Roger McGough to open art installation at Museum of Liverpool
Poetry Society President Roger McGough brings to the new Museum of Liverpool a unique art installation combining his poetic skills and love of his home city.
The Liverpool Doors exhibition will feature doors from across the city, donated to Roger and book artist Mark Cockram, who have created the installation along with students from Liverpool John Moores University’s (LJMU) School of Art and Design.
Opening on 24 February, this will be the first new exhibition to be staged at the Museum of Liverpool since it was fully opened to the public by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in December 2011.
Bill Longshaw, Curator of Community History said:
“About 12 months ago, we invited Roger to contribute something special to our displays and he came back to us with a great idea for an exhibition, which demonstrated exactly what the Museum of Liverpool was about.
“Roger and Mark engaged with the local community to explore the history of the city through stories and memories symbolised by these doors. They were collected following a public appeal. People and businesses from across the city responded so you will find all manner of places represented, with a sprinkling of Roger’s wonderful poetry to top it off.”
The exhibition features over 25 doors including those from the original Everyman Theatre and Bistro, Strawberry Fields Children’s Home, Liverpool sculptor Arthur Dooley’s studio, the Trophy Room door from Liverpool Football Club and a turnstile door from Everton’s Goodison Park.
“It has been a hugely rewarding experience to work alongside Mark and a group of enthusiastic and talented art students, and the project has provided me with the opportunity to be playful and present poetry in a vibrant and visual way.”
LJMU’s Art and Design students have used the doors as canvasses for extracts from Roger’s poems, using creative designs for the words themselves as well as imagery and objects to illustrate the poems, such as model cars, football socks and photographs. They have been supported by Roger and Mark throughout the artistic process, which began in November last year.
Professor Juan Cruz, Acting Director of LJMU’s School of Art and Design said:
“This has been a fantastic opportunity for the students. We were delighted when Roger and Mark approached us to say they would like to work with the University.
“In addition to creating a lasting legacy which will be viewed and admired by many people for years to come, the students have gained invaluable insight into creating an installation for a national museum, developing real world skills which are essential in a time where competition for jobs is increasingly fierce.”
Also featured within the exhibition, will be a bound copy of the entire Liverpool Saga: an 800 line poem written by people from across Merseyside to celebrate Liverpool’s 800th birthday. Roger wrote the opening and closing verses of the Saga, which specialist book artist Mark Cockram has bound specifically to accompany the Liverpool Doors exhibition.
Notes for editors
The Museum of Liverpool has received generous support from several major funders, along with grants from trusts and foundations, corporate support and individual donations. Major funders include the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS)
The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) works to deliver economic success in England’s Northwest by building the competitiveness of businesses, people and places. The Agency is the strategic lead for tourism in the Northwest and works with the region’s five tourist boards to support and grow our £13 billion visitor economy. For further information please visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is making a real difference to people and businesses in the Northwest. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, ERDF is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment. ERDF in the Northwest is managed by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). For further information please visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects allocating £4.5billion across the UK. Website: www.hlf.org.uk
About National Museums Liverpool
National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic.
We attract more than 3 million visitors every year. Our venues are World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, UK Border Agency National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery.
In July 2011, our eighth venue, the Museum of Liverpool, opened at the city's Pier Head, part of the city's World Heritage Site. The museum tells the definitive story of Liverpool and its people and contains more than 6,000 items.
Please contact: Lucy Cattell in the press office for more information on this release.