Toxteth Park, Herculaneum, and Liver Birds (2014) by Paul Scott The Walker Art Gallery’s Craft and Design Gallery is an impressive place to be, with ceramics, glass, metalwork, jewellery, furniture and even musical instruments on display; together covering some three hundred years of design history. No wonder then, that internationally-renowned ceramic artist Paul Scott found ample inspiration from these collections when he visited! So much so, that it inspired him to create a piece that is on show until 28 March 2016 as part of a display in room 13 here at the Walker. Scott, who is based in Cumbria, is known for his printed ceramics and characteristic blue and white art works. In addition to visiting our collection, he visited the museum collections of Plymouth, Bristol and Cardiff to create this new commission, which reflects themes connecting the history of these port cities. Scott created his own transfer prints digitally and printed these onto historic pieces made in the four cities. These are combined with printed antique pottery and porcelain and housed in old print trays. The effect is to give these historic pieces a new life by telling stories from the past.
It also reminds us of the role played by Liverpool in supporting slavery and colonialism in the British Empire. This is combined with references to current political and environmental concerns. Artwork presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2014, to Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, National Museum Wales, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery and National Museums Liverpool
The Liverpool section, Toxteth Park, Herculaneum and Liver Birds reflects the history of the city’s ceramic industry. In the 18th and early 19th century, Liverpool was a thriving centre for the manufacture of pottery and porcelain produced for home and export markets. The title refers to the Herculaneum Pottery that was located in Toxteth from 1795-1840.