Artist Christian Hook and actress Sue Johnston with the painting
Two new objects, which have recently joined the Museum of Liverpool’s collection, have gone on display to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy (15 April).
The two objects, which at first may seem completely different, have at their core the same source of inspiration - the resilience shown by the families of the 96 people who lost their lives during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
The first is a remarkable portrait of actress Sue Johnston by Christian Hook. He painted Sue at first as a conventional black and white portrait, before ‘deconstructing’ the image using his feet, while listening to the Liverpool FC anthem, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
This fascinating short video shows how Christian created the image.
Linda Whitfield with her quilt made from Liverpool FC shirts
The painting is one of four Christian completed of Sue after he won the Sky Arts Portrait of the Year award in 2014. Travelling with the actress to various places that were close to her heart, they visited both Anfield and the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG). Christian quickly noticed that of all the ideas the pair developed, Sue kept returning to her work with HFSG and how much it meant to her.
The second object is a patchwork quilt made by a local woman, Linda Whitfield from Elllesmere Port. Made from donated Liverpool football shirts, the quilt took Linda four months to create. The quilt includes 96 Liver Birds, to represent each of the lives lost, with the children poignantly remembered by a smaller Liver Bird from a child's shirt. The quilt also includes each of the victims’ names, with those who went to the match together kept close together on the quilt.
The number ‘96’ is on display in the window near the entrance to the Museum of Liverpool until 18 April. On the anniversary (Friday 15 April) the Museum, along with the other National Museums Liverpool venues, will mark the anniversary with a one minute silence at 3.06pm.
Museum of Liverpool remembers the 96 lives lost at Hillsborough