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OMD to ‘dazzle’ at Museum of Liverpool

20 October 2014 by Lucy

On 1 & 2 November, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are set to play two sell-out gigs at the Museum of Liverpool.

Here, Andy McCluskey of OMD tells us of the band’s links and love for Dazzle Ships:


 

Andy McCluskey and boat

Andy McCluskey with the Dazzle Ship

What began as a humble request for us to be allowed to put a musique concrete installation into the ‘dazzled’ Edmund Gardner has somehow, and rather wonderfully, escalated  into two concerts, a display case full of our history and memorabilia, and a mini film festival.

Our interest in Dazzle Ships began in 1983 when artist and sleeve designer Peter Saville showed us a Vorticist painting by Edward Wadsworth entitled ‘Dazzle Ship in dry dock at Liverpool’ and asked if we could write some appropriate music as he wished to create an album sleeve inspired by the fractured imagery. We duly obliged with a record that not only contained a title track Dazzle Ships, but also reflected the dark and fearfully disjointed mentality of early eighties geo-politics.

The subsequent tour featured a Dazzle-themed constructivist-style stage set and weirdly wonderful presentations of some of the songs that involved semaphore flag mimes by the band and the moving set ‘playing’ the title track without the band onstage. Unsurprisingly, the whole spectacle confounded and enraptured both audience and critics in equal measure.

The intervening 30 years has seen the knowledge of Dazzle camouflage expand across the globe and filter into a variety of art forms as diverse as dance, fashion, architecture and film. The latest manifestation has been the ‘dazzling’ of two ships. The Edmund Gardner in Liverpool and HMS President in London as part of the 14-18 NOW commemorations.

We have created new Dazzle sounds to be played inside the engine room of the Edmund Gardner; the first Dazzle Ship in a Liverpool dry dock for one hundred years. Also, we have curated a mini film festival in the Museum of Liverpool’s theatre that includes documentary, product branding, contemporary art and animated films reflecting the broad cultural infusion and influence of Dazzle Camouflage.

The Museum of Liverpool is displaying many items from Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark’s early career, such as our first synthesizer, the drum machine that played the intro to international hit Enola Gay, and the tape machine called Winston that was effectively the reason why two teenagers from the ‘other side of the river Mersey’ were able to countenance the crazy idea of being a band of only two musicians. This whole series of events culminates in OMD playing two concerts in the Museum of Liverpool on 1 & 2 November where many tracks from the Dazzle Ships album will be performed, including two that have never been presented live before.


 

Liverpool’s Dazzle Ship is a co-commission by 1418 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commission, Liverpool Biennial and Tate Liverpool, in partnership with the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Renowned artist Carlos Cruz-Diez worked with the idea of dazzle using the historic Edmund Gardner pilot ship owned and conserved by the Merseyside Maritime Museum. The work has been realised by painters from Cammell Laird.

The title of the work is ‘Induction Chromatique à Double Fréquence pour l’Edmund Gardner Ship / Liverpool. Paris, 2014′.

 

 

Now + then: Three Decades of HIV in Merseyside

10 October 2014 by Lucy

Image of display

The Now + then display can be seen in The People’s Republic gallery

A new display has opened today at the Museum of Liverpool, in The People’s Republic gallery.

‘Now + then: Three Decades of HIV in Merseyside’ uncovers how local people and communities have responded to the challenges of HIV from the 1980s to the present day. It includes a powerful new short film, interviews, photography and objects, all exploring people’s own remarkable stories and experiences.  Read more…

Research First World War family history

4 September 2014 by Lucy

Image of boy trying on helmet

Our City Soldiers gallery features a range of military headware to try on

Come along to the Museum of Liverpool on Saturday from 10:30am – 4:30pm for a free First World War Family History Event.

There’s loads going on, including a trench erected in the Museum’s atrium, and an Edwardian School Mistress will also be on hand to teach people about the causes of the First World War.

Our Family History Events can help you search for relatives who served in the war, and give insight into people’s experiences on the Front and at home. This year, the event is more poignant due to the Centenary of the First World War and our new exhibition ‘First World War: reflecting on Liverpool’s Home Front’, which is being displayed to mark 100 years since the outbreak of war.

At the Museum of Liverpool, we look after the collections of The King’s Regiment displayed in the ‘City Soldiers’ gallery, which features a research database for visitors to use to find out more about family members who served with the King’s. The Devereux Database currently contains the biographical details of more than 81,500 men who served in the King’s Regiment during the First World War, along with approximately 5,000 images. This year’s Family History Event will be particularly special because the compiler of this database will be attending from the U.S.A.

We are also working with local experts and societies to assist visitors’ research of soldiers from the area, including:

  • Liverpool Medical Institute
  • Liverpool Medical History Society
  • WO1 (RSM) Bob Dixon from 208 Field Hospital
  • Local King’s Regiment experts
  • The Western Front Association
  • Liverpool and South West Lancashire Family History Society
  • The Liverpool First World War Research Committee
  • The Liverpool Pals
  • The King’s Regiment Association
  • John Moores University

There will be a range of family friendly activities on offer throughout the day including handling sessions, poetry performances and arts and crafts for younger visitors. Visitors can also meet the Museum’s own King’s Regiment ‘Tommy Atkins’ and see what his life in a trench was like, or learn about the embroidered postcards he sent home.

 

Show us pictures of your visit to the International Slavery Museum

18 August 2014 by Mitty

children with their faces painted, listening intently to an unseen storyteller

Family activities at last year’s Slavery Remembrance Day © Simon Webb

So we’re in the midst of the summer holidays!!  Here at the International Slavery Museum we have great free events every day of the week for all to enjoy, so far we’ve been having fun with flags, making funky shakers and also decorating traditional West African mask designs. Loads of you come every day to enjoy our sessions and we would love to see what you are making!

Do you fancy sharing your pictures? You could tag International Slavery Museum on facebook or @slaverymuseum on twitter – and if you’re not following us, why not?! Read more…

Liver Bird in the making – the Bromsgrove connection

10 June 2014 by Kay

Liver Bird 1910 0012This fabulous photograph of one of the Liver Birds being constructed in the Bromsgrove Guild Workshops, 1910, was recently sent to us by Charles Bateman from Bromsgrove.

The Bromsgrove Guild were awarded this important new commission by The Royal Liver Assurance Company who wanted two mythical Liver Birds to be mounted on the twin towers of its new head office at the Pier Head when it opened 19 July, 1911.

The Illustrated History of The Bromsgrove Guild reveals that the Liver Birds presented various design problems during construction, both because of their large size and the height at which they were mounted – 300 feet from the ground. They also had to withstand extremely high winds without being too heavy. Read more…

When April met Winston

2 June 2014 by Lucy

Image of April Ashley meeting Sir Winston Churchill

April Ashley meeting Sir Winston Churchill in 1964

A new photograph showing April Ashley meeting Sir Winston Churchill has gone on display in the April Ashley: Portrait of a lady exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool.

This rare press image shows April and Winston meeting for the first time in April 1964 and was only recently re-discovered in time to mark 50 years since the event took place.  Read more…

Jane’s jigsaw – ‘From There to Here’

28 May 2014 by Kay

jigsaw with photos of different people and objects

This jigsaw is one of 8 unique and wonderful artworks on display in the exhibition From There to Here: the hidden history of People with Learning Difficulties in Merseyside, Museum of Liverpool.

The artworks celebrate the lives and experiences of the people who helped to make the exhibition. Each participant met and briefed local artists who designed and made the pieces, using the participant’s oral testimonies and interviews as inspiration.

The special jigsaw represents things very close to participant Jane Fradley’s heart – Ant and Dec, Prince William… and her boyfriend Neil! It was made by local artist Annette Jamieson. Read more…

The eagle has landed…

21 May 2014 by Lucy

image of people looking at eagle

(l-r) Chris Lee and Chris Bliss (Liverpool ONE) and Paul Gallagher (Museum of Liverpool) admire the eagle

Today, we welcomed a new feathered friend to the Museum of Liverpool, who might just rival our life-size Liver Bird in popularity.

You may not know this, but in 1790, only seven years after winning its independence from Britain, the United States of America chose Liverpool as the site for its first ever consulate. The city’s growing transatlantic trade made it a vital partner for the USA, keen to exploit further commercial opportunities with Liverpool, Britain and beyond.  Read more…

International Day against Homophobia

17 May 2014 by Kay

Copy of DSC_0767Today is International Day against Homophobia. It marks the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation took homosexuality off its list of mental illnesses. This rainbow flag, which was the first ever to be flown above Liverpool Town Hall for International Day against Homophobia on 17 May 2009, is on display in The People’s Republic gallery, Museum of Liverpool. Read more…

Did you work for Bayko?

13 May 2014 by Lucy

Bayko Empire State Building

Leo Janssen’s Bayko construction of the Empire State Building on display at the Museum of Liverpool

This year marks 80 years of Bayko, the Liverpool-invented model construction set.

To mark the occasion, the Museum of Liverpool is joining with the Bayko Collectors Club to stage a ‘Bayk-over’ of the venue this Friday until Monday 19 May.

Bayko constructions will be brought to the Museum from all over Britain to feature in this four-day event, and visitors can expect to see four foot models of the leaning tower of Pisa, Saint Mark’s Campanile from Venice, a large cathedral complete with chiming bells, a skyscraper and a 30 foot pier.  Read more…

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