Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool...
interesting, free, special exhibitions are currently on offer at the
Walker Art Gallery, in William Brown Street, Liverpool. The 50 plus
prints in the Toulouse- Lautrec exhibition capture the popular
imagination. The subjects are mostly images of working ladies, known
to the painter in Paris, including English dancer, Jane Avril and
actress, Sarah Bernhardt, portrayed in scenes from daily life. Many
of his works are well known and are warm, even witty and easily
enjoyed. This exhibition remains open until 8 August 2010.
The second exhibition that we visited was more unusual, entitled,
‘The Rise of Women Artists’, it celebrates the work of
females who have produced outstanding work in a very male dominated
world. From fine needlework; some by children as young as 10 years
old, to delicate pottery painting, through vases and other
artefacts, to powerful paintings, both classical and modern; it is
astounding to realize how much women were contributing to the arts,
often with little recognition. Female artists who did ‘make
it’ were often from artistic families who encouraged and
enabled them to succeed. But, whereas the names of male artists can
be reeled out by many of us, by the dozen, it is much harder to
represent the ladies. This exhibition is a valuable contribution to
addressing this issue. It remains until 1 August 2010 and is well
worth a visit in its own right.
A further exhibition
is listed which we have not yet seen. Open until 30 September,
“Dare to Wear: glass dresses and barbed wire corsets by
contemporary artist, Diana Dias-Leao”: is a challenging
subject by all accounts!
Whilst we were visiting, various musicians and dancers and other
artists were giving performances throughout the gallery, which added
atmosphere and enjoyment. At the time of our visit was an intriguing
piece, ‘Dances with Statues’, in which two university
lecturers, Gillian Yates and Sarah Spies and two local fine arts
students sought to breathe new life into stone cold statues. The
performances were site specific; and through the interweave of
music, via the hauntingly beautiful tones of Gillian Yates, special
poetry, interesting use of fabrics, and skilful drama and dance, the
group engaged with different statues around the gallery, provided a
unique narrative about the stories of each one in turn. It was a
truly original and thought provoking enterprise; all the more so as
an added bonus to our visit.