This week, our guest-blogger in National Museums Liverpool press office is Jack Poland, who was lucky enough to have a sneak preview of the new Museum of Liverpool.
The map was the product of sculptors Jeffrey Sarmiento and Inge Panneels’ nine months of arduous work. It took little time, however, to acknowledge that such labour had well and truly paid off as the six-segment sculpture, each one weighing 100kg, was finally unveiled.
Even the picturesque Pier Head as its backdrop could not entice the viewing eyes away from the magnificent art piece which binds the geographical map of Liverpool with a cultural one. As light shines through the 17 layers of fused glass the map takes on a whole new level of interest. Hours upon hours of time are guaranteed to be lost when viewing the map as well known faces, places and words will burst out at every possible angle. The attention to detail of the artists was there for all to see, from the intricate implementation to the famous faces being placed as close as possible to their relevant geographical locations.
American artist, Jeffrey Sarmiento said of the result: “I had not initially planned on coming up to see it being put in place because I find installs terrifying and one single section of the Liverpool Map is twice as big as any piece I have made before, but I am relieved it is up and it looks extremely close to how we envisaged it.”
The viewing of this intriguing piece was a fitting end to a suitably fascinating first visit to the new Museum of Liverpool. I was initially struck by the size and distinctive look of the building and this admiration was a constant throughout my tour inside. One would be forgiven for thinking they had stumbled into a building in Rome or New York such is the innovation and originality of the museum and its contents. A reminder of Liverpool’s rich lineage of history around every corner however, serves as a welcome reminder that visitors are in fact in a city that can boast all the mystery and wonder of those other great cities.
The Museum of Liverpool opens on 19 July, so as an early tourist to the Museum of Liverpool I felt privileged to gain a sneak peek behind its curtain, and was by no means disappointed. Standing proudly on the Pier Head, the museum has tastefully blended the old with the new, and this is one of many factors as to why I am sure this will be the first of many visits for me in the future.