This weekend marks the final chapter in the Liverpool exhibitions marking the 200th anniversary of Waterloo- the epic battle that changed Europe.
To remember the people involved, Liverpool museums since 18th June have displayed a unique, historic and thought provoking assembly of objects taken from the battlefield itself.
Take a trip to the Victoria Gallery and Museum off Brownlow Hill this Saturday and find out why these dentures are called Waterloo Teeth and see relics from the battlefield, including the legendary 105th French eagle standard captured during the battle.
Earlier this year, I expressed interest in how Liverpool would commemorate the 200th anniversary…… and how I have been surprised by the wealth of free exhibitions on offer around this subject.
There have been exhibitions and display activities for all the family throughout the year. Families enjoyed role play sessions dressing up as historical characters around the displays and then there was the ‘Waterloo Lives’ computer game which enthralled children.
‘The Story Behind the Painting’ at the Williamson Art Gallery gave an exhibition inspired by the Gallery’s monumental painting of a battle scene, brought to life with some real life Waterloo artefacts glimpsed in the art work.
‘Liverpool and the French Connection’ at the Museum of Liverpool displayed rare objects including an internationally important collection of miniature ship models made by captured French prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars.
At the Victoria Gallery, Paul O’Keeffe author of Waterloo: The Aftermath, lead a tour of the relics on display, interspersed with dramatic stories about the aftermath of the battle. He followed this up with a talk and a performance of Scott’s epic poem ‘The Field of Waterloo’ in its entirety.
Liverpool’s series of Waterloo exhibitions and events in partnership with the National Army Museum, certainly gave the story of ‘a day that changed lives’ an interest and insight into that important day.
Don’t miss a trip to the Victoria Gallery a wonderful museum with a display of objects used on the battlefield to relics taken from it- find out what really happened.
Victoria Gallery and Museum off Brownlow Hill, Liverpool
Café, Free Tours and Free Lunchtime Concerts…vgm.liv.ac.uk
Last weekend gave us a fantastic prestigious art fair, with the Royal Liver Building hosting the Liverpool Contemporary Arts Fair now in its second year.
It boasted a vast collection of visual arts, sculptures, glass works, photography and ceramics from over 40 of the UK’s leading galleries and some international galleries showing a diverse range of artistic and entertaining works.
I was particularly interested in the exclusive collection of paintings by world renowned artist L.S.Lowry, all worth in excess of £3 million and a highlight feature of the Fair.
Today the Liverpool Artist’s Fair at the Central Library opened.03-04 July. This is in a spectacular setting with the surroundings of the library adding to the splendour of the works on display. This free-to-enter book fair will host 30 artists, as well as talks and craft classes for children. Well worth a visit this weekend.
Tonight though, my weekend jaunt into the arts took me to the opening of the Liverpool artist Frank Greens exhibition at St Georges Hall which is running for a few weeks.
I was taken aback by the sheer volume of works on display here.
Frank Green has been painting in Liverpool for over 50 years and the huge array of works he produced during this time are actually on show.
Well over 200 paintings adorn wall after wall in many of the subterranean spaces of St Georges Hall.
Convinced I was viewing just one room of his works, I was escorted to room after room showing this brilliant artists life’s work. A visual history of Liverpool’s streets, waterfront, ferry boats, football clubs and open spaces. A social, architectural archive of Liverpool’s history is set before your eyes.
This collection is a attribute to the skill and dedication of this truly Scouse artist. St Georges Hall has amassed by far the finest, largest and most comprehensive collection of Frank Greens paintings and drawings.
The organisation of this major exhibition has created a vast, entertaining and moving tribute to Liverpool’s most famous artist.
This exhaustive display by an artist whose unmistakable paintings of the architectural landscape here in Liverpool, must now place him solidly amongst the established northern modern day painters.
…..Frank Green….a man of genius……this display will surprise almost everybody who views it.
View now at St Georges Hall
……and came upon the ‘Dorothy Wordsworth, Sister, Writer, Friend’ exhibition, exploring the life and works of the little known sister of one of Britain’s most famous poets, William Wordsworth.
With time to spare, before a meeting at one of the universities Brownlow Hill buildings, I wandered into this magnificent museum, passing the café and then mused over the plethora of diaries, journals, personal letters and memorabilia making up this fine exhibition of material on loan from the Wordsworth Museum Grasmere in the Lake District.
The Wordsworth Trust has certainly compiled a vast collection of artefacts, all on loan here, even with a full museum up north catering for the hundreds of foreign visitors who make a pilgrimage to the homestead of this hallowed literary genius.
I was fascinated by the written pieces on display which dated from the 1800’s and I scrutinized the ink, handwritten scripts, noting the language of text and the words, familiar today and some not so.
The letters gave me an insight into her life and her relationship with her better known brother, William whom she showed an uncommonly ‘strong bond’. Was I trying to find some E L James stuff here, yes I was.
This exhibition is her story.
A story that shows her creativity, but one that has been obscured and overshadowed by her brother. He was a leading literary figure and member of the Romantic movement who transformed British poetry. But didn’t they all then, the Romantics, with an emphasis on nature rather than science, its exponents valued individual experience and intuition sharing a belief in idealism. If you ever get the chance to read some of Byron, Keats and Shelly or better still get your hands on some of the BBC romantic period costume dramas depicting these characters then hold onto your …..its lusty wenches, dastardly villains and dashing heroes will bewitch you and give you a compelling urge to read more.
That’s what this exhibition will do, give you a taste of the literate world of the eighteenth century. Then, if this collection of memorabilia grips you, sign up for the Poetry Workshop, 18th March 10.30-12.30 when Poet Eleanor Rees explores the relationship between poetry and prose and then help you write your own poems and prose inspired by Dorothy’s writing.
I’d have loved to have walked into the exhibition room with the sound of twittering birds, skylarks and finches, all in a chorus of mellow fruitfulness….. giving one the atmosphere of a bright summers day,
but perhaps, that’s the romantic in me!.
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