Radical Liverpool in art

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Painting of Rushton holding blinded people and a figure who has broken free from chains Detail of the dome mural by Mick Jones, showing Edward Rushton

I recently visited the Liverpool Biennial group show at the Liverpool School for the Blind building, Hardman Street, just before it closed. It was a rare chance to see inside the building (normally closed to the public), particularly the large mural, painted by Mick Jones in the early 1980s when the building was the Merseyside Trade Union Community and Unemployed Resource Centre.

I was especially interested in the mural as we have a large painting ‘Unemployment on Merseyside - Campaigning for the Right to Work’, also by Mick, on display in The People’s Republic gallery which was commissioned by the Museum of Liverpool Life in 1993.

painting featuring many scenes on the theme of unemployment 'Unemployment on Merseyside - Campaigning for the Right to Work' by Mike Jones

It was wonderful to see how similar they are in their depiction of everyday Liverpool people campaigning for their rights and making a real difference to their local communities.

Another visitor was also taking a keen interest in the mural alongside me and we started discussing its sad state of disrepair. He wondered who the man with the bandage over his eye was. I mentioned that it was Edward Rushton, campaigner for human rights, and that he should come to see our painting and also the upcoming display about Edward Rushton, Unsung - Liverpool's Most Radical Son, also in the People’s Republic gallery, which opens on Friday 7 November. You should too!

mural with scenes of Liverpool people,  with a large area of peeling paint Wider view of the dome mural by Mick Jones