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Merseystyle photography competition winners

18 September 2013 by Sam

people sitting at a table with coffee, looking at photos

The Merseystyle competition judges

Over the summer lots of people entered our Merseystyle photography competition. As exhibition curator Sharon Brown reports, choosing the winners was a tough job for our judges:

“The exhibition Merseystyle: Photographs by the Caravan Gallery has proved very popular since it opened in the Skylight Gallery at the Museum of Liverpool on 10 May 2013.

As part of the exhibition we ran a photography competition, open to all. We asked people to send in a photograph that reflected a unique and personal view of their neighbourhood in Liverpool or Wirral, using the Caravan Gallery’s unique style as a guide.

We received a fabulous 357 entries. But who would our five winners be? Read more…

“Weirdly Wonderful” – what it meant to be part of ALIVE

13 September 2013 by Dickie

Photo of Phil next to Rankin in Walker Art Gallery in front of a large photograph of Phil.

Phil Kelly with Rankin at the ALIVE exhibition

Guest blog from Phil Kelly who was photographed by Rankin for the ALIVE: In The Face of Death exhibition. Phil has myeloma, a rare form of incurable cancer. It is a life-limiting condition but he is fighting back through music. Read more…

Disaster averted

29 August 2013 by Sam

archive photo of a ship and a tug

‘Kirriemoor’ ship in the Mersey

Curator of Photographic Archives Anne Gleave has found a photograph amongst the Maritime Archives and Library collections which depicts an incident  that occurred on this day 63 years ago: Read more…

New Brighton – mecca for photographers

19 August 2013 by Sam

photo of people on a beach, wearing warm clothing

‘New Brighton 1976′ © Martin Parr Magnum Photos

During a social evening on the opening weekend of Derby’s Format International Photography Festival a couple of years ago I mentioned in passing that I live in New Brighton. The reaction of one of my companions, one of the charismatic team behind Cardiff’s Third Floor Gallery, was fantastic – a shocked “You mean New Brighton is a real place?!”

In many ways New Brighton is no different from many other seaside towns. In its heyday it was a bustling resort with people outnumbering pebbles on the beach and in the outdoor pool. Those days are long gone though, leaving behind a funfair and an army of ice cream vans that have somehow clung on stubbornly through the quiet times. So far, so unremarkable. However New Brighton gained a degree of notoriety in the 1980s with the publication of Martin Parr’s ‘The Last Resort’. Controversial, in your face and unflinchingly honest, the book is now considered a classic. A mark of its influence is the number of photographers drawn to the top right corner of the Wirral to pay tribute, such as Peter Dench, who made the pilgrimage in 2011 on the 25th anniversary of the book’s publication. His account The Last Resort Revisited perfectly describes the sense of nostalgia for the recent past that keeps photographers coming back.  Read more…

How Rankin’s ALIVE exhibition has offered a different possibility for discussing death…

14 August 2013 by Dickie

An orange post-it note left by a visitor to the Rankin exhibtion expressing emotion

Visitor response to ALIVE exhibition

Here’s a blog from Chrissy Partheni, Head of Museum Partnerships. Chrissy recently gave a talk to visitors about our Rankin exhibition and its connections with the Walker Art Gallery’s permanent collections: Read more…

Visitors moved by Rankin exhibition

9 July 2013 by Lisa

Post it now with text "It makes you think about the people you love!"

A visitor comment from the response wall at the Walker.

Below are some of the moving comments that have been posted on our response wall at the Walker Art Gallery by visitors to the ‘ALIVE: In The Face of Death’ exhibition.

It seems that Rankin’s photographs have really made people think about their own loved ones, while also being uplifted by the stories of those who appear in the exhibition.  Read more…

Double Take: Portraits from the Keith Medley Archive

3 June 2013 by Laura

Dual-portrait of a young woman

Image courtesy of the Keith Medley Archive, LJMU.

What happens when we face a camera? How do our gestures, expressions and thoughts alter? Or do they? Perhaps we are so used to having our photographs taken and beamed onto a social media site for the world to see, share and ‘Like’ that we have become immune to the camera’s authority.

This was certainly not the case in the 1960s, as illustrated by a fascinating selection of portraits in the Walker’s exhibition, ‘Double Take: Portraits from the Keith Medley Archive’. This touching insight into the ‘performance’ of ordinary people in front of a camera is part of ‘LOOK/13‘. Read more…

Easter 1945 – a time of austerity

28 March 2013 by Sam

old photo pf a shop window display

Anne Gleave, Curator of Photographic Archives, has found this photo in the Stewart Bale collection which shows a very different Easter display to the ones in shops today:

“There are 195,445 photographs in the Stewart Bale collection and this is one of them; a window display for Easter 1945 in the former department store Owen Owen on Clayton Square, Liverpool, which was commissioned by Owen Owen Ltd, April 1945.

I’m guessing that the passer-by’s attention was supposed to be grabbed by the words ‘Easter Harvest’ in large rustic letters in each of the three windows, hopefully to draw them closer to investigate and read the explanatory text panels about this strange phenomenon (how could harvest be at  Easter! But wait a minute…) Read more…

Credit crunch art – and film posters!

1 March 2013 by Sam

photo of a boy and cat inthe pose of the Life of Pi film poster

Image courtesy of Empire magazine

I love this fantastic recreation of the Life of Pi poster, spotted on the Empire magazine facebook page. The cat’s face makes it for me – I think if I asked my cat to pose like a tiger to recreate a film poster then she would look at me with exactly the same expression!

This reminded me of our own Credit Crunch Art project, in which we asked people to create their own versions of art from National Museums Liverpool’s collections. We have had some fantastic entries, which you can see in the Credit Crunch Art Flickr group. Below is my homage to Gainsborough. Read more…

Romance in 1934

14 February 2013 by Sam

old photo of smartly dressed couples dancing in a large hall

Dance Party at Reece’s, Parker Street, Liverpool, February 1934 (detail). Commissioned by S Reece & Sons Ltd, Liverpool

Anne Gleave, our curator of photographic archives, has chosen this photograph from the fantastic Stewart Bale collection to highlight Valentine’s Day:


“The commercial photographic firm of Stewart Bale Ltd were commissioned to take this photograph by Reece & Sons Ltd, from their principal offices in Hawke Street, off Brownlow Hill, Liverpool. Stewart Bale was an important firm of Liverpool based photographers who could command significant commissions, which says something about the status of Reece’s. 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.