CJ and I went to the Walker Art Gallery last Friday. I was involved professionally with the Gallery many many years ago but it had probably been about 20 years since my last visit. So far as I can recall much had changed but much remained the same. One of the big changes was the general ambience. It is much more relaxed now than it used to be. For one thing non-flash photography is allowed so long as it’s not of ‘special’ exhibitions (where, presumably, artist copyright still persists). For me that made it so much more interesting. Unlike, I understand, most people I do not easily carry images in my memory (I remember things by word) and therefore it is wonderful to have those images available.
Bottom Left: Walker Art Gallery Bottom Right: Originally the North British Hotel
Taken from the same spot (the Waterloo Monument or Wellington’s Column is adjacent too)
The eyes of the lion in this Stubbs (who is probably Liverpool’s most famous artist) didn’t just spook the horse. They spooked me too. I though the lion had an almost human look about it. What a terrible thing to say about such a noble beast.
This door opened onto another interesting subject for me because the exhibition behind it included at John Moores Exhibition Number 6 Peter Getting out of Nick’s Pool the painting by David Hockney. I had been at the opening of that exhibition in 1967 and the painting could not be described as one which I liked. However I discovered on Friday that there were only two others being exhibited that I liked better than it.
One painting which caught my eye was Two Windows/Two People by Maurice Cockrill. Although Professor Dr Maurice Cockrill is a renowned artist and poet with long connections to Liverpool his art is not generally to my taste at all but this example absolutely fascinated me.
Perhaps the most amazing of all the modern exhibits was this huge and detailed painting by Ben Johnson entitled Liverpool Cityscape which can be viewed interactively on the Walker Art Gallery’s website here.
CJ and I were only able to spend a relatively small part of the day at he gallery because there were many more things we wanted to see in the city of our birth: a city I have seen very little of over the last few years and with which I now have absolutely no connections save for the past.