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Crisis Art Competition

13 May 2015 by Lucy Johnson

Painting of poppies with red and blue backgroundI have always been a strong believer that art has an important role to play in society, so I am really lucky to work closely with the Walker Art Gallery and its inspiring collection of works. I recently got the opportunity to view some more inspiring art when I was asked to be involved in a competition run by run by the homeless charity CrisisRead more…

Restoring the Falaba painting

30 April 2015 by Sam

David Crombie with a painting on an easel with with patches of paint loss

Working on removing excess fill from the losses to bring the levels in line with the rest of the paint surface – there were a lot of big losses!

This is the last of a series following the conservation of the painting ‘Falaba’ by Gerald M Burn, to prepare it for display in the Lusitania: life, loss, legacy exhibition. In previous posts I have described the structural treatment, cleaning and lining of the painting.

Once the painting was safely re-stretched onto the wooden stretcher, the two main things left to do were to fill in the paint losses and then inpaint (or retouch) the losses to match the surrounding original paint. Filling was carried out with fine chalk mixed with a water soluble synthetic resin, giving a paste that could be applied the areas of paint loss – this was done with a small palette knife which helped to imitate some of the texture of the original paint.

Once this had dried out, the excess filler could be removed with small cotton wool swabs wetted with water. After that, I could adjust and improve the fill texture as necessary. Then came the exciting stage Read more…

Cleaning and lining the Falaba painting

22 April 2015 by David Crombie

detail of a ship painting, showing a small dark dirty area of the sky

The Falaba painting during the final stages of cleaning in the sky with nearly all of the dirt layers removed

This is the third blog in a series following the conservation of the huge painting of the Falaba, which is now on display in the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss legacy. In the last post I described the structural treatment of the painting, in order to reattach the loose paint.

Once the structural treatment was complete, the painting was turned over and cleaning could begin once the facing tissue was removed. Cleaning proved quite difficult, as the thick grime layers had previously been covered by the wax facing. Read more…

Structural treatment of the ‘Falaba’ painting

16 April 2015 by David Crombie

large painting lying flat on a table with a protective cover

To stretch it, the protected painting was placed face-up within a wooden loom frame on the multi-purpose lining table before wetted brown paper strips were attached around all four sides. As these were drying, the table was set to provide moisture underneath the canvas to relax it slightly during the stretching process.

Curator Ellie Moffat recently blogged about the centenary of the sinking of the ‘Falaba’ during the First World War. In her blog post she mentioned the large painting of Falaba which has just gone on display in the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy.

Preparing the painting for display was quite a large job, not just because of its size, but also because it was not in a very good condition after suffering water damage many years ago.  Read more…

Centenary of the sinking of Falaba

27 March 2015 by Ellie

men with lifting equipment hanging a large painting on a wall

The huge painting of Falaba was installed by our specialist handling team ready for the opening of the ‘Lusitania: life, loss, legacy’ exhibition

This Saturday, 28 March, marks the centenary of the sinking of the Falaba – a passenger ship of Liverpool’s Elder Dempster Line. She left Liverpool on 27 March 1915 and sighted the German submarine U-28 off the southern coast of Ireland the following day.

U-28 surfaced, sent two warnings and Falaba’s crew were ordered to abandon ship. As the final lifeboat was being lowered, a torpedo hit. The ship sank in under 10 minutes. Germany claimed that U-28 had allowed 23 minutes for evacuation. Britain said it was only 5 minutes. Read more…

Picturing Venice in a different light

23 March 2015 by Sam

painting of gondolas under a cloudy grey sky in Venice

‘Grey Venice’ by Charles Napier Hemy

Our photographer Keith Sweeney has taken these fascinating pictures as part of his behind-the-scenes work preparing for a new exhibition. He explains:

“This painting, ‘Grey Venice’ by Charles Napier Hemy from the Walker Art Gallery’s collection, is one of many pictures of Venice from our collection that has been considered for inclusion in the upcoming Picturing Venice exhibition, which opens at the Lady Lever Art Gallery on 1 May.

Read more…

John Moores Visitors’ Choice revealed!

12 November 2014 by Laura

Woman and painting

Juliette with her winning work.

Juliette Losq has won the John Moores Visitors’ Choice 2014, sponsored by Rathbones. Her epic painting ‘Vinculum’ was a firm favourite with visitors who voted in their thousands! In this guest blog she tells us more about it… Read more…

Mr. Turner, I presume!

30 October 2014 by Simon

The Wreck Buoy

‘The Wreck Buoy’ by JMW Turner

Mike Leigh’s new film ‘Mr. Turner’ is about to hit our screens and it’s fantastic that one of George Holt’s finest purchases is featured in the film; Turner’s mighty painting ‘The Wreck Buoy’.

This painting is currently on display in Tate Britain, for the ‘Late Turner – Painting Set Free’ exhibition, but it will be back at Sudley House in early 2015.  Read more…

OMD to ‘dazzle’ at Museum of Liverpool

20 October 2014 by Lucy

Andy McCluskey and boat

Andy McCluskey with the Dazzle Ship

On 1 and 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:

“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.  Read more…

John Moores Visitors’ Choice: your vote counts!

14 October 2014 by Laura

Voting cards

Visitors have been voting in their thousands for their favourite painting

Rose Wylie was announced the 29th winner of the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker last month, but do the public agree with the jurors’ decision?

Visitors to the exhibition have been voting in their thousands for their favourite work to win the £2,014 visitors’ choice jack pot, sponsored by Rathbones. But with voting open until 2 November there is still plenty to time to make a difference! Read more…

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.