouldn’t let anybody else see their dirty laundry and would insist on doing it themselves.  And the problems don’t end there – 1 in 10 of us cringe at the thought of neighbours seeing our underwear drying on the washing line.  A more liberal 47% said they couldn’t care less who sees their pants, but 21% said it can be a little embarrassing especially if it’s not your best underwear blowing on the washing line.

1 in 5 blokes gets their wives or girlfriends to buy their underwear, but 6% leave the job to good old Mum.  A racy 48% of Brits have ventured on a night out wearing no underwear and 13% own a lucky pair of pants.  Almost three quarters of girls said they would make sure they wore respectable underwear if they went on a shopping trip with mates – just in case someone spotted their underwear whilst in a changing room - but only 28% of blokes would bother.

Those in the East Midlands are the worst pant ‘offenders’, with 4% claiming to have worn the same pair of pants for 7 days or more. Whilst, only 1/2% of people in the South East would consider going 7 days or more without a change.

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