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Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens: Winners

4 June 2010 by davidl

With China Through the lens of John Thomson 1868 – 1872 closing at Merseyside Maritime Museum this Sunday, our Liverpool’s Chinatown Through the lens Flickr competition has now also come to an end and it is time to reveal the winners.

We had a really interesting range of entries and exhibition curator and competition judge Betty Yao found it difficult to choose the winner from nearly 200 photos. However after much deliberation Betty chose three images, which have all also been blogged about over the course of the competition, with the overall winner being ‘Chinese New Year – People’ by Lee Carus, an image she says she ‘returned again and again to’ because ‘…there is so much there – capturing the people, the colours’. Congratulations to Lee, who wins a banquet meal for two at Yuet Ben.

The two lucky runners-up are Graham Morgan, whose enigmatic shot Betty praised ‘for capturing the moment’, and Mark McGowan, whose Chinese arch photo reminded her of two atmospheric images from the exhibition; of the pagoda reflected on the lake, and the hazy shot of a man standing by the River Min.

Congratulations to all our entrants, and one final reminder to visit the Maritime Museum this weekend for your last chance to see John Thomson’s fascinating images.

Read more…

Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens: Closed!

24 May 2010 by davidl

The Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens photo competition has ended today, and there is a fantastic range of interesting photos in the competition pool on Flickr. Thanks to all those people who submitted photographs – the images make for fascinating browsing! The winner will receive a banquet for two at Yuet Ben, with two runners-up winning exhibition catalogues.

China Through the lens of John Thomson 1868-72 is only on at Merseyside Maritime Museum until 6 June, so get yourself down there and don’t miss this stunning exhibition.

The winner and runners-up will be announced shortly – watch this space! Read more…

Name the meerkat competition

13 May 2010 by davidl

The cutest animals on the planet (officially – just ask Lucy in the press office), meerkats were among the exotic animals who visited World Museum in March for a series of “Close Encounters… with live animals!” workshops as part of National Science Week, courtesy of Tropical Inc.

Now those lovely folks need a name for one of their baby female meerkats, and we want you to choose one! All you have to do is think of whatever name you think suits her best, and submit it in the comments below. Alternatively you can tweet your meerkat name on Twitter, adding the hashtag #namethemeerkat, or leave a comment on the World Museum Facebook Wall, also adding #namethemeerkat.

Not only will your name be given to the meerkat, but you will also win a goody bag of meerkat treats – DVDs, books, cuddly toys and more – and have your photo taken with your newly-named meerkat at World Museum in August.
Read more…

Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens: People

12 May 2010 by davidl

Complex and complicated are not quite the same thing, a distinction which I think is captured in this week’s highlight from our Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens Flickr competition, by Flickr user Lee Carus; the scene is busy with detail but not over-crowded, and carefully shot – the photographer waited patiently for some time before snapping this image.

Very colourful photo of people, flags and buildings

Chinese New Year – People © www.leecarus-photography.net

Quite a few different subjects that I have blogged about over the past few weeks appear here – the buildings in Chinatown, the crowds, the flags - but most prominent is the saturation in vivid colour. Practically no two areas use quite the same colour or hue, and the jostling of a brilliant orange jacket to a pearlescent green flag, shimmering gold surrounded by whites, pinks and blues, mirrors the heaving crowds.

Despite the level of detail, the composition is spacious: the cream buildings in the background and the smoke whiting-out the centre is effective in both throwing the more sharply defined foreground figures into relief and receding the background crowds and buildings, a depth enhanced by the stolid black railings to the right leading into the image. Also interesting is the fact that although the crowds are the ostensible subject, those figures in the background left comprise a fairly abstract mass of curves and shapes, the effect being like a painter suggesting a figure or object with a few simple flicks of a paintbrush - they become real as the viewer steps away. See the photo in a large size. Read more…

April’s caption competition!

6 May 2010 by Lisa

Competition winner announcement!

Our winner for this month is Susan Nisar with the caption:

‘Hold on girls, Aunt Mable and I need to get on as well, ‘tsk’ lazy girls!’

A copy of An Edwardian Family Album will be on its way to Susan soon!

Thanks to all who entered and look out for another competition later this month.


Two women and two little girls on the beach

Biddy and daughters accompanied by Maudie – possibly the housemaid – with a wagon of provisions on the beach, c1910.

How much stuff do you take to the beach with you? British beach-goers seem to like to take as much as they can carry, from wind-breakers to flasks of tea! Read more…

John Moores painting competition – Liverpool and Shanghai talk art

6 May 2010 by Sam

Following the recent founding of the John Moore’s painting prize in Shanghai, representatives from Liverpool and Shanghai caught up yesterday to discuss art in the UK and China and the running of the John Moore competitions.

From the Walker Art Gallery, participants in Liverpool were able to talk face to face to those in China via a live video conference link.

Angela Samata, Project Manager for the John Moores 2010 shares her thoughts on the video meeting:


I wasn’t really sure what to expect from a live video conference as I entered the empty gallery yesterday. I’ve used video conferencing before, but only within the UK, so the chance to link live with Shanghai was really exciting, but also a little bit nerve-wracking. Read more…

Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens: Old and Light

28 April 2010 by davidl

Older buildings have often outlived most of the people who set inside them, but their meaning and significance is usually defined by the way they are used by those same people. This week’s highlight from our Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens Flickr competition, by Flickr user diaryof70steen, is an attractive composition which, though it consists of two buildings and nothing else, says much about different cultures and communities over time.

19th-century stone building with Corinthian columns and dome beside a colourful Chinese arch

old and light © diaryof70steen

Visually the image creates a striking parallel between the vibrancy of the Chinese arch, its curved roofs and intricate patterns, and the stoic grandeur of the Black-E centre, with its magnificent dome and Corinthian columns. With a whited-out sky the many shapes and patterns of the buildings stand out crisply in an almost abstract way.

More than the architecture however, the photo tells of a long history of different Liverpudlian communities. The Black-E – taking its name from its smoke-stained stonework that was cleaned in the 1980s – combines a contemporary arts centre with a community centre (the UK’s first community arts project), and is based in the former Great George Street Chapel, which closed in 1967. This in turn had been the centre for a programme of artistic, educational and social welfare activities as well as worship, and was itself the second Chapel on the site, opening in 1841 after the 1811 original was destroyed by fire. It seems appropriate that a building so long the hub of many community activities is captured here next to a great symbol of Liverpool’s long-established Chinese community, itself also dating from the 19th century. See the photo in a large size. Read more…

Video interviews with John Moores judges

27 April 2010 by Lisa

Two men and one woman - judging the John Moores 2010 entries

Artists Ged Quinn, Alison Watt and Gary Hume during stage 1

At last! Our first look behind the scenes of the John Moores 2010 is now online.

Watch the video here…

You will see judges Gary Hume, Ged Quinn and Alison Watt talking about the competition so far and footage from inside the judging room itself, with snatches of their discussions!

Fellow judges Goshka Macuga and Sir Norman Rosenthal were absent due to the ban on flights at the time because of the volcanic ash problems. Their choices were included as Reyahn King, Head of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool, read out their preferences during the judging process. Read more…

Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens: Masks

21 April 2010 by davidl

While holiday snaps are often intended to record a static memory of a place and mood - think of all those posed pictures of your family on the beach with fixed smiles - the more artistic photograph can often capture a whole narrative in a single image. I think in this week’s highlight from our Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens Flickr competition, by Flickr user Graham Morgan (greybeats), something of both approaches is captured.

Chinese New Year photograph with colourful Chinese dragon on the right and men wreathed in smoke on the left

Chinese New Year © Graham Morgan

More familiar as a writhing, twisting creature, the Chinese dragon here is seen as a massive, still block of colours, occupying the whole right side of the image: the lack of body makes it hard to imagine its full size, and it certainly looks like it is towering menacingly over the people on the left. However what is especially interesting about the dragon and the people are their positions and their masks: all of the figures are to some extent covering their faces and none appear to directly acknowledge the others; instead all are facing different directions in a curious, almost posed manner.

The viewer knows that there are really people inside the dragon, hidden under the costume - similarly the man in the foreground half-covers his face, presumably against smoke and noise, the figure behind is half-masked (or half-unmasked?), and those further back still are almost gone completely behind the smoke; everyone is only half-revealed, as though hovering between two personalities, or emerging from a chrysalis. Though it is Chinese New Year, it seems apt that this reminds me of the Roman god Janus (from whom we get the name January), often depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions: back to the old year and forward to the new. This image captures that idea of uncertain but exciting transition, change and ambiguity. See the photo in a large size. Read more…

Behind the scenes of John Moores 2010

19 April 2010 by Lisa

Photo of Gary Hume in a white studio

Gary Hume, one of the judges for the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize 2010. Photo: Georgie Hopton

Excitement is mounting as we’re now starting the first stage of judging for the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize 2010! With a first prize of £25,000 and four further prizes of £2500 on the table, there is certainly plenty to get excited about. We’ve already seen some entries featuring canvasses smeared in beeswax and one daubed with coffee, so we know there will be plenty of variety and innovation for the judges to get their teeth into. Read more…