A Shaman arrives at the Walker...

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Man dressed in a deer skin, shouting in front of an audience Journey to the Lower World, Coot 2004, by Marcus Coates. Photography by Nick David. Courtesy of Kate MacGarry and Workplace Gallery.
Both funny and touching, 'Journey to the Lower World', a film artwork by the influential contemporary artist Marcus Coates,  became part of the Walker Art Gallery's collections in 2010. It is a major piece of work by Coates and was bought by the gallery with the help of the Contemporary Art Society’s Acquisitions Scheme. The film was an exciting addition to the gallery’s internationally renowned collection. The work arose from 'Further Up in the Air', a residency programme for artists in Liverpool’s Sheil Park estate in 2003. In the film residents from Linosa Close, a tower block awaiting demolition, watch with a mixture of anxiety, faith and good humour as Coates performs a shamanic ritual. Dressed in a deer skin and uttering eerie, animalistic grunts, he attempts to answer the emotive question put to him by his audience: "Do we have a protector for this site? What is it?"